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TDC changes tack on Mapua wharf development

August 13th, 2014
[by David Armstrong]

Tasman District Council have backtracked on funding for the Mapua wharf development, partly due to the outcry from Motueka people that the Port Motueka Port Endowment Fund was to be raided for that purpose.

TDC put out a press release last Friday announcing that the development of the old aquarium site in Mapua has been given the go-ahead starting early next year, but with a different funding model.

A purpose-built, five-unit commercial building will be constructed on the footprint of the previous building. The land is owned by TDC and they were seeking a solution that would provide both a solid financial return and allow council to ensure the business locating to the area were complementary to existing businesses.

In the 2014-15 Annual Plan it was proposed that the shortfall in the approximately $1.1 million required, after $390,000 fire insurance proceeds, would come from the Port Motueka Endowment Fund.

As this news was absorbed by the district, many Motueka ratepayers who were familiar with the port endowment fund complained loudly that the fund's money should be retained for use in Motueka, where it was first raised. (See our earlier story.)

Council said the funding for the build will be provided in part by the $390,000 insurance proceeds the Council will receive following the fire at the old library site in Takaka. "The rest of the project will be debt funded within a closed account and will not require any further support from rates or other Council monies."

"The ability of the development to support itself was a key factor in its commercial viability. With the indicative costings and acceptable returns this is a very real proposition," the press release said.

In other words, a closed account will be set up to borrow money for the project, and the interest and capital repayment will be paid from commercial profits by leaseholders.

Council is showing that it does indeed listen.


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