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Draft Mangrove Management Bill now going to select committee

Coromandel Peninsula | Thu August 10, 2017

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Legislation to facilitate the management of mangroves in the coastal areas of the Thames-Coromandel and Hauraki districts passed its first reading in Parliament last night.

The Mangrove Management Bill is an initiative of TCDC and Hauraki District Council to establish their own mangrove management plans. Mangrove management is currently the responsibility of the Waikato Regional Council.

The local bill was supported by all the parties, apart from the Greens.

"Our local MP Scott Simpson has done a magnificent job getting parties to support the Bill," says Mayor Sandra Goudie. "He had to go around talking with every party to get support and so he's worked really hard for us."

The Bill will now go to select committee, where people will have the opportunity to speak to their submission.

"This initiative is not a debate about why the mangroves are where they are or what has led to their vast proliferation over recent decades. This is simply an initiative allowing the two councils to develop their own plan to manage mangroves within their districts," says Coromandel MP Scott Simpson.

"The rapid proliferation of mangrove growth has been a challenging issue for residents, visitors wanting to access waterways, and recreational amenities," says Mr Simpson.

"In Whangamata, residents have been paying a special regional council rate for several years supposedly to assist with mangrove removal and management. It has raised $1.5M. But only 10% of that has been spent on mangrove management, the rest has been spent on lawyers, consultants, appeals, reports.

This is hugely frustrating for locals," he says.

"This Bill is about improving the amenity and easy access to residents and visitors wanting to enjoy the coastal beauty and waterways of the Coromandel," he says.

Whangamata Mangrove removal works to start

Meanwhile a resumption of mangrove removal work at Whangamata is getting underway later this month, to start finishing off the consented clearance north of Durrant Drive and from the Moana Anu Anu estuary.

The removal is being done through an existing consent by the Waikato Regional Council, which will see the mangroves removed and then taken out by helicopter or barge for mulching.

The basic process is removal by hand and chainsaw, mulching on-site before being taken away. This work is weather and tide dependant; however the expected timeframe is two to three weeks.

So far, 18 hectares has been cleared leaving 4 hectares to be removed under the existing resource consent and clearance programme, which will happen this month and in August next year.

The Waikato Regional Council says it also continues to support Whangamata Harbour Care’s consented seedling removal.


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