Archive | Hauraki Gulf

Council resumes control of Motukorea Browns Island

Auckland Council said yesterday it was taking back the administration & management of Motukorea Browns Island from DOC (the Department of Conservation) after agreement with the Government.

Environment & community committee chair Penny Hulse said the switch was important for Auckland: “The 60ha island is one of the least modified & best preserved volcanic cones in the Auckland area, and the nearest island in the Hauraki Gulf to the Auckland isthmus.

“DOC has managed the island for the past 26 years, and I want to acknowledge the great work DOC staff have done to protect the island. The new agreement means the council can restore its administering body powers, allowing Auckland to determine the future vision & management direction of the island.”

Ngati Tamatera sold the island in 1840 to Sir John Logan Campbell & business partner William Brown and it effectively stayed in private hands until 1955, when business leader Sir Ernest Davis gifted it to Auckland City.

The old city council transferred administration & management to the Hauraki Gulf Maritime Park Board when the Government created the board in 1968. When the board was abolished in 1990, management passed to DOC.

Auckland Council intends to keep the island in the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park, and to integrate management with other reserves & islands in the inner Hauraki Gulf to protect & enhance the values associated with the island.

Waitemata & Gulf ward councillor Mike Lee said the council should take one step further than acquiring management control: “Motukorea Browns Island should be our next regional park,” he said.

Attribution: Council release.

Continue Reading

Multi-tenant Oneroa building & 2 apartments sell at auction

An Oneroa building occupied by near-beachfront cafés & restaurants was sold at Bayleys’ auction on Wednesday.

Also sold were 2 apartments in Westminster Court, across the street from the High Court, and Northridge in Parnell.

CBD

Learning Quarter

Westminster Court, 5 Parliament St, unit 1A:
Features: 2-bedroom apartment, storage, parking space
Outgoings: rates $1798/year including gst; body corp levy $5042/year
Outcome: sold for $840,000
Agents: Diane Jackson & Julie Prince

Hauraki Gulf islands

Waiheke, Oneroa

153 Oceanview Rd:
Features: 1087m² site, 470m² split-level building
Rent: $231,300/year net from 6 tenancies
Outcome: sold for $5.65 million
Agent: Simon Smith & Cathy Cameron

Isthmus east

Parnell

Northridge, 28 Stanwell St, unit 2A:
Features: m², one-bedroom apartment reconfigured from 2 bedrooms, deck, 2 parking spaces
Outgoings: rates $2322/year including gst; body corp levy $8019/year
Outcome: sold for $775,000
Agents: Diane Jackson & Julie Prince

North-west

Henderson

50 Takapu St, unit 1:
Features: 2 bedrooms, deck, internal-access garage
Outcome: passed in at $650,000
Agents: Christopher Valladares & Michelle Hicks

Attribution: Auction.

Continue Reading

Mair unveils designs for Kennedy Pt marina on Waiheke

Kennedy Point Boatharbour Ltd (Tony Mair) released preliminary conceptual design plans today for a marina of about 200 berths it proposes to build at Kennedy Point in Putiki Bay, on the south-west side of Waiheke Island.

His proposal comes 4 months after the liquidation of Graham Guthrie’s company Waiheke Marinas Ltd. Mr Guthrie battled for 5 years to get approval for a marina at Matiatia, which the Environment Court rejected in December.

Longtime marina developer Mr Mair said he & his consultants were conferring with interested parties on the concept designs and preparing an application for resource consent: “The plans have been developed to minimise the impact to the proposed site and to offer benefits to the Waiheke boating community.”

He said it wouldn’t require any dredging to create a marina basin as the water was already deep enough, and no regular maintenance dredging would be needed due to the flushing benefits of the proposed breakwater design and the natural depths within the basin.

In a first for New Zealand, an 80-car parking structure would be built on large floating concrete pontoons, and stormwater runoff would be managed through a treatment & filtration system. The carpark structure would be manufactured offsite, then towed into position to minimise effects of construction and avoid the need for reclamation.

Mr Mair said the design would also not affect the intertidal zone, as the floating structures would be at least 100m away from the foreshore, allowing existing water-based activities to continue without impact.

The marina would be adjacent to the existing rock breakwater, which currently protects commercial vehicular ferries.

