No appeals against oyster farm plan

An aquaculture project in Stewart Island has passed another hurdle with no appeals being lodged against it.

This month, independent commissioner Barry Kaye granted consent to Stewart Islanders Len and Sue Lind to go ahead with their proposed oyster farm at three Stewart Island sites.

Lind said he was pleased with the result. "It shows the decision by the independent commissioner was the correct one. He's covered all the bases and allayed people's fears."

They had been working for five years to get the farm going, he said. The project initially met opposition from some islanders and environmental groups, with 12 groups submitting against it.

In May, Environment Southland said it had undertaken a research project scoping out areas of the Southland coast, including Stewart Island, that would be suitable for aquaculture expansion. This was in response to the Government's plan to turn aquaculture into a billion-dollar industry.

However, Lind said despite these plans, the task of getting a farm up and running was a costly, obstacle-ridden process. He believed this was the first consent of its type granted in the area for 28 years.

The Southland Times