12 Sep 2008

Wakatu plans $10m aquaculture site

11:01 am on 12 September 2008

Nelson-based Wakatu Incorporation is planning to take a leadership position in the aquaculture industry.

Chief executive Keith Palmer says the incorporation has bought 80 hectares at the Glen just east of Nelson, on which it intends to build a $10 million complex of hatcheries for finfish and mussel spat, along with research laboratories and education and tourism facilities.

It is seeking the involvement of the National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research, the Cawthron Institute and other commercial operators for the scheme, which is called the Horoirangi Project.

Mr Palmer told Waatea News that despite government pledges that it become a billion dollar industry, aquaculture has stalled at about $300 million, so someone has to give it a push.

He says the incorporation aims to show leadership as the industry needs to be organised in order to get government research grants.

Keith Palmer says it will probably take two or three years to get resource consents for the Horoirangi Project.