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Bayswater Marina Precinct

A History Not Upheld

Bayswater Marine Precinct to become a Residential Village

In 1990 the Minister of Conservation issued a certificate of approval for the construction of the Marina. The extent of the area which included space for a haul out and hardstand and 60 public car and trailer parks, was considered necessary to cater for the increasing demand. 1993 The Auckland Regional Council (ARC) had responsibility for the coastal area while the North Shore City Council (NSCC) had jurisdiction over the land. The ARC granted a Coastal Permit for the occupation and operation of the Marina.

1996 the NSCC District Plan was endorsed and the ARC gave permission for a passenger access facility to be constructed in the marina.

In 2001 the NSCC notified Variation 65 to its District Scheme which had become operative in 1994. Variation 65 comprised part of a Special Purpose 7 Zone which included the Marine precinct and facilities with restricted residential. All parties who appeared before the NSCC agreed that the Special Purpose Zone was appropriate except Bayswater Marina Holdings Ltd (BMHL) who were by then the lessees of the land, and contended for a “Significantly higher level of development.” BMHL challenged the NSCC Zoning in the Environment Court in November 2008 and January 2009.

The court recognised: “The popularity and increasing diversity of marine sports particularly those requiring a launching ramp. It also recognised the popularity of sailing and boating, the pressure current coastal recreational facilities were under on the North Shore, especially boat ramps and car parking and the value to the marine industry.”

In August 2009 at a hearing in the High Court, Auckland, BMHL appealed the Environment Court Decision. The Appeal was dismissed. The Decision of the Environment Court was upheld.

BUT! On 1 November 2010 – the rules changed. North Shore City became a part of the Auckland Super City, the ARC was abolished and the development of the Unitary Plan was notified.

This land at Bayswater was no longer within the bounds of the NSCC or the ARC and despite an overwhelming number of submissions requesting that the Environment Court Decision, for which the reclamation was first established, be upheld, the Unitary Plan re-zoned the area enabling Residential Intensification. The Environment and the High Court rulings were ignored.

In 2013 BMHL bought the reclaimed land from the Crown at a price which reflected the Environment Court Rulings - the marina and associated facilities, the hardstand and access to the public ramp and trailer parking – A Marine Precinct - not residential.

In 2022 BMHL applied for Resource Consent for the establishment of 120 dwellings and 3 apartment blocks “As a discretionary Activity” and in accordance with the Unitary Plan. The development was publicly notified.

There were over 690 written submissions, mostly objections. Many spoke against the proposal at the hearing by the Council Commissioners including the local Bayswater Community. The Council Planning and Traffic Consultants withdrew their support after hearing all the evidence. BMHL then applied for a month’s delay to produce a new plan before delivering their response to the hearing. The Chairman of the Commissioners supported this delay and announced to all the submitters that he would NOT be seeking comments from any of the objectors. New plans were tabled which the Commissioners endorsed.

These plans DID NOT SATISFY our concerns and so we lodged an appeal on behalf of, not just the AYBA membership, but for all those who enjoy access to the Marine Environment. We were very aware, after 40 years of endeavours to retain the Marine Precinct, that to appeal once again to the Environment Court, was the only option. BUT first there was the Mediation process throughout which all communication was Private and Confidential. I tried but was reprimanded for attempting to advise our members of the conditions offered with the proposed development of the Bayswater Marine Precinct.

We were prepared to once again appeal to the Environment Court. We knew it would COST so appealed for funding. Deadlines for decisions were set by the Court and with no funding we had little option but to withdraw. Forty years on the demand has increased. Fifteen years ago, the Environment Court endorsed those demands.

Today, with the increase in population and apartment living and the loss of the family backyards, access to our harbour and the marine environment, estimated to be enjoyed by half the population of Auckland for their recreation, health and well-being, these demands have been ignored.

There will be:

  • NO Marine Maintenance yard,

  • NO Hard stand and boat storage,

  • NO facility for a haul-out or travel lift as originally planned.

These were NOT included in the original plans lodged for approval but their loss was a part of the AYBA’s original submission opposing the development and were three of our reasons for appealing to the Environment Court.

The Plans as approved by the Commissioners were on the table for the Mediation discussions and included access to the only all-weather boat ramp on the North Shore and trailer parking for all sizes of vessels.

During Mediation the AYBA worked with the developers to refine matters but because of the lack of funding and the cost associated with proceeding, the AYBA has withdrawn the appeals. The Court has confirmed the withdrawal.

Because of the confidentiality clauses in the agreement the AYBA is not able to report to its members on any terms of the settlement agreement.

Janet Watkins
AYBA Executive

The latest Maritime New Zealand Recreational Survey 2022 found that half of all New Zealanders were involved in 'recreational boating' of some sort. That's half a million Aucklanders of all ages and ethnic groups!

  • It is essential to preserve our coastal and marine environment, the shoreline, the Harbour, and the Gulf as the major sport & recreational areas they now are.

  • The on-going access to Auckland’s largest recreational arena must be maintained & enhanced. Auckland has spent millions on cycle ways for a much lesser proportion on the population yet most of the Marina assets used by the many recreational harbour users are paid for by those users in parking & launching fees, marina & mooring fees or club memberships & sponsorships.

  • It is essential to ensure the ongoing availability of these shore facilities for launching AND storage of all craft.

  • With the increase in apartment living, the concentration and growth of the whole City’s population, harbour access and the appropriate supportive facilities provided by the City Council, the clubs with Council support, and other marine organisations should be a priority when planning the use of our coastal environment.

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