Marina rubbish skip to stay put

BILL MOORE
Last updated 12:00 07/12/2013

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The Nelson City Council has backed away from removing a rubbish skip at the Port Nelson marina launching ramp in a move that recreational fishing spokesman Troy Dando says bodes well for the future.

The council had decided to take away the lidded skip, which fishers use to dump the carcasses of filleted fish, cleaned shellfish and offal, citing smell complaints and inappropriate use.

It posted a notice saying it would be gone from December 1 but it was still in place yesterday and council communications manager Angela Ricker said it would remain until a better option was found.

"The council is working with the individuals who raised concerns about the loss of the rubbish skip with the aim of finding a sensible long-term solution to the issue," she said.

Mr Dando, a harbour pilot and committee member of the Dawnbreakers Fishing Club, had earlier criticised the council and predicted that smelly waste would be left around the city if the skip was taken away.

Yesterday he said he'd since had "a good talk" with Mayor Rachel Reese after she made contact with him following his earlier comments.

Ms Reese had set up a meeting with council operations manager Shane Davies, who was now working on a solution to the misuse of the skip, which has been the dumping ground for animal carcasses and large items such as television sets. It might be possible to fit it with a chute to limit the size of what could be put in. "It was a good, opportune time to bring up some of the other issues down there as well. They've been really good."

One immediate action would be waterblasting the three-lane boat ramp and its wooden walkway to make it less slippery. There was also an electronic parking meter being installed at the ramp to give boaties another way of paying their fees, and the council was to restore the water supply to the gazebo beside the ramp.

He was pleased that the council had shown a willingness to talk over the issues and there could be some other changes made longer-term to improve the lot of trailer boat owners, Mr Dando said.

Meanwhile, the council is still waiting for the results of tests on samples taken after the mass death of pilchards in the lower Maitai River a fortnight ago.

Ms Ricker said interim results from the Cawthron Institute were in, but a number of tests were still in progress. Nothing of any concern had been identified so far.

Thousands of fish died, with speculation around whether predators chased them into fresh water they could not tolerate, or a possible chemical spill into Saltwater Creek, which drains into the Maitai beside the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge.

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- The Nelson Mail

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