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Proposed man-made islands would take over Dunedin's main windsurfing area

The upper Otago Harbour could become home to a series of man-made islands - one as large as 30ha - if a Dunedin group gets its way.

Harbour Restoration Group member Peter Hayden said the organisation had been "galvanised into action" after sitting through Otago Regional Council hearings on Port Otago's application to dredge material from the lower Otago Harbour.

He said the group, which includes members of fisheries, wildlife, ecological and recreational organisations, believed the fine material dredged from the harbour could be used to build a "necklace" of small islands up to 100m in diameter at the Portsmouth Dr end of the harbour, and a much larger 30ha island near Ravensbourne or Macandrew Bay.

The proposal was not an original idea. Mr Hayden said it came from a study by the Dunedin City Council, Port Otago, the University of Otago and the Otago Polytechnic in 1991, which was aimed at creating a vision for the future of Dunedin.

The concept was dredged up again after finding favour with the Harbour Restoration Group.

Mr Hayden said it was still early days and everything was hypothetical, but the man-made islands could create a tremendous asset for the city and boost the harbour's ecosystems.

The larger island could be planted out to support wildlife, while the smaller islands could be used for recreational fishing.
A series of bridges between the islands could also give access for walkers.

The islands could be positioned to create a windbreak for rowers on one side of the harbour, and more windy areas for kite surfers, wind surfers and sailors in other parts of the harbour.

Reprinted from ODT: - view full article for more including artists interpretation of the positioning.

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