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Answers sought on inner harbour developments

Opinion Piece

Re: The million-dollar loo, inner harbour project, and too many unanswered questions.

Will the design defects of the new million-dollar loo be remedied before Christmas/New Year when it will see the most patronage? Or will it be closed whenever there is driving rain?

How was it entered as “part” of a $2.9 million project that won a $1-3 million category prize, when it has been reported that this project cost closer to $4 million? Will that award be surrendered?

Who allowed the name paepae para hamuti, or manure tray? It is an embarrassment to Gisborne! Will that be removed? Wharepaku is more appropriate. And when will these toilets advertise what they are in English, as was originally planned?

This is what was clearly shown on the plans: “Inner Harbour” “Toilets” “Boat Wash Down” in laser-cut lettering 40mm high (content TBC) — all omitted from the north east wall. Who will now pay for this to be laser-cut into that external panel?

The car parking plan in the inner harbour shows there are NO LESS parks. The minutes from the plan change meeting also state this, and councillors have reported the same. So, obviously this was a major consideration when voting in the change to the District Plan. Those plans (and minutes) are creative at best as they clearly show the 22 boat parks are in fact double-counted as 46 car parks as well. They can’t be both. So there is at least a 46 car park deficit.

Councillors are on record as stating there are the same amount of parks. Wrong!! Forty-six included car parks are already 22 boat trailer parks. So, was the plan change adopted by using deliberately misleading information?

What happens now, will the plan change be revisited? Those numbers as minuted are clearly wrong.

How did GDC ever pass the project for consent when it breached its own District Plan from the get-go?

Remember, it was advertised in 2013 that this project would require plan changes and associated hearings. That never happened until the project was nearly completed — this despite many queries to that effect.

Can the public please get some answers.

Peter Millar

Footnote response from Gisborne District Council:

We are still working with architects to determine solutions for improving weather-proofing. But it’s unlikely we will need to close the facility over summer due to rain.

Fulton Hogan had submitted for the award based on the awarded contract amount for the work carried out on the Esplanade. This excludes the amenity building which is not a part of the award; this was built by a different contractor. Council reported this incorrectly in the media release.

The explanation by Mr Millar confuses what has occurred to develop the inner harbour project. The aim of the project was to improve the amenity and usability of the precinct for our community and businesses.

In the early stages of development we identified options to achieve this goal. One included redesign of the road and street layout, including parking and other upgrades. Another was a change to the Tairawhiti Resource Management Plan to facilitate future development by businesses and landowners.

The plan change reduces minimum parking requirements for new consents for land-use activities in the area.

This is completely separate to consent for physical work to upgrade the space. Consent for this work was granted before construction began.

The redevelopment plan delivered between Council and Eastland Port allows for 239 parking spaces, including 22 boat trailer parks in front of The Works — an overall decrease of four parks.

Including local culture and history into design elements was also an important component in achieving outcomes for the space.

The name “paepae para hamuti” references the local terminology used by tangata whenua for toilet or latrine, and is associated with traditional rituals involving purification and cleansing. The tipuna Maia, who established the whare wananga, Puhi Kai Iti — at the site of the Cook Landing monument — had his own exclusive paepae para hamuti located nearby that only he could use because of his status. We will not be re-cutting design or further wording but we are in the process of arranging for toilet and directional signage to be installed.