Janet Watkins attended the Okahu Bay Management Plan Hearing and this is her submission:
On behalf of the Auckland Yachting & Boating Association I lodged a submission with the Orakei Local Board re the Management Plan for the Okahu Bay Landing. (The full submission is printed on page 485 of the Hearing Report.)
Today, I had the opportunity to talk to that submission and highlighted the AYBA’s main points as below:
The AYBA recognises the hardstand as an essential Regional Marine asset.
In 2013 in a statement from the then Chairman of the Orakei Local Board, the Board confirmed the on-going need for The Landing haul-out operation and associated hardstand use. The Board acknowledged the demand for haul-out and maintenance for all craft, the emergency operation services and the International Blue Flagged Environmental Accreditation. Since 2013 demand has increased and is forecast to increase further as Auckland continues to grow. KIWI back yards are vanishing daily!
The Orakei Domain and the beach and foreshore provide expansive “green space” for the public.
The Landing is designated in the Auckland Unitary Plan as a Marine Precinct. The Auckland Unitary Plan recognises the hardstand as a sub-precinct of the Okahu Marine Precinct. The Unitary plan states that the purpose of the precinct is to provide for marina, marine-related and recreation activities in an integrated manner across land and sea. The Orakei Local Board’s decision to change a designation in the Unitary Plan is significant.
The Landing at Okahu Bay is a Regional asset that provides Coastal access to the Marine Environment for all Aucklanders and visitors.
Auckland City has no Regional Plan for our Parks and Reserves nor the Coastal Foreshore and Environment.
Half the population of Auckland enjoy the coastal and marine environment for their sport and recreation and their health and well-being. Many access this world via Okahu Bay.
With the Infill and apartment housing, and the population growth, the Future Proofing and planning of our foreshore and marine environment for the ongoing use of all of Aucklanders cannot be governed by isolated communities and Boards or by the residents of those communities.
Planning must be done with a coordinated aim for the best use of our valuable coastal areas. Planning should be the responsibility of the Auckland Council who is in a position to consider how changes will affect all of Auckland not just the local board areas. This will also ensure that the maximum benefit and value can be achieved to ensure the continued ongoing access for all to Auckland’s most valuable sport and recreation area.
Okahu Bay, it's marine and coastal environment is a part of that greater recreation area of which the haulout area is an essential part!
Biosecurity Laws in the Northland, Auckland and Waikato Bay of Plenty Regions are serious. – Auckland Council must ensure that facilities are available to enable keelboats and launches to comply with these laws. Sufficient haul-out facilities are essential and Auckland is under supplied.
The Orakei Local Board should not take a position contrary to the Unitary Plan that may jeopardise future plans and hinder Auckland Council’s regulatory and leadership role under its biosecurity obligations. The Management Plan must include the facility for the haul-out area for the purpose of hull cleaning, anti-fouling and emergency repairs.
AYBA acknowledge that long term boat maintenance and restoration projects are not essential at The Landing, but the ability to haul-out for onward transportation should be considered.
The AYBA wishes to work with Council to identify and protect all the regional marine assets in Auckland for everyone.
The AYBA recognises the hardstand as a Regional Maritime Asset that needs the protection of the Orakei Local Board.
The Closing date for submissions for the rehearing of the concept plans for the Landing and Okahu Bay was 24 September, 2023. The AYBA asks that the Orakei Local Board give an assurance that points raised today will also be taken into consideration in the final concept plan proposal. And that they be referenced in the revised Management Plan.
For the Auckland Yachting & Boating Association Inc.
(In the Council Information Notice for this hearing and the “Processes” which will follow I note this Hearing Panel will report to the full KAIPATIKI Board for a decision.)