Challenge to consent granting rebuild of ageing port infrastructure a surprise

Iwi collective lodges an appeal with the Environment Court over resource consent

Iwi collective lodges an appeal with the Environment Court over resource consent

CRAY HOUSES: Eastland Port general manager Andrew Gaddum says they have always acknowledged the presence of common rock lobster underneath wharves 6 and 7, and the ease with which researchers can monitor them. Here Mr Gaddum holds some early design ideas by University of Canterbury engineering students, involving honeycomb-like crayfish homes made from PVC pipe. Picture by Strike Photography

EASTLAND Port general manager Andrew Gaddum has expressed disappointment that as the forestry industry celebrates a record-breaking month for wood export, consent to rebuild the ageing port infrastructure has been challenged.

A consent was granted by three independent commissioners for Eastland Port to rebuild 60-year-old wharves six and seven and reshape the derelict 1920s-era slipway.

An iwi collective that involves Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou, Ngati Oneone, Te Aitanga a Mahaki, Ngati Porou Seafoods Group and Te Runanga o Turanganui a Kiwa has lodged an appeal with the Environment Court over the granting of the resource consent.

Spokesman for the collective Ian Ruru has said it would take the development to the Environment Court if mediation failed.

He said the appeal was first and foremost about protecting the integrity of Te Toka a Taiau, the historic former rock where the first meeting between Europeans and Maori took place, and the second reason was to ensure the survival of a rock lobster nursery under the wharves.

“I’m surprised that a collective group whose submission was heard by the commissioners, should subsequently seek an appeal,” Mr Gaddum said.

“The commissioners’ process and decision demonstrates that industry, local government and communities can work together to face any challenges.”

As outlined in the consent decision, the main reasons consent was granted were the social and economic benefits for the community, he said.

“We’ve been granted consent to fix wharf 6 and 7 so the port remains functional for the region’s industries — industries that are putting food on the table for thousands of local families.

“The region should be reassured by the decision as it helps ensure that forestry, and in time coastal shipping and international container trade, will be economic for the region now and in decades to come.”

Fixing port infrastructure also offered regional resilience should the district suffer a serious earthquake or weather event.

“The consultation and consenting process was thorough. We were pleased to take part in such a robust process and now we have a workable decision with concessions that take into account submitters’ concerns.”

The port company and the appealing submitter were both concerned about the effect of the wharf rebuild on the artificial habitats frequented by the common rock lobster (Jasus edwardsii), he said.

“Over the years the port has been, and continues to be, supportive when it comes to maintaining the habitat.

“After about 18 months offshore the rock lobster drift into many places along the East Coast including the harbour.

“They stay a few months and then must seek natural adult habitats beyond the shore.

“Some of those that drift into the harbour choose to live for this short period in holes in the papa bedrock under the wharf, while others settle into artificial habitats called crevice collectors, that have been hung in and around the port for the past 30 years by researchers.”

Mr Gaddum said crevice collectors were man-made homes for young lobsters, using stacks of small squares of marine plywood with gaps between them to form artificial crevices.

“The collectors make retrieval of the small lobster easier if they’re required for research or numbers are being monitored.

“We are mindful that Eastland Port is one of the most accessible places to monitor the rock lobster and that’s why we’re making sure our development plans include more, and better-designed, artificial habitats and crevice collectors.

“It’s expected the new homes will appeal to the same numbers, if not more rock lobster.”

Mr Gaddum said the consent conditions include the chance to create a Kaitiaki Partnership Group for engagement and collaboration with all tangata whenua so cultural values could be included in projects and operations.

“The partnership group gives us all a way to formalise the way we work together and we’re looking forward to establishing the role, purpose and functions of the group with the iwi and council representatives that will be part of it.”

The consent came through days after Eastland Port broke its monthly wood export record. Last month 316,000 tonnes of logs was swung across the wharves.

“Shifting over 300,000 tonnes of wood in one month represents thousands of hours of work by a massive range of people, be it harvest crews, hydraulic mechanics, transport operators, diesel technicians, road workers marshallers and accountants.

