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Award for port ‘awesome first step’

Eastland Port has secured a highly commended award in the best environmental performer category at a recent national awards event.

The accolade was awarded by the New Zealand Marina Operators Association (NZMOA) and was the first time that the judges have recognised anyone but the category winner, which was Whangamata Marina.

Judges for the category said an impressive amount of work had been done towards improving environmental outcomes through the highly local 46-berth marina.

The marina received the award thanks to a variety of initiatives recently undertaken in and around the area.

They include an industry-leading stormwater treatment plant, which all but eliminates the risk of potentially harmful run-off from entering the harbour and marina.

Other initiatives include the installation of two seabins within the marina to filter water and collect rubbish, oil and microplastics, and the port's ongoing education and support for community initiatives such as EnviroSchools, beach litter clean-ups and stream revitalisation projects.

Another new venture is the collaboration with Gisborne District Council's harbourmaster and biosecurity team to enforce antifoul regulations and clamp down on offenders.

Eastland Port chief operating officer Andrew Gaddum said the positive environmental impacts have become a priority for the port when embarking on new projects.

“Recent redevelopment to upgrade infrastructure at the marina was completed with environmental protection front-of-mind.

“Specifically, ensuring that we make provisions to minimise our infrastructures' impacts on the water, and create opportunities for our tenants and marina users to be environmentally aware during their operations.”

Mr Gaddum has thanked those involved in the effort.

“Full credit goes to marina users, the Eastland Port team, Gisborne District Council and all the stakeholders and contractors who work with us to keep the area safe, clean and tidy.

“Eastland Port has been working hard for many years to improve the environmental impacts of our operations. To receive industry recognition on a national level like this is a fantastic achievement.”

He said it was a “great first step” for Eastland Port.

“Receiving this award does not mean the port will become complacent.

“Some fantastic work has been done, but there is still lots of room for improvement.

“The port continues to champion and support environmental initiatives in the area, and (we) are always looking for ways to improve operations, both on land and below the surface.

“We want to make Gisborne's Inner Harbour Marina New Zealand's most environmentally-friendly marina, but we cannot do it alone.

“This is an awesome first step for the area, but there is plenty of work still to be done, and we look forward to working closer with the community, iwi, hapu, marina users and other stakeholders to make it happen.”

Mr Gaddum offered a “final thanks to a fantastic friend”.

He said the Gisborne Inner Harbour Marina was incredibly fortunate to have been in great hands for many years.

“It would be remiss not to acknowledge past marina manager, Grant Donnell, who passed away in late 2019.

“Grant was very passionate about promoting sustainable environmental initiatives, in and around the marina.

“He was a huge advocate for improving the marina both operationally and environmentally.

“Grant was a fantastic marina manager, colleague and friend. Without his great work and enthusiasm, we would not be in the position we are today.”

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Eastland Port marina manager Daniel Ratapu (left) and commercial manager, Hayden Green accept a ‘highly commended' award in the ‘best environmental performer' category from the New Zealand Marina Operators Association (NZMOA). The award was presented by New Zealand sailor Bianca Cook (centre), who is set to become the first New Zealand woman to skipper a Kiwi team in the Ocean Race 2021. Picture by NZ Marina Operators Association