Feasible Te Araroa barge port

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An engineering report on a proposed barge facility at Te Araroa shows that there is a path to resource consent.

An engineering report on a proposed barge facility at Te Araroa shows that there is a path to resource consent.

Forestry interests facing a wall of timber close to harvest are looking for alternatives to hauling logs off the east coast.

Faced with opposition from some conservation-conscious hap members who fear that the so-called blue highway will affect the coastal and marine environment.

Boffa Miskell’s report states that while the potential negative effects on the environment may be “more than minor”, ​​they can be outweighed by the social, community and economic benefits for the people of Te Tairāwhiti.

The Araroa Barge Facility Working Group wants to build on Maori-owned land on the foreshore east of the Karakatūwhero River.

The site is at the eastern end of a marine area of ​​significant conservation value, and is close to identified wetlands and threatened flora and fauna habitats.

The report states that the barge proposal is not contrary to coastal land management policies, and the objectives and policies of the Tairāwhiti Resource Management Plan specifically recognize the potential of port infrastructure.

Adverse effects can be managed by avoiding working near wetlands, and the already heavily degraded coastal area before and down to land can be improved by planting native species.

Habitats can be developed for marine species, including rows of seeded algae and mussels, and a coastal walkway and bike path to Te Araroa can create recreational benefits for visitors and the community.

The secretary of the task force, Tiwana Tibble, said the area had already been significantly altered by a community landfill, which has now been closed.

He said the risk of unwanted organisms in the barge installation could be managed through best practice procedures and a biosecurity management plan developed in consultation with iwi, hapū and the advice.

“The property offered by the interests of mana whenua, descendants of Ngā Kopara o Rongomaitapui, will ensure optimal opportunities for all to benefit from more jobs, marae dividends and better returns on their forestry investments,” Mr. Tibble.

A public meeting on the plan will take place in Te Araroa next Saturday.



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