22 Mar 2012

Tauranga hapu to appeal harbour dredging decision

6:02 am on 22 March 2012

A Tauranga hapu has decided to appeal against plans by Port of Tauranga to deepen and widen the harbour in order to provide access for bigger container ships.

About three months ago, the Environment Court upheld a decision by a panel of commissioners to grant the port company consent to dredge the harbour to a maximum depth of 17.4 metres.

Ngati Ruahine was one of a group of local iwi and hapu which made their objections known during the court hearing by taking part in a 7km hikoi from Mount Maunganui to Tauranga.

Spokesperson Lance Waaka says the hapu isn't happy with the dredging going ahead and has lodged an appeal in the High Court against the Environment Court decision.

He says a three-day hearing is set down for next month but the hapu is waiting on news as to whether an adjournment it has applied for is granted.

Meanwhile, Ngai Te Rangi iwi, which appealed against the commissioners' original ruling, has decided not to take the matter any further.