OPINION: I have become increasingly concerned with the slow and inexorable incursion of Port Taranaki into the Ngamotu Beach area with the consequent deterioration of the beach environment.
Over the years we have witnessed:
1) The land reclamation at the east end of the beach.
2) The removal of the baches and the construction of Roy's Castle, with the concomitant increase in traffic down Bayly Rd.
3) The location of the new port access at the west end of Ocean View Pde resulting in a major increase in heavy traffic past the beach and along Bayly Rd.
4) The construction of grain storage on the reclaimed land.
5) The current proposal to extend Belt Rd to the east end of Ocean View Parade over the existing walkway at ratepayers' expense (in excess of $2 million) for public access (rather than Bayly Rd).
Now we are being subjected to the spin that the Lucy Lawless incident could force the closure of public access to the beach for security reasons; this is clearly nonsense as any determined terrorist could not be prevented from gaining access.
All these decisions are made behind closed doors with minimum public consultation.
Port Taranaki is a public company owned by the ratepayers of Taranaki and is answerable to us via the Taranaki Regional Council.
Maybe it is time to establish a Guardians of Ngamotu Beach organisation to safeguard this valuable public asset. Such an organisation could apply pressure to our elected representatives on the TRC and, with the forthcoming local elections in October, sponsor candidates.
- Taranaki Daily News
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