Posted: 31 October 2006
Approval for Kaipara harbour marine facility
Local authorities have granted resource consent for a new Kaipara Harbour-based marine maintenance facility, complete with a 105-metre long, 30-metre wide dry dock.
Atlas Quarries Limited applied to the Northland Regional and Kaipara District Councils for the consents needed to build and operate the proposed facility at Werewere Pt, on the northern arm of the Kaipara Harbour. It plans to use the facility to service barges used to transport aggregate from its nearby quarrying operation.
A three-member joint Hearings Committee of the two Councils – chaired by Regional Council Chairman Mark Farnsworth - heard the company’s application at Paparoa in early October, delivering its decision recently.
The applicant had sought six consents from the Regional Council – including permission to occupy and use about 6000 square metres of seabed and carry out abrasive blasting - and three consents from the Kaipara District Council, including permission to occupy a paper road.
The proposed development involves construction of a marine maintenance facility incorporating an open concrete dry dock 105m long and 30m wide with a watertight seal door. Vessels will enter the proposed facility at about half tide and settle onto blocks, which will allow for about one metre’s access under the hull for maintenance.
Once the tide goes out, the doors will be closed and sealed and any remaining water pumped out.
Once work is completed, the facility will be swept clean of any particulate matter and any oil or chemical spills treated and cleaned. The doors will be opened at low tide, and the flooding tide will refloat the vessel, allowing it to leave.
To allow vessels to access the facility, the applicant plans to dredge an area of the seabed and install three navigation piles.
Various earthworks consents were applied for to enable land-based access to the facility and an air discharge consent sought to authorise discharge of contaminants to air from blasting during vessel maintenance.
In its decision, the Committee grants Atlas Quarries the consents sought, with expiry dates ranging from 2011 to 2023.
The Committee ruled the proposal would enhance the applicant’s ability to safely service barges and would be an efficient use and development of natural resources by locating the facility in an area where the coastal environment has already been modified.
“The proposal maintains the amenity values and quality of the environment through the management of its operations and conditions of resource consent.”