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Published: 2011-01-27 00:00:00

Environment Waikato is considering more than 250 responses made on its draft Tairua harbour and catchment management plan summary.

The development of the draft plan follows long-standing concerns about sedimentation, mangrove expansion and decline in water quality in the Tairua harbour.

The timeframe for feedback ended last Thursday (20 January) after the deadline was extended by just over four weeks due to the volume of responses prior to Christmas.

“The community response to the draft plan has been fantastic,” said project manager Emily O’Donnell. “The quality of the feedback shows people have a strong interest in Tairua harbour’s future, with many going to extra effort to provide us with additional information.”

Ms O’Donnell said people were generally satisfied with the issues identified in the plan, and the intended action to address them.

“While people were pleased to see a plan like this produced by Environment Waikato, they said they now wanted to see action and change,” she said.

“Once the plan has been approved, a works programme will be developed and implemented to ensure the plan’s objectives are met.”

A final draft of the plan will be completed by the end of March for consideration and sign-off by the Tairua-Pauanui Community Board and EW’s Coromandel Liaison sub-committee.

Key themes for feedback included:
• the need for control over mangrove and salt water paspalum expansion
• sedimentation of the harbour, the need for catchment works to decrease the amount of sediment entering the system and active management via dredging of sediment from the harbour
• enhancement of water quality to protect and enhance shellfish beds, fisheries and recreational activity.

During the consultation process a number of people also raised concerns about a proposed marina for Paku Bay. It has not been included in the draft plan as it is the subject of a resource consent application now being heard in the courts.