The Eastern Marine Network recently surveyed all the candidates in the local Orakei board elections to find out whether they were willing to commit to working with us to progress our plans to enhance our facilities. Here's what Colin Davis had to say:
ORAKEI LOCAL BOARD CANDIDATE SURVEY ABOUT
THE EASTERN MARINE NETWORK
1. Do you think water sport and recreation activities are important in the Eastern Bays?
2. Do you think the Eastern Bays are well-served for water sport and recreation activities currently?
3. What involvement do you have with water sport and recreation activities? (e.g. water sports include sailing, paddling, waka ama, kayaking, triathlon, trailer boating, fishing etc)
I had until recently a family membership with the Glendowie Boating Club, as my grandson, who lives with us, sailed there for the last 5 years. He is doing a training course to be a coach there. I have owned an Optimist and leased a Starling (and still have the trailer, which is for sale). My grandson is now a member of Royal Akarana and sails there. He has sailed in national Opti competitions at Kohimarama, hosted by KYC. He has also sailed his Starling at nationals held at Wakatere Boating Club, and in the Sir Peter Blake regatta at Torbay. I have supported him at all venues.
4. Are there any ways you think the Eastern Bays could be better serviced for water sport and recreation activities?
While the clubs’ premises are relatively easily accessible, a significant difficulty is the lack of space along Tamaki Drive, particularly for KYC, for boat storage, trailers and parking in general. This will be exacerbated with increases in club membership and activities, and Auckland Transport’s new cycleways (which will help young members to cycle safely to their respective clubs provided their boats are at the clubs), with consequent on-street parking restrictions. There would be need to ensure any use of existing nearby parks for club overflow complies with provisions of the Reserves Act and any other specific reserve legislation (such as at St Heliers).
With changing life styles and change in property sizes and consequent limited space for boat storage there is clearly a need for clubs to look at alternative ways to assist club members to enjoy marine sport, such as clubs owning and renting out boats, but this is more likely to favour clubs with larger facilities for storage of boats. These trends are set out in the Network booklet.
Another major issue is the changing weather patterns and rising sea levels. Clubs, working with the Orakei Local Board and other parts of the Council, need to consider ways to minimise the negative effects of these on club premises and to boats stored. Auckland Transport has a project to raise the dip in Tamaki Drive, near OBC, next year to reduce flooding, and the Orakei Local Board is working to mitigate flooding at Kohimarama.
The Council is taking active measures to reduce pollution of the beaches and bays and has removed mooring facilities in Okahu Bay to improve the marine environment, water quality and to provide a safe boating bay. In Orakei Basin there is now ongoing monitoring of the water quality and funding to improve the Basin’s facilities.
Processing of applications for marine-associated events can be streamlined.
The Orakei Local Board provides limited financial grants to community organisations. Clubs should make use of this and apply for grants for smaller projects to improve their facilities and for events.
5. How important is strategic planning for water sport and recreation activities in the Eastern Bays and Auckland?
6. Would you support the implementation of the Eastern Marine Network
5. What do you know about the concepts and plans each club in the Eastern Marine Network is proposing?
Each club has its own history and sense of place and generally caters for specific classes of boats and other marine users. Clubs will have considered applications to the America’s Cup Lottery Fund, which was established to create community benefit from hosting the Cup, for feasibility or specialised studies, or capital projects and items.
Agencies, other than the Council/Orakei Local Board, which impact on clubs include the Department of Conservation which owns the land under some clubs’ buildings, and Auckland Transport’s harbourmaster.
My responses reflect that I am a current member of the Orakei Local Board, as well as a candidate for the incoming Orakei Local Board.
Glendowie – Provision of additional deck and boat launching space, for which the Orakei Local Board has provided some funding. In addition, the access way from the road to the Club’s premises and Anderson’s Bay has been an issue with its slope, roughness and camber; it will soon be re-constructed following the completion of the Anderson’s Beach cliff stabilisation, later this year. Lack of parking is an issue, particularly with loss of some on-street parking because of cliff instability. I have arranged a meeting with Auckland Transport and Club representatives to try and restore some parking. Continuing stabilisation of the cliffs further along the coast is very costly and is not in any immediate plans. This Club has an advantage in that it has its own on-site boat storage facility for privately-owned and leased boats. As well as boat ramps from the deck, there is also the adjacent public boat ramp for launching. Noting the Club’s suggestion for a jetty at Anderson’s Bay, a floating jetty rather than a fixed structure might be an option to be considered. Public changing and toilet facilities at this beach likewise could be investigated.
