Environment Waikato chair, Jenni Vernon, says that today's decision on the Whangamata marina will allow the community to move forward, after years of uncertainty.
“The Whangamata community has been waiting an awfully long time for this decision,” she said, noting that Environment Waikato had given its approval to the marina proposal back in 1998.
"The marina's proponents have followed due process, undertaking 12 years of work through the Resource Management Act and the Environment Court. Opponents of the marina also had an opportunity to have their concerns heard by an independent body.
“Environment Court Judge Bollard delivered a well-considered opinion that balanced all the potential effects – and gave the marina the go-ahead.
“So Environment Waikato acknowledges today's decision by the Minister for the Environment, which brings a conclusion to this matter.”
Councillor Vernon said that Environment Waikato staff would now be involved in monitoring and approving the works undertaken in the construction of the marina, as laid down in the conditions set out by the Minister for the Environment's decision.
"I note in particular the Minister has added some new conditions, including a requirement to monitor if there are any long-term adverse effects on the sand bar.”
Environment Waikato will be involved in monitoring works such as the dredging of the marina basin and channel, the disposal of material, the minimisation of potential sediment discharge, water turbidity, and monitoring the impact on the ecology in the area, as well as monitoring the work undertaken on the saltmarsh.