The blocked outlet of Hooper’s Inlet has been an issue on the Peninsula for some time now. The issue has been one that has frustrated local residents as the responsibility for its management is volleyed between the Otago Regional Council and the Dunedin City Council. Both local authorities seem hamstrung between their own responsibilities, policy and legislative requirements and a fundamental lack of funding to undertake the work.
The issue of responsibility for opening the inlet seems set to continue if both organisations can’t escape their fear of “precedence” that will bind them to the continued financial management of the inlet in the future. However, that argument seems shallow when compared to the actual number of times physical works to open the channel has been required over the last 25 years. What is certain though is that the road and property assets of the Peninsula are effected by the choking of the channel, which creates difficulties and stresses for many local people. These issues may become more pronounced as we move towards winter. Other concerns also arise in terms of the recreational, water quality, biodiversity and scenic qualities of the inlet if the current situation continues. All of these factors affect our quality of life and that of our environment.
Funding for the clearance of the channel is at present the most obvious constraint for the Otago Regional Council. The Peninsula community must send a clear message to the Council that this issue needs resolving. Otherwise a simple problem may develop more complex and costly implications if it is not dealt with effectively and meaningfully. Annual Plan submissions for the Otago Regional Council close by 5pm on Friday 3 May 2013, and residents should take the time to voice the needs of their community over the Hooper’s Inlet issue.
You can email, fax or post your submission to;
Post: Draft Annual Plan Otago Regional Council Private Bag 1954, Dunedin 9054
Fax: (03) 479-0015
The forms for submission can be downloaded below.