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Hapu challenges Whangarei harbour dig

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Hapu challenges Whangarei harbour dig

Northland hapu Patuharakeke is trying to stop Refining NZ from securing consent to dredge 3.7 million cubic metres of sediment from the entrance of Whangarei Harbour.

The company wants to ensure fully-laden oil tankers can berth at Poupouwhenua -Marsden Point.

Lawyer Kelly Dixon says the Pataharekeke Trust Board is concerned about its ability to exercise kaitiakitanga, the effect of the dredging and dumping on the mauri of the harbour and on marine ecosystems.

She says the proposed conditions won’t mitigate those concerns, and the dredging comes on top of decades of development that has significantly degraded the harbour.

It also affects whales and whakapapa.

"There’s quite a large potential effect on Mayor Bank right at the harbour entrance and that has been an important place to gather pipi, it’s a place for tohora (whales) to come in to guide themselves up the harbour, and to wananga, all of those things, so to lose such a significant site like that would be devastating for Patuharakeke," Ms Dixon says.

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