Draft harbour plan met with dissatisfaction

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The public gallery was full for the Waitaki District Council’s harbour area committee meeting on Tuesday, when the Oamaru Harbour master plan was tabled in a draft form.

After an angst-filled public forum, Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher blamed the council’s communication for the public outcry and called for another workshop on the Oamaru Harbour master plan “as soon as possible”, once again delaying the project that began with a first round of public engagement in November.

The council released a community engagement proposal for the 30-year plan last week, which contained three options on the level of development of the harbour area.

They were sorted by the level of development and cost, ranging from $19.6 million to $36 million.

All options include $11,860,000 for maintaining the Oamaru breakwater, Holmes, Sumpter, and Normanby wharves and harbour dredging.

Speaking at Tuesday’s meeting, Oamaru Steam and Rail Society member Darryl Bond described the plan as like “a book report I did when I was 12, and I know damn well I didn’t read the book”.

Mr Bond said he expected the plan to be about the “core tenets and commandments” that would govern further developments in the future.

“We are looking for a guide, not a tactical document for developers.”

Other members of the public expressed dissatisfaction that some ideas from the submission process had not been included.

Others complained there was no option to “do nothing”.

Mr Kircher said the council had chosen to work through the plan in the full view of the public, and it was not intended as a completed draft.

“These options are all about helping to form the final master plan, they are not the master plan.

“Judge us on what we end up with, not how we get there.”

The images in the draft were inaccurate, which gave people the wrong idea about what each stage of the plan would be like, he said.

“It is not ready, around the table we all agreed with that.

“Because of time pressures we ended up with diagrams that don’t depict that well enough and communication from the council to the public was not clear enough.

“It certainly made people nervous and needs more work for a clearer picture out with more options.”

The committee decided another workshop was needed to refine the options.

Mr Kircher said the council had all the information it needed, and hoped the workshop would take place in the next few weeks.

Oamaru Harbour master plan

PROPOSED OPTIONS

Option one

Cost: $19.6 million

Public realm and connection improvements.

Low-level development – mixed use commercial/residential surrounding Scotts Brewery, and to the land east of McKeown’s.

Development of Forrester Heights for residential. Consideration of construction of lower road only.

Option two

Cost: $29.5 million

Includes the proposals from option one

Medium-level development surrounding Scotts Brewery and to the land east of McKeown’s.

Development of Harbour plaza and more places for people.

Consideration of activities and development of waterfront land by woolsheds.

Option three

Cost: $36 million

Includes proposals from options one and two.

Destination development

High-level development of residential land around Scott’s Brewery and the land east of McKeown’s.

Relocation of McKeown’s from the waterfront and full promenade development in this location, including the McKeown’s land and adjacent land parcels.