Round three for proposed quarry

LAIRD HARPER
Last updated 05:00 25/01/2013

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A developer behind a stalled bid for a Kaupokonui-based metal quarry is rolling up his sleeves for round three.

Gary Wallis, of RA Wallis Ltd, who was behind the attempt to construct a quarry close to Kaupokonui Beach, is now proposing a new one further upstream.

In a letter to nearby residents, obtained by the Taranaki Daily News, Mr Wallis, through planning company BTW, outlined a plan to construct a quarry between Lower Glenn Rd, State Highway 45 and the Kaupokonui Stream.

The area would be divided into three distinct blocks and at any one time a maximum of six hectares would be quarried, the letter says. All affected land would be progressively reinstated back to pasture.

The South Taranaki District Council has not yet received a resource consent application.

When the Daily News contacted Mr Wallis for comment he directed all questions to Kaupokonui Beach Society spokesman Keith Rodie.

Mr Rodie, who is the chairman of the society's quarry subcommittee, would only say that the proposed new location would protect the beach.

However, the proposed location appears to be causing some division among local hapu Ngati Tu, with one member claiming few people were privy to all the facts. Priscilla Luke is calling for an urgent hui to discuss the proposal, which she says has a northern border just 100 metres from her home.

Ngati Tu hapu member Hori Manuirirangi, who often speaks for the hapu, said they had been fighting long and hard and the new proposed quarry was the best fit.

"The whole hapu agreed," he said. "We aren't going back over that road again. We are very sorry for her but we can't change what is in place now."

In 2008, the then 20ha quarry plan - which had been approved by the STDC - was overruled, on appeal, by the Environment Court.

Then in 2010, R A Wallis proposed another quarry at a fraction of the size.

That application was for a 5.5 ha site, and although its lifespan was far shorter it still hit stiff resistance from nearby residents.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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