July 26, 2018
Marsden Point channel widening approved
Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters believes consents to dredge Whangarei Harbour can withstand challenge.
Refining New Zealand intends to take 3.7 million cubic metres of sand off the seabed to deepen and realign the current channel so new generation tankers can deliver full loads of crude oil to the Marsden Point refinery.
Currently the largest Suezmax tankers come in only 90 per cent full because of the channel's depth.
Local iwi Patuharakeke was among the challengers, citing fears of loss of pīpī beds and greater risk of accidents.
Mr Peters says Northport is one of the region’s critical assets, but it needs the investment to reach its potential and unlock the rest of the north.
"This is the turnaround that is happening now and we have to make some dramatic changes to improve the infrastructure up north. Those people who are protesting are my cousins and my relations but look at the big picture. They’re going to have to prove it will damage their kaimoana and I don’t believe they can prove that at all," he says.
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