Making the case for infrastructure investment - Kōpū Marine Precinct

Rationale is currently working alongside Thames-Coromandel District Council, assisting in the development a detailed business case for the Kōpū Marine Precinct. The project recently received $270,000 from the Provincial Growth Fund in December 2018 following a feasibility study written by Rationale.

Kōpū is situated between the major ports of Auckland and Tauranga and well placed to service the marine farms of the Hauraki gulf and its outer islands. It has the potential to be a hub for marine maintenance, freight and transport as well as providing tourism connections and much needed emergency services.

The existing haul-out slipway at Kōpū is simple and is constructed from earth, which makes working on the ramp difficult and exposes it to bad weather. The vessel laydown and parking areas are unsealed and there are currently no facilities for users onsite.

Businesses in Kōpū currently rely on a mix of creativity and kiwi ingenuity to operate their businesses, managing to haul-out and launch vessels of up to 100 tonne for maintenance. Other uses of the facilities include aggregate supply to the islands and Auckland; freight transport of transportable houses, livestock, machinery and forestry, launch of the Coastguard; and some commercial fishing operations.

Rationale is working with coastal engineering specialists, Urban Solutions, to understand the demand for an improved facility and create a range of options to test against the project’s objectives. Using the Better Business Case framework the team is looking to determine what the best outcomes are, and how increased investment in Kōpū’s marine infrastructure can deliver benefits to the community, businesses, iwi and the public.

As with any project, engagement is a critically important component of the process. Rationale have been working with the team from Thames-Coromandel District Council to hold stakeholder workshops to engage with the community and grow the understanding of the project.

The Kōpū Marine Precinct fits within the Productivity Plan; a larger body of work Rationale are assisting Thames-Coromandel District Council with. The Productivity Plan identifies how the Council’s Economic Development Strategy can be effectively delivered. The plan is focused on high value opportunities in five targeted workstreams:

  1. Land Use
  2. Land Productivity
  3. Connected Journeys
  4. Destination Management and Tourism
  5. Aquaculture

The Kōpū business case fits within the Aquaculture workstream.

The Detailed Business Case for the Kōpū Marine Precinct is to be completed by June 2019 – more to come soon.