March 06, 2013
Port dredging conditions could improve harbour life
Former Tauranga MP Winston Peters says he will wait and see whether conditions on resource consent to dredge the Tauranga Harbour and if it has any effect on shellfish stocks.
Conservation Minister Nick Smith approved the consent for Port of Tauranga to widen and deepen its shipping channels after iwi lost their battle in the courts to block the move.
Deepening the channel to 16 metres will allow larger container ships to call.
Mr Peters says with some of the $40 million dredging budget targeted towards conservation measures such as restoration of pipi beds, there is a chance for improvement.
“In certain times of summer, there is that green slimy stuff in the harbour. It’s not important to the port activities but to local horticulture and farming. There is a range of things that can be done. I can recall getting pipi’s just down from the bridge. All those things are enhanced by the proper location of the shellfish stock then it might be for the better,” says Winston Peters.
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