De­bris tem­po­rary

Marlborough Express - The Saturday Express, Marlborough - - OUT & ABOUT - OLIVER LEWIS

Piles of de­bris stock­piled in a bay fea­tur­ing a pro­tected surf break will be re­moved af­ter work to re-open the earth­quake-shat­tered high­way north of Kaik­oura is com­pleted.

How­ever, Manga­maunu Bay res­i­dents and surfers are still call­ing for the al­liance re­spon­si­ble for re-build­ing State High­way 1 and the Main North Line to re­move them sooner.

A Face­book page ‘Save Manga­maunu Beach’ has col­lected close to 2000 likes, with many on the page voic­ing their con­cerns about the en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact of the stock­piles.

But the North Can­ter­bury Trans­port In­fra­struc­ture Re­cov­ery al­liance claims the piles, about 500 me­tres long and up to 8 me­tres high in places, are nec­es­sary to re-open the road.

NCTIR has held three com­mu­nity meet­ings to ad­dress the con­cerns, in­clud­ing one last Fri­day, and says it will con­tinue to con­sult with res­i­dents and surfers as work con­tin­ues.

The piles, at the north­ern end of Manga­maunu Bay, were more than a kilo­me­tre from the Manga­maunu surf break, one of 17 breaks around the coun­try listed as na­tion­ally sig­nif­i­cant.

Nearby res­i­dents had vol­un­teered to store the de­bris on their prop­er­ties, in­stead of it be­ing stock­piled in the bay, how­ever NCTIR had con­tin­ued to use the area as a dump site, it said.

‘‘We im­plore the coun­cil chairs and min­is­ters to help us to en­cour­age NCTIR to re­move all this spoil with a sense of ur­gency and re­store the area to its for­mer state.’’

NCTIR en­vi­ron­men­tal man­ager Manea Sweeney said the ma­te­rial stored at the stock­piles would be sorted to use in the re­build of the high­way, or moved to per­ma­nent dump sites.

‘‘The ma­te­rial will con­tinue to be tem­po­rar­ily stock­piled and sorted at Manga­maunu Bay un­til the end of the project when the ma­te­rial is re­moved and the area is land­scaped ap­pro­pri­ately,’’ she said. NCTIR had in­cluded pro­vi­sion for a per­ma­nent stock­pile at Manga­maunu in a re­cent re­source con­sent ap­pli­ca­tion, but had de­cided it was not nec­es­sary for the piles to stay in the bay.

Sweeney said the al­liance had con­sulted with nu­mer­ous ex­perts to as­sess the en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact, in­clud­ing a coastal engi­neer who con­cluded there would be no im­pact on the surf break.

‘‘Dis­cus­sions with the Manga­maunu com­mu­nity and the Surf­break Pro­tec­tion So­ci­ety will con­tinue through com­mu­nity meet­ings while this stock­pile is still in use,’’ she said.

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