Friday, October 16, 2009

Sand mining forever at Whangamata?

The natural channel of the Moana anu anu has been deepened to allow boat access to an excavated marina basin. How much material has been mined out of the Moana anu anu channel bed and its delta? This has not been explained by the Waikato Regional Council Coastal Programme or the Department of Conservation, the two authorities responsible for activities in the coastal marine area (ironically on behalf of all citizens).
In the applications for resource consents for the private marina there was never a request to use the public Whangamata boat ramp for sand mining works. Over twenty days in the Environment Court and two different Council legal and planning teams never assessed that the boat ramp was to be used in this way.
Recently the Minister of Conservation and the Waikato Regional Council gave the marina company permission for five more berth spaces. The deal was done through the back door.
Yet no space has been given over to obvious periodic sand mining works required to keep the excavated basin connected to the open sea. What of the muddy crap that will becoming from the bottom of the marina basin, is that to go out on to land via the boat ramp also? The marina company were supposed to build a boat ramp within their own (leased) area. This could then be used for transporting the large amounts of seabed required to keep the marina open. A subsequent backdoor deal with Councils allowed them to delete that boat ramp.
The trouble with back door deals is they do not protect people’s use of the coast and commonly held assets, in this case the boat ramp.