Interim options explored for Ōpōtiki wharf
Ōpōtiki District Council discussed the Harbour-Wharf Masterplan and Implementation Plan at the Ordinary Council meeting on 21 March 2023 and agreed the next steps for the interim period while the marina is constructed.
Council’s Harbour-Wharf Masterplan was endorsed in 2022 and outlined the community vision for the wharf site – the area was envisioned as a popular public-amenity space with barbeques, waka launching facilities, seating and play equipment.
The Masterplan noted the likely need for an ‘interim’ option to be developed in case the new harbour walls were completed ahead of the marina which is to be constructed on the western side of Pakihikura. The marina will include a commercial wharf and unloading area for the mussel boats. However, with the completion date for the marina potentially some years away, Council discussed the interim options available, using the current town wharf for mussel-boat use.
Ōpōtiki Mayor, David Moore, said that the new harbour entrance was expected to be open and ready for use by commercial boats at the end of this year. However, delays in obtaining the resource consent for the marina development meant that the private marina was likely to be some years yet before it was servicing mussel boats.
“Because of this gap, we need to explore the interim options available to us for accommodating mussel boats at the town wharf. We have built this incredible infrastructure and we have a processing plant right here in town – we just need to link these two together in the medium term until all the parts of the plan are working as intended,” Mayor Moore said.
This process has tied in with the notice of motion lodged at the end of 2022 for more consultation with the community around commercial and recreational use of the wharf area. Council directed staff to develop conceptual options for community recreational use near the wharf area for further public consultation.
“We will start discussions with Whakatōhea Ōpōtiki Mussels to find agreeable lease arrangements and funding for upgrades needed at the wharf. We’ll also workshop ideas for the community use of that space and we expect that to go back to the community for their consideration in the coming months,” Mayor Moore said.