Contractors have been ordered to stop work at a Russell property where earthworks are underway and a stream is being culverted.

The development is taking place at Uruti Bay, also known as Pomare Bay, between Russell township and Orongo Bay.

The property owners have a consent to build a jetty extending across tidal mudflats to deeper water, but not for land-based work including laying concrete pipes to culvert a roughly 100m stretch of stream.

Northland Regional Council coastal consents manager Paul Maxwell said the property owners applied in March to replace an existing jetty with a 33m-long piled jetty with a gangway and pontoon.


The application was sent to hapu and iwi for comment but the council had no record of a response. The jetty was approved in June on a non-notified basis after affected parties gave their approval.

There was no mention in the application of land-based activities.

The project includes building a 33m jetty, which has a consent, with a gangway and pontoon. Photo / Supplied
The project includes building a 33m jetty, which has a consent, with a gangway and pontoon. Photo / Supplied

The land-based work, which involved clearing vegetation and installing a culvert, was now being investigated by the council's monitoring department, Mr Maxwell said.

"The contractor undertaking the works has been required to cease further works until the investigation has been concluded. If as a result of the investigation, resource consents for the activities are found to be required, then appropriate enforcement action will be undertaken," Mr Maxwell said.

The property owners had lodged a separate application for dredging the area next to the pontoon. Assessment of that application, which had only recently been received, would include potential effects on pipi beds in the area.

Deb Rewiri, of the Kororareka Marae Society, said there had been no consultation from the regional or district councils about the development, and she was dismayed the jetty application had "snuck through". The jetty crossed a pipi bed which was one of the few places locals could still access the shellfish, she said.

Heritage NZ also contacted the property owners after it was notified of the earthworks by a member of the public.

Northland manager Bill Edwards said the owners had agreed to stop work and have the property assessed to see if any archaeological values could be affected. An assessment had been carried out at the property before, but not at the site of the current development.

The property is owned by Brent and Victoria McKeogh, who own sports and surf gear companies Platino Imports and Platino Surf. Mr McKeogh did not want to comment when contacted yesterday.