The mud and weed troubled Clive River's future is up in the air, with the council putting its planned dredging on the backburner because of environmental concerns.
Hawke's Bay Regional Council told a recent public meeting it would look to find a better way of clearing the river, which it had rescheduled to take place in 2021.
The last time the river was dredged, normally a 10-yearly job, was in 2007.
"It's definitely not the news that we wanted to bring," Hawke's Bay Regional Council manager of regional projects Martina Groves said.
"If I could I would be in there tomorrow [dredging] it myself but we have to do it right and that is taking time."
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The early 2020 dredging would have taken the discharge from the river out to the coast.
But both council and local iwi were concerned about the potential effect of this on the local seascape, the meeting was told.
Other options had been considered, including looked at moving the discharge further out to sea where it would have minimal to no impact, or move it to a land discharge further away.
Both options are considered to be high cost and unachievable, Groves said.
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HBRC is now looking at making a land discharge near to the dredging site.
To do this it is looking to purchase a small block of land along the Clive River owned by Hohepa, Groves said.
The council originally hoped to lease the land to begin the process, but Hohepa wanted to sell the land first before moving forward.
Groves also said that due to this delay the company performing the dredging had rescheduled, furthering the delay of the process.
"We want to do it right so that is why we are here with the locals getting their views on the matter as well as dealing with scientists, overseas practices and other experts to find the appropriate solution to the problem," Groves said.
"This river is a huge part of the community."
Jim and Marie Edwards said it was something they were dreading to hear.
They run the educational waka, called Nga Tukemata o Kahungunu, and run it up and down the river and is also the only fully carved war waka used regularly in New Zealand.
It was planned to get the waka back in the water by March to catch the end of the cruise season after the dredging was done, but that has been cut short as they face another year on shore.
"It is disappointing to have to wait once again because in the end it is starting to make an impact because we use it as an educational tool which other regions also want to make use of it but this is our home so we don't want to make that decision," Jim Edwards said.
He did say that the fact the Regional Council called the meeting was a sign that it was willing to hear the locals out.
"It is something that bothers a lot of people around here and to have them keep us up to date and voice our opinion was good."