“Everyone involved in the industry can be very proud of their achievement and should be encouraged that with this consent, we can now fix our aging infrastructure in readiness for the future,” said Mr Gaddum.

EASTLAND Port general manager Andrew Gaddum has expressed disappointment that as the forestry industry celebrates a record-breaking month for wood export, consent to rebuild the ageing port infrastructure has been challenged.

A consent was granted by three independent commissioners for Eastland Port to rebuild 60-year-old wharves six and seven and reshape the derelict 1920s-era slipway.

An iwi collective that involves Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou, Ngati Oneone, Te Aitanga a Mahaki, Ngati Porou Seafoods Group and Te Runanga o Turanganui a Kiwa has lodged an appeal with the Environment Court over the granting of the resource consent.

Spokesman for the collective Ian Ruru has said it would take the development to the Environment Court if mediation failed.

He said the appeal was first and foremost about protecting the integrity of Te Toka a Taiau, the historic former rock where the first meeting between Europeans and Maori took place, and the second reason was to ensure the survival of a rock lobster nursery under the wharves.

“I’m surprised that a collective group whose submission was heard by the commissioners, should subsequently seek an appeal,” Mr Gaddum said.

“The commissioners’ process and decision demonstrates that industry, local government and communities can work together to face any challenges.”

As outlined in the consent decision, the main reasons consent was granted were the social and economic benefits for the community, he said.

“We’ve been granted consent to fix wharf 6 and 7 so the port remains functional for the region’s industries — industries that are putting food on the table for thousands of local families.

“The region should be reassured by the decision as it helps ensure that forestry, and in time coastal shipping and international container trade, will be economic for the region now and in decades to come.”

Fixing port infrastructure also offered regional resilience should the district suffer a serious earthquake or weather event.

“The consultation and consenting process was thorough. We were pleased to take part in such a robust process and now we have a workable decision with concessions that take into account submitters’ concerns.”

The port company and the appealing submitter were both concerned about the effect of the wharf rebuild on the artificial habitats frequented by the common rock lobster (Jasus edwardsii), he said.

“Over the years the port has been, and continues to be, supportive when it comes to maintaining the habitat.

“After about 18 months offshore the rock lobster drift into many places along the East Coast including the harbour.

“They stay a few months and then must seek natural adult habitats beyond the shore.

“Some of those that drift into the harbour choose to live for this short period in holes in the papa bedrock under the wharf, while others settle into artificial habitats called crevice collectors, that have been hung in and around the port for the past 30 years by researchers.”

Mr Gaddum said crevice collectors were man-made homes for young lobsters, using stacks of small squares of marine plywood with gaps between them to form artificial crevices.

“The collectors make retrieval of the small lobster easier if they’re required for research or numbers are being monitored.

“We are mindful that Eastland Port is one of the most accessible places to monitor the rock lobster and that’s why we’re making sure our development plans include more, and better-designed, artificial habitats and crevice collectors.

“It’s expected the new homes will appeal to the same numbers, if not more rock lobster.”

Mr Gaddum said the consent conditions include the chance to create a Kaitiaki Partnership Group for engagement and collaboration with all tangata whenua so cultural values could be included in projects and operations.

“The partnership group gives us all a way to formalise the way we work together and we’re looking forward to establishing the role, purpose and functions of the group with the iwi and council representatives that will be part of it.”

The consent came through days after Eastland Port broke its monthly wood export record. Last month 316,000 tonnes of logs was swung across the wharves.

“Shifting over 300,000 tonnes of wood in one month represents thousands of hours of work by a massive range of people, be it harvest crews, hydraulic mechanics, transport operators, diesel technicians, road workers marshallers and accountants.

“Everyone involved in the industry can be very proud of their achievement and should be encouraged that with this consent, we can now fix our aging infrastructure in readiness for the future,” said Mr Gaddum.

Your email address will not be published. Comments will display after being approved by a staff member. Comments may be edited for clarity.

Poll

  • Voting please wait...
    Your vote has been cast. Reloading page...
    Do you agree with the Mayor that there is a case for returning to zebra crossings in the city centre?