Provincial Growth Funds for Coromandel aquaculture + marine
The Provincial Growth Fund is investing $924,000 in Coromandel aquaculture and marine services, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced.
“It makes sense to invest in aquaculture, which has grown by 70 per cent in seven years, has annual sales of $612 million and can drive regional development,” Shane Jones says.
“Funding into three business cases will help get the planning right to support future aquaculture and marine services,” he says.
The three projects based in the Coromandel are:
• Sugarloaf Wharf, Coromandel, $558,000. The application has been made by the Coromandel Marine Farmers Association (CoroMFA) to prepare a business case to expand the current facility to enable commercial aquaculture growth.
• Coromandel Marine Gateway, $93,850. The application was made by Pita St Developments, a commercial company that is looking to develop a marine facility, with potential for a commuter ferry service between Coromandel Town and Auckland. More information on the proposal here.
• Kopu Marine Precinct, Coromandel, $270,000. This application is from our Council to investigate Kopu as a centre to support marine servicing operations across the Hauraki Gulf, as well as being a connector for water-based tourism opportunities, connecting across the Hauraki Gulf as well as through to the Paeroa Wharf. You can read more about this here.
Our Mayor Sandra Goudie says the three projects will be game-changers for the Coromandel.
“All fulfil a different need or service and are complementary in nature,” Mayor Sandra says.
"The projects also provide opportunities at growing our population, growing our services and growing our businesses,” says Mayor Sandra. “We’re also are extremely pleased that the government sees the value to invest in these projects.”
Shane Jones says there is potential to expand Sugarloaf Wharf to accommodate growing aquaculture demand, so we’re exploring that as a first step. More than 90 per cent of mussels produced in the North Island are landed at Sugarloaf, but current wharf infrastructure is inadequate and constrains the ability of the sector to grow.
“Production is expected to double over the next 10-15 years, creating 550 new high-value jobs with millions of dollars of additional value to the local economy. This investment in infrastructure will help the industry get ‘match-fit’ for those emerging opportunities.
“We’ll also look at the feasibility of developing a large marine facility at Coromandel Gateway to increase capacity and overall safety for recreational users and ferry and charter boats,” Shane Jones says.
Currently, Coromandel Town has no all-tide marine facilities and a severe shortage of boat ramps, but there is growing demand for all these facilities.
The Coromandel Marine Gateway is anticipated to incorporate a marina with boat stack storage, limited berths for fishing charter boats, a marine services area and facilities for charter vessels as well as a ferry landing. Once underway, the project is estimated to create up to 50 new jobs including permanent marine and charter crew and management roles, as well as jobs in related industries.
“The Kopu Marine Servicing and Business Precinct project is to investigate enhancing the current marine facilities and supporting services for large locally-based boats and barges,” Shane Jones says.
There is strong local support for improvements in this space and evidence a local marina is needed, stretching back to the early 2000s.
“This Government is willing to fast track the work because it will make a difference to the people of the Coromandel,” Shane Jones says.
Other work being done around Coromandel's wharf and marine infrastructure
There are also different pieces of work being done to improve boat ramp and wharf facilities around the Coromandel Harbour. Here's where we're at with different sites:
Work has been completed to repair sections of the Hannafords Wharf footpath, damaged after a storm in July. The path and retaining wall has now been reopened in time for the busy summer period.
Concept designs and user needs have now been considered for the replacement of the section that was damaged and had to be removed following the January 2018 storm. Pricing is now being sought to determine the project budget for approval by our Council. We are working with Patukirikiri iwi and other interested parties to look at the future of the Patukirikiri Reserve area including the boat ramp, berthage and haul out facility,
Meanwhile, The Pier Trust, a charitable trust, is proposing the development of a "pier" extending out from Coromandel Wharf. This was first mooted by the late Driving Creek founder and well-known artist Barry Brickell, with a project team now facilitating this vision. The vision is that the pier will extend our wharf into the deep water of the Coromandel Harbour. At 1.2 km it will be the longest pier in the country and the second longest in the Southern Hemisphere. It will have a railway on it, will be drivable, cyclable and walkable. It will enhance the character of the town and will have cultural, social and economic benefits,
Port Charles Wharf
Repairs have been completed but further work is needed in the next 12-24 months to renew some of the structural elements of the wharf. The wharf is safe for public use.
For further updates on the all of these projects you can go to www.tcdc.govt.nz/coroharbourproject