Dates set for ferry meetings
The Marlborough District Council has announced the dates of public meetings to debate the Government's proposal to move the interisland port from Picton to Clifford Bay, south of Seddon.
Marlborough Mayor Alistair Sowman said the first public meeting would be held in Picton on the evening of Monday February 11, with a meeting at noon in Seddon or Ward the next day, February 12, and an evening meeting that night in Blenheim.
Details of venues will be advertised during January.
The meetings will be open to everyone and feedback will be collated into a report to be brought back to the council.
There was a great deal of information to draw out of the community before there was a full understanding of what a shift might mean, Mr Sowman said.
"There's no doubt the impact will be significant if a decision is made to move. But what we don't yet know is the extent of the impact.
"The Government has done some work assessing business impact but as we haven't seen that report - we don't know how thorough or accurate it is. Nor do we, as a community, have an accurate picture ourselves."
Mr Sowman said the business sector group meetings under way would all help inform the wider public discussion.
"Council's role will be to draw together everything that emerges from public discussions and meetings.
"This is a regional issue which will affect our local economy at a number of levels. But, as a starting point, we need to enable this public discussion to begin."
The Marlborough Express