Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Cable-laying proposal in Blueskin Bay

Cable-laying proposal in Blueskin Bay

Chorus (a division of Telecom New Zealand Limited) wishes to advise
residents adjacent to the Waitati Inlet of the following investigation
in your area:

PROPOSAL BY CHORUS TO INSTALL A NEW FIBRE OPTIC CABLE FOR
TELECOMMUNICATION PURPOSES FROM WAITATI TO WARRINGTON, VIA WAITATI INLET

Telecommunication services are currently provided to Warrington
residents via three copper cables buried across the Waitati Inlet.
These were laid in 1956, 1974 and 1979 respectively.

Chorus is investigating a proposal to lay a new 24-fibre optic cable
to replace the copper feeder cables from Waitati to Warrington, via
Waitati Inlet. This is necessary as the existing copper cables are
nearing the end of their functional life and there is the risk of the
cables failing in the near future.

The fibre optic cable is a more recent and more robust technology. It
will improve telecommunication services to residents of Warrington and
maintain a reliable service to the area.

Alternatives to locating the fibre optic cable in Waitati Inlet, such
as radio link and installing the cable within the road reserve have
been investigated. Radio link is not practical for the services
proposed and installing the cable within the road reserve poses
significant risks for the long term integrity of the cable and also
the risk of damage to the road due to the geology of the area. A route
across the inlet
is deemed the most feasible for a new fibre optic cable between
Waitati and Warrington.

To install the fibre optic cable requires the use of machinery in
Waitati Inlet. The cable is proposed to be laid using a mole plough
towed by a bulldozer. An excavator to determine ground conditions
would also be required and additional machinery may be required as
back-up in case of machinery failure.

The laying of the cable should take no longer than 5 days, allowing
for tidal movements to be considered.

The Waitati Inlet comprises part of the East Otago Taiapure, and
commercial cockle harvesting also occurs within the Inlet. Chorus has
met with these parties to discuss the proposal and consultation with
these parties will continue as the project progresses.

To determine the most appropriate route across the Inlet and what
potential and actual effects the cable laying across the Inlet may
have on the estuarine environment, some survey work will be undertaken
within the next month by qualified ecologists. Once this survey work
is completed, a public meeting will be organised to discuss the
project and the findings of the ecological assessment with
the community. All are welcome to attend and the meeting details will
be advised in due course.

The works proposed require resource consent from the Otago Regional
Council for a Discretionary and Restricted Coastal Activity. Such
consents will only be applied for once the ecological assessment is
complete, and consultation with the local community is undertaken.

Chorus (via its agents) are also liaising with the Department of
Conservation to establish what their interests are in the Waitati
Inlet and any requirements to seek approval from the Department of
Conservation as part of the consent process
Should you have any questions regarding the proposed project and
information provided, please direct your queries to:

Geoff Austin –Chorus
03 353 3007 (extn 38007)
geoff.austin@chorus.co.nz

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