Dredge dumping hearing

Challenges to Port Otago's proposal to dump dredge material at a new open-sea disposal site will be heard over two weeks in the Environment Court in Dunedin starting on November 16.

Port Otago's Project Next Generation proposed to deepen and widen Otago Harbour's lower channel, swinging area and lower berths to allow for the passage of larger ships and deposit the dredge spoil at sea.

A hearing was held last year and an independent panel approved the project's resource consents subject to conditions, but a group of submitters appealed the decision to the Environment Court.

Mediation since had resolved the concerns of the Careys Bay Association and Southern Clams Ltd, regarding inner-harbour activities.

However, the appeals relating to the open-sea disposal site by the East Otago Taiapure management committee, paua, rock lobster and commercial fishing groups remained unresolved despite further meetings.

A court hearing on these issues would be held from November 26 to 30 and December 10 to 13.

The Otago Regional Council has engaged a specialist in marine sediments to prepare evidence for the hearing of the challenges.


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