Wharf building delayed for consultation
Far North Holdings has agreed to a request from Kororareka Marae to delay the construction of the proposed new wharf building there until the new entity that will represent the community in the joint management of the wharf has been established.
The marae has concerns over toilets being incorporated in the new building, a requirement of the building consent, and about the sewage pump-out station for non-commercial vessels that had previously been incorporated in plans for the upgrade of the wharf, expressing cultural concerns around the issue of sewage over water.
Far North Holdings chief executive Andy Nock said a hold on work relating to those facilities would enable further discussion with the new joint wharf management entity that would represent the Russell community.
Other consented work programmed for the wharf, funded through the government’s Provincial Growth Fund, would begin as planned on April 26, with the agreement of the community and the marae.
“This ensures we start our partnership with the new entity in a meaningful way, reflecting the genuine intent of both organisations to work together for the betterment of Russell, rather than entering into this relationship surrounded by speculation and misinformation that is damaging and creates a sense of unease and mistrust from the start,” he said.
“We look forward to developing a long-term and proactive relationship with the new entity that will represent the community in the joint management of the wharf.”
Kororareka Marae chair Deb Rewiri said the marae looked forward to the creation of the new entity that would provide a partnership process to discuss and co-design with the wider community of Kororareka/Russell wharf facilities that would best fit future needs, that reflected the concerns of tangata whenua, and were built upon the collective wisdom and vision of all who chose to be a part of the process.
“We as Kororareka Marae have always been explicit in our attempt to clarify our intention from the beginning of the ‘wharf dialogue’. This has been premised off genuine respect for the principle that people will agree to disagree,” she said.
“We continue to speak from a place of aligning to our tikanga.
“Ehara toku toa I te toa takitahi engari he toa takimano — my strength is not that of an individual but that of the collective.”
Other work on the $1.28 million project, contracted to Bellingham Marine, would begin after Easter, to avoid the peak tourism season, and was scheduled for completion by the end of August.
Mr Nock said FNHL had consulted with regular commercial users of the wharf, and had agreed to a schedule of works that would ensure it remained operational throughout.
All elements of the wharf upgrade had been subject to extensive community consultation, and FNHL had incorporated changes that in some cases were in response to feedback received.
Meanwhile work on the $4.7 million Paihia wharf upgrade project, contracted to United Civil, was scheduled to begin early next month, and completed by the end of October.
The Provincial Growth Fund had contributed $3.77 million to the project.
Mr Nock said the upgrade would include widening the main walkway, which was currently heavily congested three times a day, offering a much more open and pleasant experience for greater public enjoyment of the wharf.
A public dinghy dock would be built, and two more two pontoons would be installed to provide four extra commercial berths, serviced by a new pier. A sewage pump would be installed on the fuel jetty to relieve pressure on the O¯ pua pumping station, and to encourage vessel masters to pump out holding tanks there instead of at sea.
Bellingham Marine would start work on the $1.45m pontoon planned for O¯ pua wharf in May, with completion scheduled for August. The PGF had contributed $890,000 to that project.
Paihia’s wharf is about to undergo a $4.7 million upgrade.