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Ōpōtiki’s Harbour Redevelopment work continues

Ōpōtiki’s Harbour Redevelopment work continues

For immediate release: 17 January 2014

While it has been a quiet few months on the surface for Ōpōtiki’s Harbour Redevelopment Project, work continues on a number of key workstreams in the development of this large-scale infrastructure project.

Ōpōtiki Harbour Redevelopment Project is a project to build twin groynes and associated works, creating a year-round navigable harbour entrance at Ōpōtiki. The project is an enabling project for Whakatōhea’s aquaculture proposal and other marine activities.

Last year’s decision by Bay of Plenty Regional Council to commit $18million to Ōpōtiki’s Harbour Redevelopment project has sparked a number of new activities.

The relationship with the Regional Council and the agreed rules and conditions for the payment of the $18million will be reflected in a Heads of Agreement. Ōpōtiki District Council Chief Executive, Aileen Lawrie, said that she was working closely with her counterpart in the Regional Council, Mary-Anne Macleod, to develop this important document.

“This document is a high level agreement that will set the tone for a close working relationship. I look forward to working with the Regional Council as we develop this project together,” Ms Lawrie said.

Physical works are also continuing with ongoing measurements and sampling required to fine-tune the design and construction techniques for the building of the twin groynes at the river mouth.

Important work is also underway to develop political support for the project with central government.

“Government departments and agencies, politicians and other key figures need to have a strong understanding of the project and the benefits it would bring for the whole region so that an approach can be made for funding from central government to match the funding from the Regional Council. We are working to build these relationships and ensure that we have the best chance possible to gain the support needed to fund our exciting project.

“While the timeframes for this process can be difficult to measure, it is hoped we will know more when the draft Budget is released in May this year,” Ms Lawrie said.

And the vision for the Harbour Redevelopment is no longer simply inside the minds of those closest to the project. Isthmus Consultants have been commissioned to produce a photo simulation of the Redevelopment. The imagery brings to life the harbour structures and some of the ideas that are driving the project, including a vibrant and active marine area and harbour frontage for the town.

This exciting visual representation of the project will be unveiled at the Council Community Open Days on 30 and 31 January 2014. More information about these open days is coming soon.

Ends

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