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Whanganui Port seeks long-term consent to dredge basin

Dredging in the Whanganui Port basin.

Posted on March 20, 2024

The Whanganui Port revitalisation project Te Pūwaha wants a long-term dredging consent for the Whanganui Port basin and river bar.

Whanganui Port project director Phil Wardale said long-term dredging would create greater access and opportunities for recreational and commercial use.

“The port basin will become a sheltered area for water sports such as paddle-boarding and kayaking, while commercial businesses will have fewer limitations, enabling the likes of Q-West Boat Builders to grow their building and maintenance services,” Wardale said.

“By returning the depth within the port basin to historical levels, we are securing access to the new marine precinct currently under construction.”

The long-term consent will replace the two-year priority dredging consent for the port basin, which was approved early last year for dredging only around the three main wharves and Wharf St boat ramp.

The new long-term consent will cover the removal of sediment within the whole Whanganui Port basin and the river bar, and the release of spoil back into the main channel of the river, downstream of the basin, during outbound river flows.

Te Pūwaha chairwoman Kahureremoa Aki said the dredging plans included a commitment to considering the impact of the work on the river.

“This means being cognisant of the environmental effects, and finding a pathway which enables the Whanganui Port to give back to our awa and improve its health into the future.”

Aki said that could include providing opportunities for “abundance and enhancement” through greater community connection with the awa, as well as improved governance, education opportunities and ecological restoration.

She said the dredging application would be approached in a way that encourages “all parts of our community” to see their value and voice in the project and recognises the legal status of the Whanganui River under the 2017 Te Awa Tupua (Whanganui River Claims Settlement) Act.

The new dredging application is expected to be lodged this month.


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