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Published: 2011-07-05 00:00:00

Waikato Regional Council has formally lodged a new resource consent application to undertake mangrove removal as a part of wider catchment work at Whangamata.

The application, from the council’s catchment services group and based on one lodged last year, seeks the maximum possible area able to be supported by council at this time.

Approximately 31.5 hectares of new mangroves removal and a further 6.5 ha of "clean up" work on previously cleared areas is proposed.

The latest application, lodged with the council’s resource use group, proposes new removal and disposal techniques, including two trial sites.

The application is due to be publicly notified in the next two weeks. The public will then be able to make submissions until mid August.

Whether a hearing is to be held will depend on the nature of the submissions received and whether or not additional information is sought, said the council’s Whangamata mangrove project manager Emily O’Donnell.

Ms O’Donnell encouraged those looking to make a submission to make contact to clarify any concerns or to seek additional information.

The council’s Thames-Coromandel councillor Simon Friar said he was pleased to see further progress being made on addressing the situation at Whangamata.

“For almost two decades, the issue of mangrove expansion at Whangamata has been an area of significant concern to the local community. I would like to acknowledge regional council staff, who have put considerable effort into this project over recent months.

“The local community knows that mangrove control will only bring benefits to the harbour and assist in its restoration to what it used to be like. I am looking forward to the monitoring being done after the removal which will provide information to assist in our understanding of this work and which I believe will provide confirmation of the community’s views.

“It’s now a case of working through the consenting process to take matters forward.”