The Marlborough Sounds are getting Smart Services

posted Nov 4, 2019, 2:27 PM by Phil Cox

Creative is working with Marlborough District Council on a project which sees the Marlborough Sounds connected for Smart Services, benefiting the council, marine farmers, boaties, visitors and the environment.

Marlborough District Council’s Smart Services initiative was one of five top of South marine-linked projects announced for Provincial Growth Funding (PGF) just before Easter. The PGF provided $99,000 towards a Business Case to have sensors attached to all Sounds-based marine farms and other marine sites, with data transported to Marlborough District Council for a detailed range of services including environmental management and better marine farm monitoring and productivity. Creative was instrumental in bringing the Business Case together and will play a leading part in tis delivery.

“As the regulator of aquaculture in Marlborough, Council needs reliable data to make informed decisions about resource consents and environmental management,” says MDC’s CIO Stacey Young. “Smart Services will provide such data which currently is lacking in the coastal environment.”

Mayor John Leggett says “virtually everyone in Marlborough will gain because most residents visit the Sounds or benefit from them”.

“While a key focus is on connecting marine farms to Smart Services, our Harbourmaster is also looking to deliver improved navigational data for Cruise Liners, ferries, other visiting vessels, and boaties, as well as providing better surveillance and monitoring. DOC is also supportive so it can better monitor Sounds visitors, particularly in well-used areas like Queen Charlotte Track and help monitor its species and pest management programmes.

The Council has contributed $150,000 from reserves to the project. This is helping bring together the Business Case for a wider application to the PGF for delivery funding and Council is looking for contributions from marine farmers and others who will benefit from having Smart Services across the Sounds.

Council plans to complete its Business Case and an associated Request for Proposal to potential Smart Services suppliers in June and providing overall funding is confirmed, to have the 1st phase of Smart Services operational by August 2020.

Government MP Mark Patterson and MDC CIO Stacey Young at the launch of Smart Services.