Posted: 08 July 2008
Consent sought for Hātea river dredging
Dredging to remove thousands of tonnes of built-up silt from about 4.5 kilometres of Whangarei’s Hātea River channel could be underway within several months if a resource consent application currently being processed is successful.
The Whangarei District Council has applied to the Northland Regional Council for the consents needed to carry out the dredging along the stretch of river from Port Whangarei to the Town Basin.
Ian Niblock, the Northland Regional Council’s Regional Harbourmaster, says the dredging work – and improvements to navigation markers in the area – are two priorities an eight-member Hātea River Channel Working Group has set for itself.
The group is chaired by Regional Council member Peter Jensen, with other members including representatives of the Regional and Whangarei District Councils, as well as key stakeholders.
Mr Niblock says the District Council has already had a consultant prepare a draft contract for the dredging. All going well – and assuming resource consent is granted - dredging could begin in September and would see the removal of about 10,000 cubic metres of silt along the 4.5km stretch over two to three months.
The silt removal project is expected to cost about $300,000 in total, with the dredged matter deposited at the former Pohe Island landfill site.
Mr Niblock says the work will result in a channel 25 metres wide and no less than one metre below chart datum.
Meanwhile, he says the Regional Council has completed a draft plan for a $100,000 upgrade of navigation markers in the area, including buoys and beacons, associated mooring systems and lights.
Weather permitting, Working Group members are due to carry out a site visit to check the location of the markers as proposed in the draft. Once the draft plan has been revised as necessary and approved, the Regional Council will order the equipment for the upgrade.
He says of the total $400,000 cost of both the dredging and navigation marker upgrades, $300,000 will come from ratepayers and $100,000 from user charges.