Chairman’s report for 2014 year at the AGM 3 Jan 2015
The Hinton family was thanked for the use of their residence for the AGM.
The year was quite busy to start with, but matters quietened down as the year progressed. All the matters have been covered in the newsletters. The main issues that arose were as follows:
Whataroa Forest Harvesting – A submission was made in respect of the use of logging trucks. The Association accepted that trucking was acceptable but requested certain conditions would be imposed. The application for the use of trucks was, however, rejected by the council, as the original consent for the property was that the logs were to be removed by barge not truck.
Whangatoetoe Bay mussel farm decision – this application was approved. This was a disappointment, as the consent did not provide for adequate monitoring of the environmental impact on the algae bed.
Treaty settlement – Ngati Toa Rangatira have been recognised as having guardianship over the costal marine areas including the Port Underwood area. The Association does not know exactly what guardianship means. An attempt was made to ascertain what this means, but a meeting was not possible. An invitation for another meeting will be made to find out what this means and to see if there are any areas where we can work together.
Marlborough District Plan – A draft plan has been issued and this has been commented on. The main points are:
- Marine farms should have discretionary activity status, not controlled activity status as the current lack of knowledge of the Sounds ecosystem precludes establishing activities with the permanence of a controlled status. Also, the area is public domain and used for a range of different reasons;
- A stronger policy was called for in respect of the size of marine farms. In particular new marine farms and new extensions should be prohibited within 100 metres of the coastline and should not extend beyond 250 meters from the coastline;
- It was noted that the proposal for an extension of marine farms to 300 meters from the shoreline should not be permitted until independent studies are undertaken to demonstrate that this does not have an adverse impact upon other uses and the environment;
- It was suggested that the mid-bay area of Port Underwood and the entire western coastline of Port Underwood should have a prohibited marine farming status to be consistent with Policy 1.12 of the proposed Marine Farming Policy and other sections of the draft policy statement and management plan. This would add more certainty for all users of Port Underwood and reduce the large amounts of time and money spent by applicants, submitters, and the Council;
- In addition, the entire western coastline of Port Underwood should have prohibited marine farming status. Retaining a small section with CMZ 2 status as currently proposed would be an inconsistent anomaly; and
- It was suggested that the regional policy statement and resource management plan should include a provision to require environmental studies to be undertaken
Oyster Bay subdivision – The Association opposed the application for subdivision as:
- It is a non-complying application within the MSRMP;
- There would be an increase in road use;
- There would be an increased risk of sewage and waste water run off;
- The impact upon the rural character of the area;
- The reduction in productive rural land; and
- The adverse precedent it would create.
The main issue of concern was to ensure there is a community sewage treatment plant. There is a resource meeting on 3 March and we need assistance with putting together our submission for this and also to attend the meeting.
Marlborough Marine Futures – This is a new stakeholder group; an initial meeting is to be held in Picton on 8 March to outline what this group will do, then selected persons from these attendees will attend a further meeting on 22 March.
Web site – This is up and running and has various sections that details the activities of the Association. The next step is to put on members e-mails so that they get notification whenever an item is added to the web site. The website provides an opportunity for members to keep up to date with everything that is happening locally. It also provides the opportunity for members to contribute to submissions, raise questions and obtain clarification.