Rubbish angers fishing boss

By Roger Moroney

Ahuriri's West Quay seafront has become an unofficial dumping ground which has left a fishing company boss and boat skippers fuming.

While there are plans to try and prevent the dumping of household rubbish in the large bins supplied to and paid for by Hawke's Bay Seafoods, managing director Nino D'Esposito said he will believe it when he sees it.

He said there was talk about providing bins with locking lids a year ago and he was told on June 4 they were to be introduced "in the near future".

"We're still waiting - and we can't use the ones we have because they're all full of rubbish people go and dump there."

A check on the three large bins placed along West Quay yesterday revealed two were overflowing with domestic rubbish and the third was half full.

One contained a discarded television, radio, suitcase, clothing, magazines and shopping bags stuffed with household rubbish. Beside one of the bins was an old mattress and sofa.

"It's just disgusting," Mr D'Esposito said. "And it's been like this for so long."

He said the bins had been placed there as part of the services for which he paid $40,000 a year in berthage fees.

They are for the use of the crews of the dozen boats he operates out of the port.

"But we can't because they're always full of rubbish people bring to dump here."

Mr D'Esposito said along with the usual weekend refuse of discarded bottles and food wrappings along the West Quay and nearby Lever St, the dumping was "not a good look" for the city's much-vaunted seafront suburb.

Napier City Council property manager Bryan Faulknor said he was aware of the dumping issue and said plans were being put together to provide new bins with locking lids for which only the boat crews would have keys.

They are scheduled to be put in place on August 5.

Mr D'Esposito had a second issue with the council: "There is not enough power provided for the boats along there."

The power supply was not enough for larger trawlers to run their freezers overnight and that meant running auxiliary engines to power them.

Mr D'Esposito said that had resulted in residents of West Quay townhouses complaining of the constant hum of engines.

"Our port charges have been going up 10 per cent a year but we're not getting anything extra for it - it's not right."

Mr Faulknor said it was not feasible to provide an unlimited power supply along the quay as it would require "massive changes and costs".

He said the situation had been looked at but it was not practicable to carry out.

The power problem affected only the larger boats, Mr Faulknor said, adding that the quayside was a "working wharf" and some boats would have to use auxiliary power supplies.

Mr D'Esposito said his company brought millions of dollars into the region and provided 100 jobs, "yet we get nothing".

- Hawkes Bay Today

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