Seminar on harbour issues

Oamaru Harbour. Photo: Stephen Jaquiery
Oamaru Harbour. Photo: Stephen Jaquiery
As work begins to create a master plan for Oamaru Harbour, there was one key message from a recent seminar - do not change the tone of the harbour area.

A seminar - attended by about 20 people including councillors, stakeholders, stakeholder representatives and consultants - was held to discuss problems faced by the harbour, what could be achieved if they were addressed and possible options.

Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher said there was plenty of robust discussion at the two-day seminar, which formed the basis for the initial shape of the masterplan.

"It was a chance to work our way through all of the problems that we see ... and what are the good things as well. The idea is, group all of the problems into four key areas and then work from that to define things a bit better."

Those included current and future investment, the lack of a shared vision for the harbour, incomplete projects and environmental concerns.

Traffic management and how the harbour's heritage could be retained were also discussed.

To address those, four potential "benefit statements" were put forward - the enhancement of the harbour in line with the town's heritage, increased investment in the area, continued addition to vitality at the harbour and the protection of wildlife.

Specific themes emerged from the seminar, Mr Kircher said.

"Overall, there was overwhelming themes of keeping the space as a great space for locals. Definitely looking at the tourist attraction side of things as well, as far as making it attractive to tourists, but keeping it fundamentally there for locals."

He said the overwhelming message was "don't change the tone" of the harbour.


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