Opotiki harbour mouth

ONE million dollars is being spent preparing for Opotiki’s harbour development.

Last year, $750,000 was injected into the project by the provincial growth fund, bolstering Opotiki District Council’s $250,000 contribution.

At Tuesday’s council meeting, chief executive Aileen Lawrie revealed how these funds were being spent – on a rock source investigation; harbour redesign; cost-saving measures; and continued work on the harbour commercial case.

The council is looking for a less costly source of rocks for the coming construction and, last month, hosted two geologists and an aggregate specialist.

Mrs Lawrie said it was fantastic having them, and the council was awaiting the resulting report with interest.

The investigation was carried out by taking rock samples within 50 kilometres of Opotiki.

Now, with changes made to the harbour design plan, previously unusable quarries were potentially viable sources, she said.

“We have a lot of shattered rock around here, and we really don’t want shattered rock,” Mayor John Forbes said.

Councillor Ken Young queried whether manufactured rock was a viable source for the harbour development, and Ms Lawrie responded that the option was being thoroughly explored.

“There was a lot of discussion around that, arguments for and against.

“It’s something they looked at quite seriously,” she said.

Ports of Auckland’s Rosie Mercer and the Eastland group have been brought on board to provide expertise and advice on harbour redesign and cost-saving measures, as well as further work on the harbour’s commercial case. There is $5.4 million budgeted for this phase of the project in the council’s long-term plan.