Jetty to be replaced

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PLANS to replace the ageing wooden jetty at the Ulva Island bird sanctuary, Stewart Island, have taken a major step forward.
The subcommittee overseeing the project has been granted $80,000 in the latest round of Stewart Island/Rakiura visitor levy fund allocations, and final plans have been received from the design company.
Southland district councillor Bruce Ford, who represents the island and chairs the council’s Stewart Island jetties subcommittee, said the subcommittee usually met only three times a year, but a special meeting had been scheduled next month to progress the project.
The 270ha Ulva Island lies within Paterson Inlet, a short boat ride from Stewart Island. It is managed by the Department of Conservation and visited by an estimated 25,000 people annually.
Cr Ford said the new jetty would be wooden and similar in design to the jetty at Port William, Stewart Island, rebuilt last year.
The visitor levy grant was ‘‘just delightful’’, he said.
‘‘We really needed this money, otherwise we would have come to the point when the jetty had to close for safety reasons, and that point was getting close.’’
However, even with the grant and an earlier amount of $20,000 towards design costs, the subcommittee still did not have enough money to begin construction.
Cr Ford said it could be another year before all the money was raised, and it was hoped construction would take place in early 2018.
The final cost was not known, but he said he would not be surprised if it reached $200,000.
The subcommittee also received a grant of $6624 from the visitor levy fund towards maintenance costs at the Millars Beach wharf.
Other grants: Stewart Island/ Rakiura Community Environmental Trust ($4800), Stewart Island/Rakiura Community Board ($60,000), Stewart Island Promotion Association ($2000), Stewart Island Community Centre ($1375).

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