A new group plans to appeal the decision to allow a marina at Kennedy Point.
Waiheke Local Board chairperson Paul Walden is spearheading plans to appeal an Auckland Council hearing panel’s decision to let Kennedy Point Boatharbour Limited construct a 186-berth marina with a floating car park for 72 cars.
A hearing panel gave consent last month for the Takapuna-based company to build a marina that would occupy 7.3 hectares of Putiki Bay for 35 years.
Mr Walden says an incorporated society will be formed and an appeal lodged with the Environment Court before the cut off date of 8 June.
Save Kennedy Point, which led opposition to the marina, is still deciding whether to appeal, so the new group could choose to support an SKP appeal rather than lodging a separate one.
Mr Walden is disappointed that the hearing commissioners imposed conditions for the development suggested by the marina company without changes.
“These commissioners have not turned their minds to the legitimate concerns the community has raised,” Mr Walden says.
“It makes a mockery of the whole process when we’ve got a community as engaged as the Waiheke community.”
The appeal will focus on removing the floating car park from the marina, reducing its size and improving other conditions, such as environmental requirements, public access and funds returned to the community.
Putting a car park on a floating concrete pontoon in the bay would detract from its beauty and pose environmental risks, he says. Instead, the car park could be developed as a multi-storey structure above Auckland Transport’s existing car park on Donald Bruce Road.
“As a community, we need to think about what we’re leaving behind for future generations, if we’re going to stand aside and let this development go ahead with a car park floating in the bay.
“We could live with ourselves with boats floating in the bay, but the notion of one of our gateways having a great big floating car park – I can’t get past that.
“There is no ground rental, so it’s cheaper for them to have a car park floating in the bay, but that’s just not acceptable.”
The hearing panel imposed a condition requiring boats using the marina not to use antifouling products containing diuron and or high levels of copper, but Mr Walden says it should not be left to the marina company to monitor whether toxic paints are used on boats.
Kennedy Point Marina Maritime Trust will be set up to provide grants of $10,000 a year for maritime education, but Mr Walden says this is not adequate compensation to the community for losing a bay to the marina.
“It’s insulting,” he says.
People who made submissions on the resource consent application can take part in the appeal.
Fundraising will be needed to cover at least $50,000 in legal costs.
Save Kennedy Point will soon announce whether it will appeal the decision. Spokesperson David Baigent says barrister Matt Casey QC has advised the community group that there are several grounds for an appeal.
The Environment Court decision to decline a marina at Matiatia set precedents that have not been taken into account in the Kennedy Point decision, Mr Baigent says. Important issues raised in the two cases included impacts on natural character and landscape and whether there is a functional need for a car park to be located in the coastal marine area.
The marina plans feature two floating breakwaters, three piers, a wharf and several buildings on floating pontoons, including a marina office, café, meeting room, storage for kayaks and paddleboards and visitor facilities.
As well as 186 berths, the marina would offer 19 pile moorings, 30 public day berths and sewage pump out facilities for berth holders and the public.
People wanting to support an appeal can contact firstname.lastname@example.org or see www.skp.org.nz, while marina supporters can see www.kennedypointmarina.co.nz. • Rose Davis