Kohimarama – The Orakei Local Board has supported the planning application for additional boat storage on the artificial reef adjacent to the clubhouse. The Club’s lease of garaging from the Council for RIBs at Madills Farm is being renewed. The proposed development by the Eastern Suburbs Football Club to substantially redevelop its clubrooms may be an issue. The Board is working with the Football Club to either reduce the intended footprint of the redevelopment to allow continued access to the garaging or provide for garaging within the new building. The Board has supported the use of part of Kohimarama Beach for national boating events hosted by KYC and I am in favour of this continuing; it’s great to see the yachts on the grass esplanade and on the beach before and after the regattas, and young people enjoying themselves in a safe environment.
Tamaki – Has limited storage. The Orakei Local Board is working with the Club on a “licence to occupy” an area of the Council-owned carpark to improve boat storage. The Club has use of the carpark and access to the public boat ramp, which is also available for other users. For safety and practical reasons, I do not support the mix of launching and retrieving power boats and sail boats on the ramp’s confined space or in the immediate locality of the ramp. While it may not be possible to prohibit power boats, signage to deter the launching and retrieval of power boats from this location can be erected immediately. Are there advantages to the Club in extending the length of the boat ramp? For safety reasons, the other small ramp adjacent to Tamaki Drive needs to be closed off. The Club’s lease is being renewed for off-site storage on a Council-owned reserve in Atkin Avenue, Mission Bay. I support licences for specific Club events.
The Landing – Since 2013 the Orakei Local Board has had a Concept Plan for this reclaimed area. With the semi-completion of the RAYC’s new building and proposals put forward by the Club for Club members to use Club boats, it is timely to review the Plan. Consideration must also be given to the future of the Council-owned haul-out business which currently pays for the maintenance and cleaning of the ramps, and could possibly fund other parts of the Concept Plan. If the business wasn’t there, these costs would have to be covered by the Board’s operational budgets. The Board also has a project to provide a jetty for those using dinghies to reach boats moored in Hobson Bay. The Landing will also be the venue for the forthcoming 49er, 49er FX and Nacra17 world championships 2019, and used as part of the America’s Cup regatta. So, it is important that site improvements are done as soon as possible.
Outboard Boating Club – The Club needs to replace its existing club premises. Constraints are access to the present and proposed clubhouse and its existing parking area from Tamaki Drive. The Club needs additional area for its growing membership and to provide additional boating and vehicle parking, as well as providing safe manoeuvring for those using its launching facilities and the public boat ramp. This is highlighted during holidays and summer, and for special events hosted by the Club. Auckland Transport’s proposals to install a permanent bike lane and reconfigure the existing traffic lanes along this stretch of Tamaki Drive will likely mean no on-street parking will be available and will make entry on-off the Council-owned reserve (part of which is currently leased to OBC until 2022) more difficult. Current and future use of Hakumau Reserve is restricted by the provisions of the Reserves Act, and by the Council’s region-wide parks policies and strategies. The Club works with the community and other clubs in the Network by providing moorings, has recently received planning approval to extend the jetty adjacent to Tamaki Drive, and will be important for the forthcoming 49er, 49er FX and Nacra17 world championships 2019, and the America’s Cup.
As part of a wider strategy to achieve the Network’s proposed outcomes, the Network should also look at expanding its membership and area of interest. I recently mentioned the Network to the Commander of TS Achilles, the cadet unit at Okahu Bay, who expressed interest. The Orakei Local Board has provided funding for the Unit’s Crowns and trailer. The work involved refurbishing, painting and restoring the boats to near new condition. Another area is the Orakei Basin with the water ski club. The Board, working with the wider community and Ngati Whatua Orakei, will be restoring the Pourewa Valley; this opens up opportunities for marine activities. The iconic Hobson Bay boatsheds should be part of a larger Network plan.
The Orakei Local Board must also cater for casual boaties who are not members of the clubs in the Network by maintaining and managing the public boat ramps at Anderson’s Beach, St Heliers Beach, Kohimarama Beach, at the carpark adjacent to the Tamaki Yacht Club, and The Landing. As part of the current planning consent OBC manages the public boat ramp at Hobson Bay. The Board is also responsible for the Orakei Wharf which is enjoyed by anglers.
Candidate for the Orakei Local Board
17 September 2019