Napier Port: Importance of Dredged Material Disposal Highlighted
Napier Port now plans to lodge its resource consent applications for the proposed wharf development and phased dredging project in the first half of 2017, so it can do further work to confirm the best locations for disposal of dredged material.
Napier Port had planned to submit its applications to Hawke’s Bay Regional Council before the end of this year but, as a result of community input, now wants to allow more time for ongoing investigations for this part of the project.
Napier Port chief executive, Garth Cowie, said that the Port chose to consult early and well ahead of formal notification of the applications so it could understand any potential impacts of the project on its stakeholders and the community.
Mr Cowie added that most feedback has supported the economic opportunities the project would bring, however several groups, including divers and recreational fishers, have raised concerns about potential impacts from disposal of dredged material.
“We started this process to share our plans and then listen to what people had to say. What we are hearing is that some people are concerned about the possible impact that such a volume of dredged material might have if it’s deposited within the Bay,” Mr Cowie said.
“We simply want to be absolutely confident that the final proposed location is the best disposal site from an environmental and community perspective. To do that we need a clear understanding of sediment movement, including the effectiveness of renourishment.”
The initial proposal was looking to deposit dredged material at inshore disposal areas, with sandy material deposited closer to Westshore with the intention of renourishing the beach.
About the project and consultation process
The proposed wharf development and phased dredging project would see a 350m wharf constructed along the existing container terminal and a deeper, wider shipping channel progressively dredged over time to accommodate larger ships for increasing export trade.
Over the past six months, Napier Port has been actively engaging with iwi and hapū, business, recreational users, central and local government, environmental groups and its own staff.
So far, more than 1200 members of the community have engaged with the project through drop-in sessions, presentations, public displays, advertising and a feedback portal on its website.