No update on harbour plan until 2020: council

Neil Jorgensen.
Neil Jorgensen.
The public's next chance to look at progress on the Oamaru Harbour master plan will not be until next year, the Waitaki District Council has said.

Council assets group manager Neil Jorgensen, who is leading the project, confirmed yesterday the council's next harbour area committee meeting was scheduled for early February and an expected update on the master plan at that time would likely be the next chance for the public to see progress.

The 30-year plan for the harbour, which is to be incorporated into the council's coming draft district plan, was discussed in front of a crowd of about 70 people at a public workshop at the Oamaru Opera House's ODT InkBox in July. This followed the council's publication of a draft consultation document in June. The document included the establishment of a ''harbour village'', commercialising Oamaru Harbour's red sheds, and infrastructure upgrades that could cost up to $35 million.

After an angst-filled public forum in front of a full public gallery, Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher said the draft was not ready for public consumption.

In May, the Otago Daily Times reported Mr Kircher said it would be ''definitely neater'' to have an approved master plan for the harbour before the October local body elections, and that he did not believe the council was at risk of missing that target.

Nevertheless, at that time, the council had already missed the first milestone for the plan included in the ''Oamaru Harbour Space Master Plan Establishment Report'' approved in February.

Last year's November consultation drew about 900 responses.

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