All materials for the project – including the rock for the breakwaters, the floating marina piers & piles, and concrete carpark pontoons – would be brought in by barge to minimise noise & local disruptions. The marina office, storage, visitor facilities & proposed clubrooms would also be floating, a technique used at the Orakei marina in Okahu Bay.

Kennedy Point Boatharbour Limited has signed a consultation agreement with Ngati Paoa Group Holdings Ltd, acknowledging the iwi’s cultural & historical association with Waiheke Island.

Mr Mair has been involved in the completion of 17 marinas in New Zealand & internationally, starting his career at Wilkins & Davies Ltd as project manager on a number of large marine projects, then becoming general manager of its new marina division in 1978. The first project was the Westpark marina.

Link: Kennedy Point marina

Earlier story:
12 January 2016: Waiheke marina applicant enters liquidation

Attribution: Company release.

Continue Reading

Waiheke board chair prompts a thorough governance rethink

Waiheke Local Board chair Paul Walden’s motion to Thursday’s board meeting starts with a concern which most would hardly rate as a weighty matter: Who’s in charge of a small roadside reserve & toilet block at Onetangi?

But he’s turned the question into a mission statement, and one that other local boards around the region know well: They know who’s supposed to be in charge, but that doesn’t mean the job is being done, either properly, or adequately, or even at all.

They also know that if the local board is in charge, the budget will be small.

Take the case of the consent application for a crossing permit over the road reserve on the Strand, which the board became aware of in December.

Mr Walden wrote: “The function of this parcel of land is aligned with being a local purpose reserve, rather than a road corridor. It serves no roading function at all. This is an unusual parcel of land and there is no clear reason for it to be classified as road reserve. Currently the parks team have no oversight or responsibility of this parcel of land or the public toilet, nor is there the ability to forecast or respond to infrastructure growth demands.

“The board provided feedback to the consent planner that creation of a road crossing on the road reserve would compromise the asset and restrict future development. They also noted that in circumstances such as this, where there is a council facility on road reserve, they would expect that that road be stopped and the parcel of land be reclassified to a (for example) local purpose public utility reserve.

“This would ensure that the status of the land is aligned with its use and the toilet is managed by the appropriate council department with sufficient asset management plan budget. This will also result in responsibility for the amenity resting with the local board, as per the decision-making table, and the facility could be developed as required.”

Mr Walden is asking in his motion for Auckland Transport to start the process of stopping the road, classifying the land as local purpose public utility reserve and asking that the local & sports parks department manage the toilet block.

Onward to greater change

But all that’s the small beer of what Mr Walden wants to tell the council’s governing body. From that road reserve example, he takes the council through the governance structure that was enacted, decisions that ought to have been made but haven’t been, to the resultant lack of funding or budget – or analysis – to support visitor growth projections on the island.

Mr Walden said the Local Government (Auckland Council) Act defined the roles the various parts of the new council would have and, for Auckland Transport, providing for toilets & public amenity infrastructure in the road corridor wasn’t one of its roles. Auckland Transport obviously agreed because, he said, “they have no growth forecast, targets or any other planning considerations for these assets”.

The act also stipulated that non-regulatory decision-making “should be exercised by local boards unless an Auckland-wide decision will better promote the wellbeing of the communities across Auckland”. As an alternative, Auckland Transport could delegate decision-making responsibilities, but no delegations were in place.

The board had prepared a submission to the Local Government Commission concerning the translating of current decision-making responsibilities into action, due to the lack of resources &/or understanding of the governance model and the board’s role in local place-shaping activities & local strategic visioning. This submission is on hold while awaiting legal advice, which Mr Walden said had not been forthcoming.

Managing visitor demand

From there to the bigger picture: The island’s local board has aspirations for tourism growth that respects the local lifestyle & environment, for which it wants more regional funding, but Mr Walden said the structure wasn’t in place to measure what’s needed, let alone provide the right infrastructure & facilities.

“The board appreciates the economic benefits of tourism, but wants to see safeguards for the environment in place to protect what is special about Waiheke, and more regional funding to meet the costs of additional demands which visitors place on infrastructure, services & facilities on the island.”

