By MATTHEW MCKEW
A digger spotted dredging Shotover River in Queenstown’s Tucker Beach area recently was removing silt to keep KJet boats from being grounded.
The work, consented by Otago Regional Council, was carried out by KJet – owner Shaun Kelly says it’s a regular part of maintaining a safe passage for the boats.
“It’s just a safety issue, we raised it with ORC and said we needed to change a channel in that area to make it two options, instead of just one, because the river is running quite low, and we were given the okay for that.”
He says the second option allows the boats to pass private boats heading in the opposite direction safely.
“We regularly do this over the winter or different times of the year.
“A lot of it is because of the silt movement and the gravel extractions further down.”
ORC confirms it gave the go-ahead – works are “intended to increase the flow and volume of water in the channel to make it safer and easier to navigate”, a spokesman says.