• Media release

07 Sep 2023

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As the summer season approaches, Southland District Council has been forced to put restrictions in place for Ulva Island Te Wharawhara wharf.

The present wharf in Post Office Cove is at the end of its functional life, so must either be replaced or removed. Council has previously advised the wharf replacement is in doubt due to increasing uncertainty about initial agreements with the Department of Conservation.

Manager community facilities Mark Day said while council staff have continued to engage with DOC staff, they are no closer to any agreement on the issues which need to be resolved before a new wharf can be installed.

With the new season starting shortly, Council staff, the Stewart Island Rakiura Community Board and the harbour master have agreed the wharf will be available.

“However, to make sure that the wharf is not unnecessarily damaged during this time we need to impose some restrictions on its use,” Mr Day said.

The restrictions are:

  • A 10-minute limit on vessels parked at the wharf
  • A 3-knot maximum speed limit approaching the wharf
  • A maximum vessel displacement of eight tonnes
  • A wind speed threshold of + 10 knots restriction on parking at the wharf

The restrictions will come into force on 1 October 2023.

Key stakeholders, such as the tour operators and the island jetties committee, have been directly informed and a community meeting will be held on Stewart Island Rakiura tomorrow to discuss the restrictions.

Furthermore, a report will be presented to Council seeking a decision on whether or not the wharf will be replaced later this month. Regardless of the outcome of the decision, the Ulva Island wharf will be closed and no longer available for use at the end of this coming tourist season.

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