Mr Walden said the board had been trying to obtain figures on visitor growth following promotion of Waiheke as Auckland’s premium visitor attraction: “It has been difficult to obtain actual visitor numbers from ferry operators due to purported commercial sensitivity; however, figures now being obtained from Ateed (Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development) & Auckland Transport indicate Waiheke is accommodating 1.5m+ visitors/year and this is expected to increase.”

Mr Walden said credit card data showed a 44% increase in visitor spending between 2013-15.

“What is clear is that there is huge tourism growth evident & forecast, however there is no structured means to consider or respond to infrastructure growth demands. Our local facilities are struggling to cope with demand during peak periods. The board receives regular complaints from constituents about overloaded toilet facilities, rubbish & public transport issues.

“The Waiheke Local Board plan outlines the board’s aspirations in regards to tourism on the island. This is primarily about managing the population increase in a way which benefits Waiheke without compromising local lifestyle or the environment.

“The board have advocated strongly to the governing body during the long-term plan process to assess demand and plan for the growing visitor pressure. Discretionary funding the board allocated to support increased service levels during peak times was taken as savings during the long-term plan process [part of $300 million in budget cuts].”

Call to review strategic visioning

Mr Walden wants the council’s governing body to review the responsibility for local decision-making in line with the principle of subsidiarity as outlined in the Local Government Act. Apart from what happens in the road corridor, Mr Walden said this change should also include strategic visioning projects involving council-controlled organisations.

The centrist argument is that the council’s governing body is best positioned to achieve greatest efficiency. The way the Government legislated the super-city into being in 2010, operation of the council’s commercial arms was taken out of direct political control by being placed in the council-controlled organisations (thus reducing council control).

The third tier, the local boards, don’t even manage mowing of reserves in their area – which, on present schedules, will be one of the tasks that fall to voluntary community effort unless the council takes a better grip of how responsibilities are shared out between governance tiers.

Yet it’s this third tier that should be the primary council face, responsible for engendering community spirit & energy. At the moment the local board tier’s battle is all uphill. Mr Walden is not alone in seeking more rational management & funding – and if there’s any question about whether his quest is rational, keep in mind the drive-in Onetangi reserve toilets.

Link: Waiheke Local Board meeting, Thursday 28 April, Notice of motion – Local decision-making & visitor growth

Attribution: Local board agenda.

Continue Reading

New marine protection law for gulf

The Government opened consultation today on a new marine protection law which includes proposals for recreational fishing parks in the inner Hauraki Gulf & Marlborough Sounds.

The proposed Marine Protected Areas Act would replace the Marine Reserves Act 1971. Submissions on the discussion document, A new Marine Protected Areas Act, close on Friday 11 March.

Environment Minister Nick Smith said: “We are proposing a new system of marine protection that will include marine reserves, species-specific sanctuaries, seabed reserves & recreational fishing parks. This more sophisticated approach, with 4 different types of marine protection, is similar to the graduated approach we take to reserves on land, that vary from strict nature reserves to those for a specific or recreational purpose.

“We want to improve community & iwi involvement in marine protection and develop a comprehensive network of areas that better protects marine life and which enhances New Zealanders’ enjoyment of our marine environment.”

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy said an estimated 870 tonnes of fish/year were caught in the proposed Hauraki park and 139 tonnes/year in the proposed Marlborough Sounds park. “We also need to recognise that a growing population, more recreational boats and technology like fish finders is putting greater pressure on the resource. These recreational fishing parks will enable recreational fishers to have a greater involvement in management decisions and more responsibility in ensuring sustainability.”

Link: Marine protected area discussion document

Attribution: Ministerial release.

Continue Reading

Waiheke marina applicant enters liquidation

The failed applicant for a marina at Matiatia on Waiheke Island, Waiheke Marinas Ltd, went into liquidation on 6 January, but the appointment of John Whittfield as liquidator still hadn’t made it on to the Companies Office online file 6 days later.

Graham Guthrie, who drove the 5-year marina battle that ended in rejection in December, is the company’s sole director & shareholder.

The company proposed a 160-berth marina in 2011, immediately north of the wharf in the northern corner of Matiatia Bay. In December 2014, the marina proposal was reduced to 112 berths and other elements were reshaped. The parking element was reduced from 55 to 39 spaces last year.

The application was referred directly to the Environment Court, bypassing the Auckland Council hearing process, and the hearing began before Principal Environment Judge Laurie Newhook & commissioners Anne Leijnen & Russell Howie in October 2014.

