Response by Far North Holdings to misinformation circulated on social media:
- Far North Holdings cautions the residents of Opua against relying on the rumour mill, both on and off social media, for accurate information about the company and its activities. We are happy to answer any queries directly, through any of the multiple communication channels we operate, and will always endeavour to do so speedily and accurately.
- Opua Wharf remains open to public access and Far North Holdings has no plans to prevent members of the public from accessing the wharf.
- The inner marina has had controlled access for many years for safety and security reasons. Access to the new pontoon will also be controlled for the same reasons.
- There remains, and will remain, a section of over 110m south of the new pontoon which is accessible for fishing.
- Far North Holdings is responsible for all health and safety on the wharf. Under health and safety legislation the company and its directors are liable for certain injuries on the wharf. Far North Holdings is a Council-owned company so we would expect ratepayers to insist that we comply with health and safety obligations, and support our efforts to do so.
- The wharf is owned by Far North Holdings and we look after it on behalf of ratepayers. The activities on the wharf are provided for by Consent issued by Northland Regional Council. There are two public berths allocated.
- As with all ratepayer assets we own, we try to strike a reasonable balance between commercial and recreational demands.
- The wharf has always been a commercial wharf and there have always been limits to what the general public can do on it. It was not built for recreational fishing, but as far as we are concerned this will always be provided for as long as it does not impede commercial activities.
- These commercial activities pay for the maintenance and upkeep of the wharf – Opua ratepayers do not pay a cent towards this.
- Along with the new and improved facilities at the marina we hope that the pontoon will become another drawcard that enables the local community to make better use of, and get improved enjoyment from, the Opua waterfront. It will extend the way in which the Opua community is able to use the wharf. Far North Holdings intends for it to become another venue option for Opua community events and initiatives of all sizes.
- The pontoon will also help develop Opua’s reputation as one of the South Pacific’s leading marine service hubs, with all the attendant employment, wealth creation and social benefits.
- We are confident that Opua residents and marine service businesses will derive significant enjoyment and benefit from the new Opua Wharf pontoon, and that it will meet with the same levels of general community approval as our multiple award-winning Bay of Islands Marina, the Russell Wharf renovation and upgrade, and the Bay of Islands Airport upgrade.
About Far North Holdings Ltd
Far North Holdings Limited (FNHL) is responsible for managing and operating the commercial activities of the Far North District Council. These include Port Opua, Bay of Islands Marina, Kaitaia and Bay of Islands Airports, Paihia Maritime Buildings and Paihia Wharf, Williams Road Car Park and the Kaitaia Education Campus.
FNHL’s mandate includes the support and development of economic activity in the Far North.
Since 2005 all of FNHL’s trading surplus has either been distributed to the Far North District Council or reinvested in property and infrastructure within the Far North District. The Far North District Council estimates that without this financial contribution general rates would have been approximately four percent a year higher, each year, over this period.