Following discussion at its Environment Committee meeting on Thursday 28 November, about boat launching at Delaware /Wakapuaka Estuary, Council will seek further information and talk to iwi partners and the community.

The matter will return to the Committee on 5 March 2020.

Delaware/Wakapuaka Estuary is environmentally and culturally sensitive.

It has become a popular boat launching site for the local fishing and boating community because of its comparative safety and ease of access to fishing grounds.

Under the Nelson Resource Management Plan, driving vehicles on the foreshore (other than at a defined boat launching site) needs a resource consent. Delaware/Wakapuaka Estuary is not one of these defined sites.

Vehicle access for boat launching at Delaware/Wakapuaka Estuary has been the subject of a two-year period of engagement between Nelson City Council, Iwi, the Harbourmaster, residents of Delaware/Wakapuaka Bay and the boating and fishing community.
Authorised boat ramps are available at Monaco, the Nelson Marina or Cable Bay. 

Kayaks and other vessels able to be launched on foot from the foreshore are not affected.

During this period Council officers will undertake appropriate compliance activity and provide information about the area, its environmental and cultural values, and the impacts of vehicles on the estuary.
In 2017, Council commissioned a study into the impacts of vehicles driving across the foreshore at Delaware Bay,which concluded that vehicle traffic across the estuary had contributed to the disturbance of eelgrass (Zostera muelleri) beds, impacted on the ecosystem and caused sea bed compaction in the high vehicle traffic area.