Council allays fears for wharf's future

SAFETY ISSUES: Concerns over safety issues at the Hicks Bay wharf were raised at a meeting this week. Extra signage will be put up. Gisborne District Council also eased worries over the future of the well known Coast wharf. Herald file picture

A COUNCIL delegation that met concerned Hicks Bay residents on Thursday night assured them there was no intention to demolish the Hicks Bay wharf.

They told them health and safety concerns would be addressed with extra signage.

Gisborne District Council assessed the future of the Hicks Bay wharf and its counterpart at Tokomaru Bay more than two years ago.

The council has previously discussed issues around public safety at both wharves and how restoration costs compared to demolition costs.

The Hicks Bay community asked to meet council representatives and about 20 members of the community attended the meeting at Hinemaurea Marae in the township.

“They were concerned about the possibility that 20 metres could be taken off the end of the wharf for safety reasons,” said local ward councillor Bill Burdett.

“The wharf is an icon to those people and they had concerns the council might decide to pull it down.”

Mr Burdett said the meeting had a “good outcome”.

“It was decided that the council would continue to work towards the continuation of the wharf on behalf of the wider community.

“I think it is fair to say the residents were reasonably pleased with the outcome at the end of what was at times a pretty volatile meeting,” Mr Burdett said.

“It was also agreed that the council would place additional signage on the wharf to help deal with health and safety issues until work was done on it.”

The council delegation comprised chief executive Nedine Thatcher Swann, deputy chief executive David Wilson and three other staff members.

“It was further agreed that the council would report back to the Hicks Bay community in the foreseeable future with a proposed plan of action,” said Mr Burdett.

The council’s draft plan for the 2017-18 year includes $300,000 for improvements to three East Coast wharves, including Hicks Bay, over the next three years.

The other wharves are at Tolaga Bay and Tokomaru Bay.

That has been welcomed by Mr Burdett, who said it should have happened 10 years ago.

A COUNCIL delegation that met concerned Hicks Bay residents on Thursday night assured them there was no intention to demolish the Hicks Bay wharf.

They told them health and safety concerns would be addressed with extra signage.

Gisborne District Council assessed the future of the Hicks Bay wharf and its counterpart at Tokomaru Bay more than two years ago.

The council has previously discussed issues around public safety at both wharves and how restoration costs compared to demolition costs.

The Hicks Bay community asked to meet council representatives and about 20 members of the community attended the meeting at Hinemaurea Marae in the township.

“They were concerned about the possibility that 20 metres could be taken off the end of the wharf for safety reasons,” said local ward councillor Bill Burdett.

“The wharf is an icon to those people and they had concerns the council might decide to pull it down.”

Mr Burdett said the meeting had a “good outcome”.

“It was decided that the council would continue to work towards the continuation of the wharf on behalf of the wider community.

“I think it is fair to say the residents were reasonably pleased with the outcome at the end of what was at times a pretty volatile meeting,” Mr Burdett said.

“It was also agreed that the council would place additional signage on the wharf to help deal with health and safety issues until work was done on it.”

The council delegation comprised chief executive Nedine Thatcher Swann, deputy chief executive David Wilson and three other staff members.

“It was further agreed that the council would report back to the Hicks Bay community in the foreseeable future with a proposed plan of action,” said Mr Burdett.

The council’s draft plan for the 2017-18 year includes $300,000 for improvements to three East Coast wharves, including Hicks Bay, over the next three years.

The other wharves are at Tolaga Bay and Tokomaru Bay.

That has been welcomed by Mr Burdett, who said it should have happened 10 years ago.

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