The application was strongly opposed by Direction Matiatia.

Earlier stories:
18 December 2015: Court refuses consent for Matiatia marina
16 April 2015: Court says Waiheke marina application now “out of scope” without parking
13 October 2014: Council switches from opposing Matiatia marina
9 August 2013: Council committee votes to refer Waiheke marina application directly to court
1 August 2011: 160-berth marina proposed for Matiatia
3 March 2006: Council sets timetable for Matiatia design competition (an earlier idea for the bay)

Attribution: Public notice.

Continue Reading

Court refuses consent for Matiatia marina

The Environment Court has refused consent for the proposed Matiatia marina at Waiheke Island.

The court has also taken the unusual step of writing a foreword to its decision, asking the many people involved in the battle for & against the development to consider a wider picture.

In the conclusion to the decision, Principal Environment Judge Laurie Newhook wrote: “We must record that the applicant has striven to tailor its draft conditions of consent to mitigate effects as far as possible and address the many concerns of parties opposing; but in a way that huge effort has ironically illustrated the difficulties of mitigating large structures on water and on or near the foreshore and ultimately the inappropriateness of the proposal.”

The original application was for 160 berths, 17 pile moorings, and 55 car parking spaces. Last December, the marina proposal was reduced to 112 berths and other elements were reshaped. The parking element was reduced to 39 spaces this year.

  • I’ll write a full story over the weekend.

Earlier stories:
16 April 2015: Court says Waiheke marina application now “out of scope” without parking
13 October 2014: Council switches from opposing Matiatia marina
9 August 2013: Council committee votes to refer Waiheke marina application directly to court
1 August 2011: 160-berth marina proposed for Matiatia
3 March 2006: Council sets timetable for Matiatia design competition (an earlier idea for the bay)

Attribution: Judgment.

Continue Reading

Gulf seminar: How to keep improving

Auckland Museum will host the fifth annual Hauraki Gulf marine park seminar on Tuesday 27 October from 9-4.30pm.

Invited speakers will examine the promotion & application of matauranga Maori, learnings from 40 years of research at the Leigh marine reserve, new approaches to fishing & farming and the restoration potential of the gulf’s marine habitats.

Hauraki Gulf Forum chair & Hauraki District mayor John Tregidga said the seminar would pose the question: If ecological abundance & environmental health of the gulf are desired, then how should we operate?

Partly answering his own question, Mr Tregidga said a new community of practice was emerging around the Hauraki Gulf/ Tikapa Moana: “We are seeing that in the slowing of ships around Bryde’s whales, the awareness of seabirds in the longline fishing fleet, the interest of community, science, industry & iwi in restoration of mussel reefs, and in new models of engagement & inquiry developing in the sea change – tai timu tai pari marine spatial planning process.

“This year’s seminar is an opportunity to reflect on the qualities of the gulf & of ourselves and to consider how we move forward together.”

Seminar speakers include waka voyager Hoturoa Barclay-Kerr, writer Kennedy Warne, Noises owners Rod & Sue Neureuter, oceanographer Malcolm Green, marine reserve scientist Nicholas Shears, marine ecologist Mark Morrison, mauri model developer Kepa Morgan, fishing company Sanford Ltd chief executive Volker Kuntzsch, agro-ecology consultant Alison Dewes, photographer Richie Robinson and business leader Rob Fenwick. Sessions will be chaired by historian Dame Anne Salmond, journalist Rod Oram & lawyer Natasha Garvan.

Link: Hauraki Gulf marine park seminar

Attribution: Council release.

Continue Reading

Owairaka shops sell, Ostend site passed in

Barfoot & Thompson Commercial agents have sold a retail property with 6 tenants in the Owairaka shopping centre, but a vacant commercial property on Waiheke Island, taken to auction on Wednesday, was passed in.

Hauraki Gulf islands

Waiheke Island, Ostend

28 Erua Rd:
Features: 809m² corner site zoned commercial 5, current layout has 4 separate but interlinked work bays, each with its own roller door access
Outcome: passed in at $460,000
Agent: Grant Kavali

Isthmus west

Mt Roskill

204 Richardson Rd:
Features: 840m² site, 505.76m² building, 6 tenants – 4 shops & 2 licence agreements – in the 24-shop Owairaka Shopping Centre, frontage to both Stoddard & Richardson Rds
Rent: $152,625/year net
Outcome: sold for $2.3 million at a 6.64% yield
Agents: John Stringer & Dave Palmer

Attribution: Auction, agent release.

