Plan prioritising harbour development ideas to go to final consultation

Oamaru Harbour. Photo: Stephen Jaquiery
Oamaru Harbour. Photo: Stephen Jaquiery
A draft plan for the future of Oamaru Harbour has been adopted by the Waitaki District Council.

The Oamaru Harbour Plan 2020 and Beyond document, which has been worked on by council staff and the Harbour Area Committee for close to three years, was developed in conjunction with community feedback received in the Oamaru Harbour space public engagement period in 2018, as well as earlier recommendations by the committee.

A June 9 workshop finalised the document, which was presented to councillors at yesterday’s full council meeting.

Council assets group manager Neil Jorgensen said the draft plan "signalled the direction council could look to go with the harbour project and the development of the harbour".

Projects listed in the document are each given an importance rating of A, B, or C based on how they fit with the council’s investment objectives and community wants and needs for the harbour.

They are also placed in three categories of "shovel-readiness" — green, amber and red, the former being under way, most likely to proceed or prioritised.

A-rated shovel-ready included maintenance of playgrounds, bicycle tracks, parks, roads, footpaths and ongoing amenity improvements ($90,000 annually); silt control and erosion management ($25,000); harbour dredging ($150,000 over two years); rock armouring completion ($208,000) and reinstating public access to the breakwater (up to $70,000).

A $3million project to renovate Sumpter Wharf was rated A, but not near being shovel-ready.

Other projects considered less of a priority or not yet shovel-ready were railway maintenance, harbour water quality monitoring, increased dredging, breakwater height construction, maintenance and a feasibility study into extending the structure.

A recommended three-week public consultation period did not please Cr Jim Hopkins, who pushed for a longer timeframe and indicated he would submit.

That raised the ire of Cr Melanie Tavendale, who questioned if that was possible considering he had had "more than enough time" to raise any concerns or potential amendments.

Mayor Gary Kircher reiterated the 48-page document was not set in stone.

"There is an opportunity for us to see the submissions, make sure we are taking them into account ... it’s not intended to be perfect at the moment."

Consultation is scheduled for August 17 to September 3, and the final plan is expected to be adopted in early December.

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