Te Hapū o Ngāti Wheke (Ngāti Wheke), Te Rūnanga o Koukourārata (Koukourārata), Ngāi Tahu Seafood Limited and Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu (the Ngāi Tahu parties) are pleased to announce a mediated agreement has been reached with the Lyttelton Port Company Limited (LPC) regarding the navigation channel deepening project.
It is important to note that while an agreement has been reached the Ngāi Tahu parties do not fundamentally support the dredging and disposal of spoil, but nevertheless the appeal is resolved as a pragmatic solution.
As background, in 2017, LPC were granted consent to widen, deepen, and lengthen the navigation channel for 35 years and to maintain the channel for 35 years. The Ngāi Tahu parties then appealed the consent, and subsequently undertook mediation.
Throughout the process the Ngāi Tahu parties have reiterated that as mana whenua and mana moana they have an obligation to protect mahinga kai in the region. The Ngāi Tahu parties concerns are fully set out in earlier submissions.
The key points of the mediated settlement are:
• The duration of the channel enlargement consent has been reduced. LPC now have consent to enlarge the channel over a 25 year period. Consent to maintain the channel remains at 35 years.
• The dredging to enlarge the channel must begin within 8 years of the consents being issued.
• LPC will cease dumping dredge spoil (from a previous consent) at Awaroa/Godley Head, Livingstone Bay, Breeze Bay and Mechanics Bay which are important breeding grounds for kaimoana.
• LPC will pay to Te Rūnanga o Koukourārata and Te Hapū o Ngāti Wheke fisheries enhancement funding that will be used on projects to enhance mahinga kai within Koukourārata and Whakaraupō (Lyttelton) harbours.
• Strict environmental limits are followed when dredging and dumping spoil.
Given the nature and confidentiality of mediation no further comment will be made at this time.