Continue Reading

Update – panel change: Panels appointed to hear Queens Wharf artwork & Takapuna boating hub applications, plus others

Published 3 June 2015, updated 4 June
As often occurs, membership of one hearing panel appointed on Tuesday had an immediate change.

The panel to hear the Takapuna application for a marine activity hub had Lisa Whyte (Hibiscus Bays) named as local board member on the panel, however she declined the role. No replacement has been named yet.

Committee chair Linda Cooper told me & Ms Whyte in an email today: “It seems that a reporter who was at the meeting has legitimately posted this on social media before our hearings staff were able to confirm availability in person with the commissioners. It is very common for proposed commissioners to be unavailable or occasionally have a conflict therefore frequently I am asked to approve an alternate commissioner. This means resolutions on the day are sometimes not accurate by the time the hearing occurs.”

Almost like an accident, except I was sitting at the media table in plain view at an open meeting. It used to be normal for council staff to ensure before the meeting that proposed commissioners were going to be available for a hearing – in which case they also learned of conflicts.

Auckland Council’s hearings committee appointed commissioners on Tuesday to hear 5 resource consent applications, including the council application to place a public artwork on Queens Wharf and the proposal to establish a boating hub on the Takapuna camping ground.

The committee also:

  • designated 12 independent hearing commissioners as duty commissioners
  • resolved to recruit more commissioners, and
  • began a review of the process for determining demolition resource consent applications in the isthmus residential 1 zone.

Commissioner appointments:

Queens Wharf, public artwork at wharf end (application already publicly notified, submissions closing Monday 8 June): Leigh McGregor (chair), Robert Scott & Bill Kapea

Takapuna Beach, 22 The Promenade, Takapuna Beach Holiday Park site, application by Harbour Access Trust for resource consents for community marine activity hub: Karyn Sinclair (chair), Rebecca Macky, Melean Absolum & local board member Lisa Whyte (from Hibiscus Bays)

, appointment of 3 independent hearing commissioners; the 1032 submissions were split 528 for the marine centre, 499 against, 5 neutral

Remuera, 14 Rangitoto Avenue & 19 Ara St, application by BeGroup NZ Ltd for retirement village in 3 wings of 1-3 storeys containing 27 independent living units, 68 aged-care suites, basement parking, on the former Rawhiti Bowling Club site: Robert Blakey to decide on notification and, if notified, to hear the application along with Pamela Peters, Rebecca Skidmore & local board member Graeme Easte (from Albert-Eden)

Waiheke Island, Sandy Bay, 92 Coromandel Rd, application for resource consent for a single-storey house straddling a wetland area: Barry Kaye to decide on notification and, if notified, to hear the application along with Bill Kapea

Te Atatu Peninsula, 543 Te Atatu Rd, former BP Oil (NZ) Ltd service station site, application by Vaco Investments (Te Atatu) Ltd (Antony Arnerich) to vary conditions of consent to allow 24/7 drive-through McDonald’s fast-food restaurant: Les Simmons to decide on notification and, if notified, to hear the application along with Ian Munro, Philip Brown & local board member Catherine Farmer (from Whau)

The list of duty commissioners includes 3 who are new to that role – Richard Blakey, Robert Scott & Dave Serjeant.

Council resolutions team manager Rob Andrews said the council reduced its pool of hearing commissioners from 65 to 49 a year ago and there was now a need to supplement the pool in certain skill areas.

Along with changing the faces on hearing panels, the council has produced a performance development framework for commissioners, including reviews of performance, supporting development and dealing with under-performance.

Earlier stories:
11 August 2014: Pencarrow enters upmarket retirement village development with Rawhiti site
25 May 2009: 8-storey Te Atatu building turned down
3 August 2008: Malaysian group plans 10-storey Te Atatu Peninsula development

Links:
Committee agenda, including item details
Online petition opposing Te Atatu 24/7 outlet

Attribution: Committee meeting.

Continue Reading
WordPress Appliance - Powered by TurnKey Linux