Strategic significance of river restoration
As submitted by Mahurangi Action Incorporated 28 March 2018:
Mahurangi Action supports the urgent funding of the consented dredging of sediment from the Mahurangi River, to restore the navigability of the river up to and including the Warkworth Town Basin.
The recreational value of this Mahurangi River Restoration Trust project for both local and Auckland boat users is obvious from the numbers of Auckland-based craft already seen visiting the Warkworth Town Basin. A more navigable river and more accommodating basin would be a valuable asset for town businesses that supply food and other services to these boating people.
A deeper river and more accessible basin would provide opportunities for river and harbour-based tourism. These industries need all-tide access to the harbour to schedule regular services which land-based tourism operators require, and which river-based operators require for viable businesses. Furthermore, as these schedules become established and the numbers of passengers carried increases, the momentum for these businesses grows.
If river-based operators found opportunities to expand their businesses and operate larger craft, the current cluster of marine service industries based on the Mahurangi River could expand to provide for larger vessels and, more importantly, provide marine-related jobs for locals in a rapidly growing population centre, where not everyone will find work in the high-tech industry cluster envisaged for the satellite growth centre.
The completion of the dredging programme would also facilitate additional public transport options for the region.