The Nelson Marina redevelopment plans have been in the works for years. Photo: Jonty Dine

Marina saga boils over


Frustration over the future of the Nelson Marina has boiled over as work on its multimillion-dollar redevelopment has stalled and a committee of boaties tasked with helping the process appears to have been sidelined.

It is understood that work on the marina redevelopment, which Nelson City Council has earmarked about $5 million over the next decade, stopped in April after a change in council personnel and strategy.

Work had been done with stakeholders to ensure an upgrading of pontoons, trailer park and hardstand, among other large-scale plans that are part of the three-stage project.

However, only pontoons worth $375,000 went in last April.

Work on the trailer park stopped around that same time, as well as work on the hardstand, which is only half complete.

The Nelson Weekly understands that the work shutdown is due to a change in council strategy which threw out much of the designs that had been agreed upon with a group of local boaties, who came on board more than two years ago.

Instead council has enlisted consultants to redo much of that work.

Since last April the bill for those consultants has ballooned into the tens of thousands of dollars. In 2015, council also spent $50,000 to develop the strategy plan through SLR Consulting.

The strategy looked at the purpose the marina fulfils for the community and council, its development and management options, informing its direction for the next 10 years.

Boaties spoken to by the Nelson Weekly expressed a dismay at the slow progress of the plan.

It is sentiment echoed by councillor Pete Rainey, who is chair of the council’s central city working group that is dedicated to tackling issues that need a particular focus.

“In my experience being in council, there has been countless strategies, proposals, reports and consultant reports, all of which appear to have led to not much progress, which is disappointing.”

However, Pete says that he will doing all he can to progress the plans.

“I can say there is a genuine wish to get the hardstand issue sorted as soon as possible. For the trailer park, it is in council’s sights to try and progress that.”

He says one of the real issues is the mix of commercial opportunities, recreational requirements and building pressures from private boat owners to have a berth in the marina.

“It is all growing which is great because we are a city beside the sea, however, there are huge constraints of available land.”

Council’s group manager for community services, Roger Ball, says the trailer park will be sealed next year and the hardstand issue has been one with consents and “ensuring that the design will result in the right outcome”.

The plan is to have consent applied for in December, with work completed by June next year.

Work at the trailer storage area has not started as it is waiting on confirmation of the hardstand project.

A full report on the marina situation is going to council in two weeks’ time.