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Harbour tender go-ahead

THE go-ahead for the second and final stage of the $9 million inner harbour redevelopment has been given by Gisborne District Council which has released the tender documents.

With phase one of the project nearing completion, the council wants phase two to be completed in time for the Te Ha 1769 sestercentennial celebrations in October 2019.

The recommendation was carried and authorises the chief executive to award the final construction contract, subject to it being within budget.

Lifelines director David Wilson said the council were at the stage where they needed to decide if they were moving forward with phase two and how to complete that work by October next year.

The council will contribute $3.7m to the cost of the project, with $2.3m coming from the provincial growth fund, $1.3m from Eastland Port and $933,000 from Eastland Community Trust.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment granted $780,000 towards the cost of phase one and an application is before it to contribute to stage two.

The final proposal has seen the number of car parks in the area increased by 24 on the northern side of the Esplanade by making them drive in instead of parallel parks.

Phase two of the project includes a staircase connection to Rakaiatane Road, a roading upgrade for the Esplanade, a landscaped pedestrian promenade, waterfront redevelopment and a pedestrian connection to the Gladstone Road Bridge.

An amenity block is due for completion by November in time for the upcoming cruise ship season.

Phase one, which included the redevelopment of Crawford Road and the Works and Soho carparks, is due to be completed by the end of this month.

Pat Seymour said she was concerned to read in the report before the council that the $3.7 million council contribution was being funded through the GHL forestry dividend.

To the best of her knowledge, the council did not have that $3.7 million dividend yet.

Chief executive Nedine Thatcher Swann said in the last long-term plan the council had budgeted for that to come in 2021.

They now knew that was going to come in 2024/25. So, in the interim, they were debt funding until the dividend fund was replenished. That had all been accounted for in the long-term plan.

Mrs Seymour said the council needed to be completely honest.

“We do not have $3.7 million so why does the report not say it is going to be debt-funded?”

Mrs Thatcher Swann said the report could be amended to say it would be debt- funded but replenished in the future.

Mrs Seymour said the finance committee had been told the first returns from the forestry would be used on roading. Everyone involved in forestry knew the first tranche of income was used for this. So it was misleading of the report to say that was where the funding was coming from. The council would just carry on without any constraint over the finances.

Acting Mayor Rehette Stoltz said the recommendation did say “within budget.” Mrs Thatcher Swann said it would be made clear to the public how this was being funded.

A District council spokeswoman says the council has engaged with the community through several long-term plans, including a site at last year’s A&P Show, newsletters to 4000 households as well as regular e-newsletter updates to get the project to this point.

Consultation with inner harbour stakeholders over recent months resulted in changes to car parking.

To create a safe, well-lit people promenade and strong pedestrian connections, designed to encourage a community feel, car parks will largely be removed from the waterfront and esplanade space. Parking will be consolidated in locations at The Works and Soho carparks.

The project provides context for Ngati Oneone to tell their stories, with cultural design elements woven throughout, including tukutuku patterning and paving, representing coastal headlands and settlement. Matariki lighting will be installed around the waterfront and a new waharoa (gateway) is planned for the voyaging waka and cruise ship passenger arrivals.

Two trail markers, developed by Te Aitanga a Mahaki, Ngai Tamanuhiri, Ngati Oneone and Rongowhakaata iwi representatives, will be installed this month as part of the historic interpretations project.

The project, named Tupapa – Our Stand. Our Story, will combine digital media on a website and app, with ten trail markers and view shafts to weave together significant sites with the landscape, sea and sky.

NEW AMENITIES: This design concept drawing shows a new amenity block to be built as part of the inner harbour redevelopment.Gisborne District Council graphics