Trevor and Annette Davidson from New Zealand Premium Aquaculture have had their hopes to build a kingfish farm in Katikati thwarted after the Environment Court denied their application.
Judge Jeff Smith denied the application to create a fish farm in Pukekura Road, supporting the appellants’ objections based on noise, loss of versatile soils and light pollution.
Trevor and Annette Davidson are not giving up on building a fish farm.
Trevor says he is absolutely gutted after spending more than $100,000 on the project to date.
“Here’s something that is good for the region and good for the country. If the country wants to get ahead we have to sell products - and food is one of our best options.
“So why don’t we make this happen? There are a lot of people saying why not just pack up and move to Australia.” says Trevor.
Trevor and Annette were planning to build a fish farm on a former avocado and kiwifruit orchard in Pukekura Road. The farm would house up to a million fish and harvest an estimated 10 tonnes per week.
The land consent was approved by the Western Bay of Plenty District Council but residents in the area lodged an appeal with the Environment Court against the project.
An Environment Court hearing in Tauranga began on Tuesday, June 28 with the judge going away to consider the case on June 28.
The judgement was returned last Thursday.
“Maybe I’m a bit one eyed. I think the country should be doing these things,” says Trevor.
“There is a lot of talk about creating jobs and industry but few people are actually doing anything about it. Like one guy said if they won’t get behind this they might as well go to Oz and that’s pretty sad.”
The Davidsons have had a number of offers of support and are assessing their options.
“We’re getting back into it this week with the support of people who should’ve been supporting this from the beginning.
“Some are from New Zealand and others are representing foreign interests. Hopefully we can make it happen here,” says Trevor.
The Davidsons spent more than $100,000 on the proposed fish farm on completing various reports such as an acoustic survey, and on council fees and associated court costs.