2014 Media Releases and Updates

​​​Invitation from Minister of Finance to submit a Better Business Case (BBC)

28 July 2014 - Last Friday Opotiki's Mayor, John Forbes met with the Prime Minister, John Key and our local MP Anne Tolley. It was great to hear that the PM and the government are looking at the harbour proposal, that they have an optimistic view and that they are sending some people next week to start looking through it.

The image below shows Kawerau Mayor, Malcolm Campbell, Whakatane Mayor, Tony Bonne, the Hon Anne Tolley, the Prime Minister John Key and Opotiki Mayor, John Forbes at the meeting in Whakatane.

Eastern Bay of Plenty Mayors meet with PM John Key and Hon Anne Tolley

15 July 2014 - Opotiki District Council considered a consultant’s report on the ‘opportunities, issues and implications for workforce development’ of the Aquaculture and Harbour Development.

​The Workforce Development Project was written to ensure that local and Whakatohea people are ready to fill as many of the harbour and marine farm related jobs as possible as they come on stream during construction phases, and then move into permanent roles in ongoing aquaculture operations and related industries which expand or emerge as a result of the developments.

It bases its figures on very conservative estimates and builds on several other reports prepared on the twin projects (The harbour and wharf developments project and the Whakatohea marine farm).

The Report brings together information on the existing workforce, the existing learning and training opportunities, the workforce requirements of the twin projects, and some examples of ways that other communities have created “staircases” to sustainable employment.

The Report outlines the labour requirements for each stage of the project (construction through to operations) and the industries that would get a boost from the twin projects both directly and indirectly.

You can read the full report (or the executive summary) here: Opotiki Aquaculture and Harbour Development - Opportunities, issues and implications for workforce development (PDF, 1 MB)


April 2014 - Opotiki's Efforts to Pull the Region Out of Poverty.
Opotiki District Council CEO Aileen Lawrie and Councillor Arihia Tuoro spoke live on Radio New Zealand's Nine to Noon programme - 23 April 2014

Click here to listen to the radio coverage on Radio New Zealand's National Nine to Noon programme: Opotiki's Efforts to Pull the Region Out of Poverty.


April 2014 - Te Whakatohea plan to support largest marine farm.
Whakatohea and Opotiki District Council appear on Te Kar​ere - 16 April 2014

Click here to view the video footage on the Te Karere YouTube page: Te Whakatohea plan to support largest marine farm. 


March 2014 - Photo simulations of Opotiki's Harbour Redevelopment Project have sparked the imagination of the local community and reignited discussion of the benefits that the redevelopment would bring to the town.

Produced by Isthmus Consultants, the photo imagery brings to life the harbour structures.

The Harbour Redevelopment is a project to build twin groynes and associated works, creating a year-round navigable harbour entrance at Opotiki. The project is an enabling project for Whakatohea's aquaculture proposal and other marine activities.

Last year, Bay of Plenty Regional Council pledged $18million to the project and the District Council is seeking to match this funding with support from central government in the 2014 Budget.

Opotiki District Councillor, Shona Browne, said that the excitement around the town was a great boost for those working on the project.

“The project has been in the pipeline for more than 10 years so it has been part of the backdrop for the community for a long time. It is great to get this fresh excitement and a real sense that all the work is coming to fruition. There are pictures in the windows of local shops and people are talking about it again.

“As the project becomes a little more real, you can get a sense of how it might impact the day to day lives of those living here,” Ms Browne said.

Opotiki Mayor, John Forbes, agreed and said that for a project of this size and impact, there was a significant amount of lead time before the first sod was turned.

“Ten years seems like a long time, but it takes that long to ensure that all your ducks are in a row. That investment of time has paid off – a resource consent is now held for the largest aquaculture development of its kind in the country. We also have a very close relationship with Eastern Sea Farms to ensure that everything we are doing aligns and the projects are working together. We have buy-in from the community and we have the support of the Regional Council. We have the science and research that tells us that the mussels that grow out at sea are some of the best in the world and we have detailed geotechnical information to develop the best plans for harbour construction. We are incredibly well placed to make this a reality and hit the go button,” Mr Forbes said.

The photo simulation uses aerial photos and superimposes the structures and activity associated with the harbour redevelopment. The images show the twin groynes, the large structures jutting out to sea that would create the year-round navigable harbour entrance. They also show the existing town centre and the significance of an aquaculture industry hub that would be an outcome of the Eastern Sea Farms sister-project.


If you would like to view or print a larger version of this conceptual image you can download a copy here​.​


January 2014 - Opotiki's Harbour Redevelopment work continues​

While it has been a quiet few months on the surface for Opotiki's Harbour Redevelopment Project, work continues on a number of key workstreams in the development of this large-scale infrastructure project.

Opotiki Harbour Redevelopment Project is a project to build twin groynes and associated works, creating a year-round navigable harbour entrance at Opotiki. The project is an enabling project for Whakatohea's aquaculture proposal and other marine activities.

Last year’s decision by Bay of Plenty Regional Council to commit $18million to Opotiki's Harbour Redevelopment project has sparked a number of new activities.

The relationship with the Regional Council and the agreed rules and conditions for the payment of the $18million will be reflected in a Heads of Agreement. Opotiki District Council Chief Executive, Aileen Lawrie, said that she was working closely with her counterpart in the Regional Council, Mary-Anne Macleod, to develop this important document.

“This document is a high level agreement that will set the tone for a close working relationship. I look forward to working with the Regional Council as we develop this project together,” Ms Lawrie said.

Physical works are also continuing with ongoing measurements and sampling required to fine-tune the design and construction techniques for the building of the twin groynes at the river mouth.

Important work is also underway to develop political support for the project with central government.

“Government departments and agencies, politicians and other key figures need to have a strong understanding of the project and the benefits it would bring for the whole region so that an approach can be made for funding from central government to match the funding from the Regional Council. We are working to build these relationships and ensure that we have the best chance possible to gain the support needed to fund our exciting project.

“While the timeframes for this process can be difficult to measure, it is hoped we will know more when the draft Budget is released in May this year,” Ms Lawrie said.

And the vision for the Harbour Redevelopment is no longer simply inside the minds of those closest to the project. Isthmus Consultants have been commissioned to produce a photo simulation of the Redevelopment. The imagery brings to life the harbour structures and some of the ideas that are driving the project, including a vibrant and active marine area and harbour frontage for the town.

This exciting visual representation of the project will be unveiled at the Council Community Open Days on 30 and 31 January 2014. More information about these open days is coming soon.

Page reviewed: 20 Feb 2017 4:25pm