THE LANDING – AUCKLAND COUNCIL CONSULTATION FEEDBACK OPPORTUNITY OPEN NOW
Please help to retain the haul out and hardstand facilities at The Landing (Orakei) by making a submission opposing the concept plan that will lead to the permanent closure of the haul out and hardstand facility at The Landing.
*** Please make your submission ON OR BEFORE 24 SEPTEMBER 2023 ***
You can see the proposed concept and access the feedback form through the following link: https://akhaveyoursay.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/thelanding2023
If you think the hardstand should remain at The Landing then answer the question on the second page of the feedback form:
Do you support retention of a short stay haul out and hardstand facility for boat cleaning and/or anti-foul application? Strongly Support
AMUA acknowledges that there is a valid competing demand for the hardstand space at The Landing to be used for a variety of marine recreational activities. HOWEVER the need to preserve and enhance facilities for marine recreational activities and access to the water is no more important than the need to preserve and develop readily accessible infrastructure to maintain clean hulls.
These two needs are complimentary and the related infrastructure for both is essential in a city where access to Auckland’s beaches and harbours, and the Hauraki Gulf is of immense social, environmental and economic value.
To enable owners of moored boats to maintain compliance with Council’s marine biosecurity regulations AMUA believes that the Council owned haul out and hardstand facility at The Landing should be reinstated and operated UNTIL Auckland Council is able to provide verifiable quantitative proof that sufficient and suitably located antifouling capacity is available in the region now and into the foreseeable future.
AUMA also questions why Council is consulting on a concept plan which is contrary to the Objectives of the Okahu Marine Precinct Plan which state under Objective 2 - “The ongoing use and development of Okahu Landing hardstand is provided for “
Why is Haul Out and Hardstand Needed at the Landing?
Many boat owners may not yet be aware of two factors that are likely to at least double the demand for haul out and hardstand facilities for hull cleaning and antifouling.
Auckland Council hull inspection surveys in 2021 and 2022 show that 47% of moored boats are non-compliant with the level of fouling requirement, LOF2. Auckland Council has not yet issued any enforcement notices. What will happen when it does?
In 2022 Auckland, Northland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty regional councils commissioned a report to investigate the availability and accessibility of haul out and hull cleaning capacity within each of the four Top of the North regions for moored vessels up to 20m in length. In addition to regular hull cleaning the 4 councils anticipate that it will be necessary for boat owners to anti-foul vessels once every year to comply with proposed rules relating to hull bio-fouling levels.
The study concluded that the region only had 33% of the capacity needed to antifoul the Auckland fleet on an annual basis.
AMUA believes owners of moored boats will be unable to maintain compliance with the Auckland region’s marine biosecurity regulations - unless existing haul out and hardstand facilities are preserved and additional suitably located facilities are developed.
Auckland Council appears unwilling to understand the problem and appears to be ignoring its leadership responsibilities under the Biosecurity Act.
AMUA believes Auckland Council is “rolling the dice” on bio security risks with potentially devastating environmental, economic and social consequences – for Auckland and neighbouring regions.
The Landing haul out and hardstand is ideally suited to serve boats in the central Waitemata and is also a facility that enables self-performing maintenance by boat owners. It is also unique in the area because it is suitable for large multi hull vessels that cannot be lifted by travel lifts due to their wide beam.
AMUA understands that although Pier 21 has closed and The Landing has been decommissioned there have been some new hardstand developments and some expansion of existing facilities. In addition off season application of antifouling and new technology will lead to some increase on antifouling throughput at remaining haul out and hardstands.
However; the practical inference of the 2022 report is that “spare capacity” needs to be able to deliver 3 times the current level of antifouling activity - now – not sometime in the future. Based on the 2022 report and other relevant information AMUA together with AYBA, the Multi Hull Association and other interested parties believe there are good reasons to doubt there is insufficient “spare” capacity to meet the expected increase in demand.
Auckland Council has declined to engage on this issue and there is no verifiable quantitative data on “spare” antifouling capacity in the region.
Capacity for hull cleaning and antifouling in the Central Waitemata is a particularly significant issue. Following closure of The Landing and Pier 21 only Orams and the floating dock remain as locally available facilities to serve some 3,500 moored boats in Westhaven, Bayswater, Orakei and Outboard Boating Club marinas and the nearby bays.
The time to try and save haul out and hardstand at The Landing and provide much needed facilities in the Central Waitemata is NOW - because once lost it is highly unlikely the loss of this facility can ever be reversed.
For further detail on AMUA’s understanding of data related to haul out and hardstand capacity in the Auckland region see the presentation below – “AMUA - Haul Out and Hardstand Presentation - 10 September 2023”.
The Bigger Picture
At the heart of AMUA’s concerns are not only the recent haul out and hardstand closures and the decommissioning of The Landing, but also the increasing land pressures around the coast line and the lack of protection for the remaining haul out and hardstand facilities under the Auckland Unitary Plan.
An example is the zoning for Orams facilities in the Wynyard precinct. Orams land area is not included in the marina zone area for Westhaven and is in fact zoned as part of the much higher value Business – City Centre Zone. The closure of Pier 21 exemplifies the desire of land owners, including Eke Panuku, to maximise value from waterfront land when zoning allows. Similar situations exist at Pine Harbour and Hobsonville where the Precinct plans enable higher value residential and commercial use on the land currently occupied by the haul out and hardstand facilities which together provide some 25% of the now remaining capacity.
Where infrastructure is necessary as a part of an effective biosecurity pathway management plan then Council has a leadership obligation under the Biosecurity Act to assure that the necessary infrastructure is available.
The clean hulls rules and regulations clearly require haul out and hardstand infrastructure to achieve compliance. As the statutory planning authority Auckland Council can and should, plan for and protect, through the Auckland Unitary Plan, suitably sized areas and locations for the haul out and hardstand facilities.