New Zealand: Environment Court Backs Port of Tauranga Dredging

The Environment Court is recommending an application by the Port of Tauranga to dredge its shipping channel, in order to pave ways for larger container vessels and more cargo to enter the harbour, be approved.

Ngai Te Rangi, one of the appellants, says they are looking forward to implementing a strong relationship with the Port of Tauranga.

Despite the court recommending consent to dredge to be granted, final consent conditions are still to be drafted and approved by the court early next year.

Ngai Te Rangi chairman Charlie Tawhiao says the court judgement referred to the poor state of the relationship between the port company and local iwi, which he says largely led to the appeal.

Charlie says it was a good decision that improved the iwi’s positions compared to what it was before the appeal.

 “The dredging was approved [by Bay of Plenty Regional Council] when we thought we would be involved in the development of the harbour.

 “The problem with consultation in this case was that we were fundamentally opposed to what we were being consulted about, and there was no room to move.”

Charlie says he had yet to talk to the port about how the relationship would be managed.

The Port of Tauranga has released a statement saying the company is pleased with the decision and expects final consent conditions to be drafted and approved by the court early in the New Year.

[mappress]

Dredging Today Staff, December 27, 2011;

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