Time limit put on staying overnight at Riverton wharf

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THE Riverton Harbour Subcommittee has decided people will no longer be able to stay aboard vessels moored at the Riverton wharf for more than five nights.

The decision was made at the Riverton Community Board meeting on Monday.

Environment Southland (ES) advised the Southland District Council (SDC) in March the SDC could be in breach of resource consent regulations if people were living permanently aboard vessels berthed at the Riverton wharf.

However, it was decided at the sub-committee’s March meeting to delay the decision of how many consecutive nights constituted persons living aboard vessels.

The delay enabled subcommittee members to seek more information on the matter and consult other ports and harbours.

SDC property asset management officer Colin Pemberton recommended the sub-committee adopt the five-night maximum in a report dated July 19.

At Monday’s sub-committee meeting, Riverton Community Board chairman Blair Stewart said the five-night maximum was appropriate.

Anything shorter might deter some people staying longer to avoid rough weather at sea, because they might need to pay additional accommodation costs, he said.

Obviously an exception would also have to be made for boat-owners whose vessels needed repairs before they could return to sea, he said.

SDC strategic property manager Kevin McNaught said he didn’t think there was any link between the original ES report to the SDC and people actually living aboard boats at Riverton.

“People sailing around might stay one night or a couple of days, but that’s all,” he said.

Mr Pemberton said the main concern was the risk that vessels without adequate holding tanks for both grey-water and sewage could pollute the harbour if people were living aboard them long-term.

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