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Aquaculture Venture with China Moves Forward

NEW ZEALAND - Plans for a joint New Zealand Chinese mussel farm off the coast of Opotiki have moved forward.

The Whakatohea Maori Trust Board has voted to approve plans by the Opotiki District Council for Oriental Ocean to look into broader opportunities for sea farming in the region, accropding to Radio New Zealand.

The district council is at the head of a project to transform 3,800 hectares of open sea into an aquaculture venture.

The trust board's annual meeting backed the council proposals for re-development of the harbour entrance and is inviting Oriental Ocean engineers and technicians to come to Opotiki for exploratory work.

Radio NZ said the trust board chief executive Watene Horsfall believes aquaculture's potential for economic regeneration warrants further investigation.

A public consultation period is underway and the district council has enlisted Australian consultants SGL Group to carry out a preliminary study of funding options for NZ$30 - NZ$40 million worth of harbour works.

View the Radio New Zealand story by clicking here.