Video: Govt gives $4.2m to Nelson Haven

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The filthy Calwell Slipway is ranked fourth on the government’s list of contaminated sites but that’s about to change.

Today Nick Smith announced the government will be forking over $4.2 million, just over half of the bill for the remedial works required to clean-up the Port Nelson site.

The Slipway is highly contaminated by copper and tributyltin, commonly used in the boat-building industry, particularly in the shallower sections.

“This historic contamination problem in the Nelson Haven is a blight on our reputation as one of New Zealand’s cleanest and greenest regions,” says Nick.

The Nelson City Council and Port Nelson joint project involves stabilising the sediments in cement to form mudcrete so they are contained and cannot pollute the Haven.

The work is expected to take eight months.

“These sorts of clean-up projects are technically very challenging,” says Nick. “The clean-up at Mapua was badly mismanaged under the former government. Important lessons have been learned and subsequent clean-ups have been successful.”

Today’s $4.2 million comes on top of $317,000 for previous grants to support the investigation and planning phases of the project. The total clean-up is expected to cost $8.3 million.

Nick says project costs can be an enormous ratepayer burden but the government will provide support when satisfied any ongoing pollution is prevented, the project has been well researched and designed, and the council and partners are sharing the costs.