Have your say on man­groves bill

Coastal News - - Front Page -

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.

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