Opotiki District Council is firming up potential uses for the harbour as the proposed development draws closer.
As well as aquaculture, the harbour will open up potential for a range of businesses including a mussel processing factory, other seafood processing companies, recreational fishing charters and tourism operators.
The development will provide opportunities for boat sales, storage, building, restoration and renovation, and marine surveying, engineering and electronics retailers, with accommodation providers, restaurateurs and shop owners also being among the potential users.
These additional users would bring positive financial returns to the Opotiki community.
The council is validating its financial assumptions and considering the needs of the various users to ensure the appropriate planning provisions are in place. It is also checking the servicing requirements to make sure it can deliver on these.
“We’re working closely with potential harbour users and things are looking positive,” says Opotiki Mayor John Forbes. “Everyone involved is making every effort to help the development become a reality.”
The harbour development is a step closer after Council recently fulfilled one of the conditions required for it to obtain Regional Infrastructure Funding to redevelop the town’s harbour entrance. This is seen as a significant milestone in meeting the Heads of Agreement with Bay of Plenty Regional Council.
The $18 million funding commitment identified the need for the council to investigate potential alternate uses and users for the harbour if the development project was completed. To achieve the condition, Council undertook an analysis of the potential uses and users of the upgraded harbour entrance. The investigation’s main objective was to understand the potential revenue streams and what activities could be established in Opotiki if the harbour entrance was upgraded.
The investigation assessed water and land-based charges and potential gross revenue flows from land and water-based activities, and identified potential commercial harbour users. Assumptions were made around revenue and the amounts support Council’s funding application to Bay of Plenty Regional Council and central government.