TCC proposing to revoke Marine Park status

Aerial of Marine Park, including proposed area for revocation.

Tauranga City Council is seeking feedback on its proposal to revoke recreation reserve status from an area of land at Marine Park.

This is to enable a potential long-term lease of the land to the University of Waikato in order to establish a new marine research and educational facility.

The feasible site has been identified through an assessment that took current and future activities into account.

It’s located in the middle of Marine Park, adjacent to the grassed overflow car and trailer park, and meets with 6,952m2 the anticipated size required for the University to establish the facility.

It’s anticipated the building will be two storeys high with a footprint of approximately 2,400m2, with yard space for mobile containerised specialist laboratories, tanks for growing marine organisms outside, boat storage, and washdown areas and car parks.

The remainder of the reserve, comprising 105,417m2, will not be affected and will continue to hold its existing recreation reserve status as well as the existing uses.

Public access to the water’s edge will be maintained with the proposed development set back accordingly.

This will maintain a pedestrian link along the coastal edge connecting the northern and southern parts of the reserve, says a statement from Tauranga City Council.

Marine Park is a reserve at Sulphur Point, held as Recreation Reserve under the Reserves Act 1977, and a decision to revoke the recreation reserve status of this area of land ultimately sits with the Minister of Conservation.

Chair of the Economic Development and Investment Committee Max Mason is looking forward to hearing the public’s opinion on the proposal.

“The existing Coastal Marine Field Station here in Tauranga, led by Professor Chris Battershill, has an excellent reputation and we’re committed to work collaboratively towards a location for the new facility.

“Our community’s feedback is key to this and will inform the next steps.

“A new facility would expand our capability to protect Tauranga and New Zealand’s marine environment through a number of research programmes that provide opportunities and solutions in the areas of pollution prevention, climate change and sustainable aquaculture.”

Council agreed to progress with public consultation on the proposal at the 16 October 2018 Council meeting and would like to know what the community thinks.

Submissions are open from today until Friday, 14 December 2018.

Tell us what you think

Visit us at one of the drop-in sessions with Elected Members and Council staff, held at the Tauranga Fish and Dive Club, 60 Cross Road, Sulphur Point:

  • Saturday, 24 November, 11am to 1pm
  • Tuesday, 27 November, 5.30pm to 6.30pm
  • Submit online under the Have your say section on www.tauranga.govt.nz
  • Fill out a hard copy form available at the Council Customer Service Centre or at any of the city’s libraries
  • Write to: Freepost Authority Number 370, Marine Park consultation, Tauranga City Council, Private Bag 12022, Tauranga 3143, Attention: Michelle McCarthy

Find out more at www.tauranga.govt.nz/marinefacility

Submissions close at 5pm on Friday, 14 December 2018.

Background

In 2016 the University of Waikato approached Council with the wish to work collaboratively towards establishing a multidisciplinary research and educational facility close to the city centre with a strong focus and influence on sustaining Tauranga Moana and researching environmental health.

The initial investigation included both privately owned and Council owned land. This was narrowed down to two areas at Sulphur Point which had the potential for a suitable site.

In December 2017, an open space area at Northern Sulphur Point, adjacent to Tauranga Sport Fishing Club was determined as the most feasible site for this potential development.

Council carried out formal consultation from 12 February to 9 March 2018 regarding the proposal to long-term lease the identified area of land to the University for the purpose of establishing a new marine research and educational facility.

After considering community feedback, the area of land at Northern Sulphur Point was removed from further consideration. Councillors agreed to assess Marine Park and Council staff identified a potential site.
 


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