New Zealand: Officials OK Opotiki Dredging Money
Exciting social and economic changes for the Ōpōtiki district and the Entire Eastern Bay of plenty are now significantly closer to a reality following Ōpōtiki District Council’s successful application for Regional Infrastructure Funding.
On 22 August 2013, Bay of Plenty Regional Council announced funding of $18 million over two years to assist ODC’s Harbour Development Project. This funding will be used to develop twin groynes and dredging to create a harbour entrance that will be navigable almost every day of the year.
ODC Chief Executive, Aileen Lawrie, said that the Council and partner organisations were very pleased with the outcome and that the result validated the extensive detail that backs up the project.
“The Harbour Development has been planned, designed, developed, reviewed, and promoted for over ten years. It is incredibly exciting to finally reach this point.
“Along with funding already set aside by ODC, this support means that half of the funding required for the harbour is now secured. Our next step is to ask for the remainder of the funding from central government and we are busy working on the required papers now. We expect to be talking to government over the next few months,” Ms Lawrie said.
Regional Infrastructure Funding is a significant part of the long term plan for the ODC and Whakatōhea joint projects. This announcement marks a major milestone for both organisations and a key step towards the end goal of a viable harbour entrance coupled with an aquaculture and processing industry.
“A Social and Economic Impact Evaluation report commissioned by the Council indicated that the Ōpōtiki Harbour Development, in conjunction with the Eastern Sea Farms marine farm and processing plant, and the other economic activity they would stimulate, would transform the Ōpōtiki community and bring extensive benefits for the entire Eastern Bay of Plenty.”
“This is a great step forward for both projects. We are very pleased to see a very positive show of support from the Regional Council and are very excited about the future for the region,” Ms Lawrie said.
Press Release, August 23, 2013