Rich-lister throws his weight behind appeal

FINANCIAL MUSCLE: United Fisheries owner Kypros Kotzikas is backing the Yaldhurst residents appeal against Road Metals quarry expansion.

Fishing magnate Kypros Kotzikas is digging into his pockets to stop the controversial quarry in Yaldhurst.

Mr Kotzikas, who is on the rich list with an estimated wealth of $80m, will help fund an appeal against Road Metals quarry expansion in the area.

The United Fisheries owner lives about 2km from the quarry.

Yaldhurst residents lost their battle to stop the quarry from coming within 100m of houses last month.

The expansion was granted by an Environment Canterbury and city council appointed hearings panel.

Residents fighting the quarry under the banner Yaldhurst Environment Group – Hau Ora Inc says it filed an appeal in the Environment Court. It is expected to cost about $100,000.

The group’s chairwoman Soraya Nicholas said the appeal was filed yesterday. They originally intended to file it last week, but was delayed due to administrative hold ups.

She met with Mr Kotzikas at the end of last month.

“He was a bit shocked at how some of the quarries have been creeping closer towards everyone.

“He was really angry and surprised at what the city council and ECan have allowed to go ahead,” Ms Nicholas said.

Mr Kotzikas is part of 24 households sharing the cost of the appeal.

“I think we can comfortably cover the costs. Obviously we hope some of our higher profile supporters will be able to help with any shortfall,” Ms Nicholas said.

Mr Kotzikas arrived in Christchurch in 1962 from Cyprus as an 18-year-old and worked at a fish and chip shop in Aranui before going into wholesale fisheries.

Another “high-profile” businessman had indicated he would support the Yaldhurst residents’ appeal, but Ms Nicholas said she could not say who he was until his support was confirmed.