Posted: 02 April 2009
Consents granted to free up Far North stream mouths
Independent Commissioners have granted the Northland Regional Council resource consents to dredge 22 coastal stream mouths to ensure water can flow freely from them to the sea.
The Northland Regional Council’s Operations Department applied to the Council in September last year for a raft of consents needed to carry out work designed to prevent water at the mouths of a number of coastal streams from ponding and stagnating. (All but one of the 22 sites are in the Far North District.)
As one arm of the Council was effectively applying to another for the consents, Independent Commissioners Rob van Voorthuysen and Fraser Campbell were appointed to hear and make decisions on the application.
The application was publicly notified in October last year, attracting 24 submissions, and Mr van Voorthuysen and Mr Campbell heard it in Whangarei last month.
Submitters’ comments included concerns about lack of consultation with iwi, potential adverse effects on water quality, shorebirds, mangroves, public access and historic heritage.
However, the Commissioners were satisfied that they had addressed those concerns during their deliberations, through consent conditions they were imposing or that effects would otherwise be temporary.
The duo granted the Council coastal permits to dredge to remove obstructions from the stream mouths, and to place the dredged spoil in the coastal marine area and at four sites to remove mangroves. The obstructions are typically sediment and debris that has ponded in a lagoon behind the foreshore, including driftwood and seaweed washed up by storms and tides. Stagnant pools often result from these obstructions.
The Commissioners also granted the Council land use consent to carry out earthworks “associated with the disposal of dredged spoil in the riparian management zone”.
The 21 Far North sites covered by the consents are:
• Tokerau Beach
• Cable Bay (two sites; east and west)
• Coopers Beach
• Hihi, Mangonui
• Taupo Bay
• Totara North (two sites; Gangway Rd and Okura Bay Rd)
• Whangaroa Harbour
• Mahinepua Bay
• Wainui Bay
• Tauranga Bay
• Te Ngaire
• Puketona and Te Karuwha Parade
• Paihia (two sites; east 1 and east 2)
• Russell boat ramp
• Russell Wharf
• Tapeka Pt
• Omapere Stream (two sites)
The sole site in the Whangarei District is at Pepi Rd, Parua Bay.
The consents have been granted for 20 years (until 31 March 2029) however, the Committee’s decision is now open to appeal for 15 working days.