Hawke's Bay Today
Worry expressed about port work
Consent granted, wharf will be completed by 2022
Napier Port has been given the go-ahead to build its new wharf, a decision that worries a city councillor. Resource consent has been granted in the middle of a consultation period to decide whether the port is allowed to go ahead with a planned $142 million expansion.
Port chief executive Todd Dawson said he was thrilled to have received resource consent to build a project it will call 6 Wharf. It hopes to have the new wharf completed by 2022.
“Our team has worked extremely hard to ensure this project is the best it can be, for both our economy and our environment,” Dawson said.
He said the decision, which was made by a group of independent commissioners, would future-proof the port.
The consent allows the wharf to be built, and for the port to dredge the seabed to widen and deepen a channel to the east of the wharf.
Napier councillor Larry Dallimore said the decision should be amended, allowing the waste sand from dredging to be used to help fix coastal erosion north of the port.
He said he would like to see an injunction put on the port, stopping a potential sale, until an appeal process had taken place.
“We were outgunned and outsmarted by the port who had a bottomless pit of our money to hide any ongoing liability when we simply want the obvious and proven solution to reinstate sand on Westshore, Bayview and Whirinaki beaches.
“The odds for a disaster from an extreme swell event are unacceptable because the councils have overlooked the serious erosion damage to the nearshore seabed for too many years. We need real interest and real urgency.”
Dawson said he realised some stakeholders would not be happy with the decision.
“We’ve committed to more than 100 conditions, including nine management plans, and these are now a formal part of the consent.
“We hope that the conditions to continually monitor the impacts of construction and dredging will reassure stakeholders that their interests will be protected.”
He said they had gone through one of the most rigorous consenting processes of any port in New Zealand, and had worked closely with the community.
“Throughout the process, we’ve built enduring relationships with mana whenua hapu¯ and worked closely with recreational and commercial fishers, divers and the local community.”
Dallimore said, aside from his concerns about the waste sand, he supported the new wharf being built.