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Council moves on Coromandel Harbour Facilities Project

Council moves forward on Coromandel Harbour Facilities Project

A move to secure title for the reclaimed land at Sugarloaf has been supported by Council along with work to formally seek potential funding partners for the Inner Harbour Development.

The expansion and development of the Sugarloaf Wharf (Te Kouma) and longer-term, the development of inner harbour facilities closer to Coromandel Town, are two work strands within the Coromandel Harbour Facilities Project.

"At the Sugarloaf we need to resolve land ownership title for reclaimed land and that will need iwi input and consultation," says Council Chief Executive David Hammond, who is also the project sponsor.

In terms of ownership interests, both our Council and iwi have stated positions to the reclaimed land which is currently vested in the Crown as a result of the passing of the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act in 2011. Our Council owns infrastructure upon the reclamation while iwi have signalled their proprietary interests in the foreshore and seabed, and therein the footprint upon which the reclamation sits, via various Treaty settlement-related processes including the current Hauraki Claims.

At its meeting this week Council also supported finalising contract negotiations with the Cormandel Marine Farmers Association (CoroMFA) regarding consent application for future Sugarloaf wharf developments, along with finalising contract negotiations regarding ownership of the wharf assets.

"Our initial path had been working towards a draft MOU (memorandum of understanding) with the CoroMFA," says Mr Hammond. "However, in our negotiations with them we now see a more formal, contractual approach will be required if we're to progress a resource consent application for future expansion at this facility."

The proposed development at the Sugarloaf Wharf is to ensure it is fit-for-purpose for aquaculture industry expansion as well as suiting the needs of other users including recreational fishers and charter boat operators.

There is also the potential within a future expanded facility to consider accommodating the 360 Ferry from Auckland, which currently comes in at Hannaford's Wharf.

"Every time we look at Coromandel harbour facilities issues we know Sugarloaf is central in the project, but that longer-term the Inner Harbour concept would be better," says Mr Hammond. "However the price tag on that could be up to $50 - $60M. We know we can't fund that ourselves and so it's gearing up towards taking a package to central government, regional government and the public to see if there's investor interest."

'Whole of harbour' solution

The ‘Inner Harbour’ option around Coromandel Wharf could accommodate a commercial area to the north of Coromandel Wharf and recreational and ferry usage to the south of the wharf, with a model of marina and on-shore activity to help offset development cost is potentially a longer-term project.

Council this week also resolved to continue with a 'whole of Harbour' solution which would include now formally seeking out potential funding partners for the Inner Harbour Development.

"These potential funding partners could include central government, regional government or other external private investors," says Mr Hammond.

Council also approved a budget of $75,000 to cover July, August and September 2015 costs and requires staff to provide a comprehensive budget for consideration at the September 2015 Council meeting.

Since the inception of the Coromandel Harbour Facilities Project our Council has been working with the local community on a range of associated issues and opportunities. We have held two public meetings and six stakeholder working group meetings to discuss the current facilities, issues and possible solutions.

To find out more about the project go to www.tcdc.govt.nz/coroharbourproject


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