Council inaction costs ratepayers

21:11, Jul 16 2013
NECESSARY HOUSEKEEPING: Material dredged out of Half Moon Bay Marina might have been disposed of locally had Auckland Council been faster with its ferry terminal development.

Hundreds of thousands of ratepayer dollars might have been saved if part of a ferry terminal resource consent had been acquired by now.

Half Moon Bay Marina is carting dredged sediment to the far side of Great Barrier Island when it would be cheaper for the marina and Auckland Council to use it to reclaim land for the proposed ferry terminal next door.

Howick Local Board member Steve Udy says if the council had "got their rollerskates on" and paid for a resource consent for the initial reclamation it would have been a win-win situation.

"Instead of costing a couple of million dollars it might have only cost half a million," he says.

"I sometimes find, and this is the most frustrating thing, that nobody gets their ducks in a line and as a consequence ratepayers pay it.

"That's my view and I think that there are a few things that have been done like that."


Half Moon Bay Marina operations manager Brett Colby says the marina deferred dredging for a couple of years partly in the hope they would be able to dispose of the material in the ferry terminal reclamation.

The dredging is a "huge cost" for the marina and is a "million dollar project" removing sediment that has built up over time from stormwater and the river.

The dug-out material is being taken 110 kilometres beyond Great Barrier Island, entailing a 24-hour round trip.

Four or five barges have gone so far and each trip transports about 600 cubic metres of material.

Mr Colby says the marina cares about the environment and the site has to be monitored "for a number of years".

The marina hopes it will be able to take some of the material to the Ports of Auckland Fergusson Container Terminal and is in negotiations to do so.

Dredging started in mid-June and will continue until the marina is 2 metres below its chart datum point.

Mr Colby says the "housekeeping" has to be done and the marina was last dredged in 1999.

Eastern Courier