Kōpū Marine Precinct Development

Client Name
Urban Solutions (For Thames-Coromandel District Council)
Kōpū, New Zealand
  • Climate resilience planning & design
  • Ecology
  • Planning
  • Landscape architecture


A new Marine Precinct development at Kōpū was designed to include a commercial slipway (haul out facility), recreational boat ramp and associated parking, and a commercial wharf/pontoon to provide for in-water marine servicing and the loading and unloading of marine farming vessels. Developing the new Marine Precinct involved swale installation, culvert replacement, sub-tidal excavation/earthworks and earthworks within a wetland area, which required various technical disciplines to support the project. The project was technically challenging, requiring adherence to the National Environmental Standards for Freshwater (NES-FW), the Waikato Regional Plan, the Waikato Regional Coastal Plan and the Thames-Coromandel District Plan.


4Sight (now SLR) was initially engaged to manage and prepare the resource consent as well as the coastal processes, landscape and ecological assessments. Our Ecology team carried out an Assessment of Environmental Effects (AEE) to support the consent application, which involved providing an assessment of the ecological values within the site and any effects associated with the construction process and day-to-day operations, including to avifauna, freshwater, terrestrial, wetland and marine habitats. Assessments were also provided for water quality, disturbance and vegetation removal. The impact on fauna was considered including wading and shorebirds, fish, marine invertebrates and marine mammals. Furthermore, our Ecologists developed a pest management plan and planting plan of estuarine wetland vegetation, selecting species to create foraging and nesting habitats for indigenous bird species, including banded rails. Our Environmental Services team were also involved to carry out terrestrial and marine soil contamination sampling. Our project team embraced the challenge and worked tirelessly under tight timeframes to ensure the success of the project, which gained consent in March 2022 under the Covid-19 Recovery (Fast-Track Consenting) Act 2020.

Further support has been provided in 2023 by our coastal specialists through the development of an Adaptive Management Plan (AMP) associated with a condition of the Fast-Track consent. The purpose of the AMP is to ensure climate resilience is incorporated into the design and operation, and to demonstrate ongoing mitigation of adverse effects of water level (tidal and flood) on the marine facility.

Being able to provide our client with all aspects of environmental management through our range of technical services enabled a collaborative approach to problem solving, in particular when challenges arose in the legislative environment, most notably the NES-FW.


Located adjacent to the Marine Services Zone at Kōpū, the project will provide for the ongoing growth and economic success of the Marine Servicing industry, both in Kōpū and across the wider area, and will enhance access and opportunities for the aquaculture industry.

Image courtesy of Skyspy Photographer Shane Simpson