After three years of legal fight, Ports of Auckland Limited (POAL) have reached an agreement with Protect Our Gulf (POG) and received consent to dredge the Rangitoto Channel and dispose of dredged materials at the designated Cuvier disposal site.
Ports of Auckland requires deepening of the Rangitoto Channel for safe passage of larger ships to the port. Protect our Gulf is committed to ensuring that any works undertaken by Ports of Auckland is done in a way that is respectful of Māori cultural values and results in more positive environmental outcomes for the Hauraki Gulf.
According to Shirin Brown, Chair of Protect Our Gulf, POG’s main aim in bringing the litigation was to challenge the need for dumping in the Hauraki Gulf and to highlight the potential effects the activities might have on Māori cultural values and the precious environment in the Hauraki. “We have now secured somewhat better environmental outcomes associated with POAL’s proposed dumping and dredging activities.”
Roger Gray, Ports of Auckland CEO is committed to engaging with and working with the community and stakeholders for the health of the Harbour. “As one of the largest users of the Waitematā Harbour, we are committed to ensuring we do our part to look after it. Over the past 10 years the port has been working proactively on the protection on Brydes whales in the Gulf and we are now pleased to partner with Protect our Gulf on the mussel bed restoration also,” commented Gray.
As part of the agreement, Ports of Auckland will provide funding on behalf of POG to the mussel bed restoration work being done in conjunction with Revive our Gulf (ROG). ROG’s mussel bed restoration project work is also in partnership with iwi/hapū and communities – bringing together expertise in marine science and mātauranga, consenting and biosecurity.
Finally, POG and POAL have committed to engaging and working positively and proactively together into the future, including the possibility of setting up a joint working group, to ensure that better environmental and conservation outcomes are central to the Port of Auckland’s ongoing activities.