Have your say on mangroves bill
After 20 years and just under $1.5 million of ratepayers’ funds, removal of mangroves has been restricted to the size of a football field, says Harbour Care chairman Ian Feasey.
In an overwhelming display of support, residents and ratepayers have constantly supported a return to the 1940 levels, Mr Feasey said.
“Previous actions of support by ratepayers and residents have resulted in Waikato Regional Council engaging private investigators to endeavour to penalise those responsible.
“Where is the community engagement Waikato Regional Council promotes?
“Almost 20 years ago Waikato Regional Council canvassed Whangamata residents and ratepayers about mangrove management in the Whangamata catchment and its 2009 figures estimated the cost of $309,000 over five years for the removal of 26 hectares.
“The money has gone but the mangroves haven’t.”
Mr Feasey said the estimated $309,000 cost had ballooned to $1.46m — and still counting.
“The vast amount of these funds has gone on bureaucratic red tape. Whangamata Harbour Care represents our town’s residents and ratepayers and we are not getting the same progress in mangrove control as is evident in other northern New Zealand areas.”
He said the latest development in the saga was a submission to central government to wrest control from Waikato Regional Council and put it in the hands of the community to come up with a formula for proven success of mangrove control in adjoining regions.
“The justification that mangroves protect the shoreline is not applicable here, with millions of litres of stormwater being restricted by the jungle of mangroves in the Moana Anu Anu Estuary.
“As a consequence Wentworth Valley and Titoki Golf Course were flooded 26 times last year by flood waters,” Mr Feasey said.
“For this reason we seek our community’s support to put in a submission in support of the bill.”
■ Submission forms for the Mangroves Management Bill, promoted by Thames-coromandel and Hauraki District Councils and supported through Parliament by Coromandel MP Scott Simpson, are available at the Whangamata infoplus information centre, the Whangamata Library, and at council offices. Submissions close February 23.
SILT: This drone shot shows sediment in Patiki Bay after the recent storm washed down the Waititi creek after forestry erosion.
(Above): INFESTED: Moana Anu Anu estuary mangrove infestation.