These innovative residential boat sheds, to be on moorings at Fairway Bay, are at the building consent stage.
Owning the seabed, as Fairway Bay developer Top Harbour does at its marina, has allowed for innovative construction on floating pontoons.
A small boatshed, to be used as a marine education centre is already in place, with 27 tiny houses (around 35sqm each) also to be built on pontoons within the marina.
The plans for the boatshed houses, which provide an alternative to living on board a cruising boat, were made public at the end of 2015 and are now at the building consent stage.
The floating houses already have resource consent from Auckland Council, which required assessment under the NZ Coastal Policy Statement as well as under the Coastal Marina Zone provisions of the Unitary Plan and Gulf Harbour Marina precinct.
Resource consent natural resources and specialist input manager, Daniel Sansbury, says he has not had any similar proposals come across his desk.
“Aside from Fairway Bay, we have not received any other applications for floating accommodation/residential activities,” Mr Sansbury says. “This could be because the Auckland Unitary Plan includes a requirement to demonstrate a functional or operational need for such activities.”
The proposed dwellings have a ground floor and loft/mezzanine, with power, water and sewage services supplied.
Top Harbour development consultant Michael Webb Speight says that the boat sheds won’t be actively promoted or sold until building consent is issued, which he hopes will be within two months.
He says building consent approval is complicated by the fact that Top Harbour needs to show how it will comply with the Building Act – which isn’t written or intended for houses that float.
Boatshed for sale Ngapipi Road. Photo: NZH/Corazon Miller
A historic boatshed sitting on Ngapipi Rd, Orakei, by the water’s edge is for sale with an asking price well above the nationwide average house price.
One of the seventeen heritage-protected boat sheds lining the water of Hobson Bay has a for sale sign with a price tag of $700,000.
This price is well above the nationwide average of $631,147 and the Home Start grant price cap of $650,000 for first home buyers in Auckland.
The No. 2 shed sits second along from the intersection with Tamaki Drive and has a short jetty that juts out onto the water.
It gives the impression of being quite spacious; but anyone hoping to turn it into a nice living space will be disappointed.
Auckland Council manager natural resources and specialist input, resource consents, Andrew Benson, said the sheds were for boats only.
“The resource consents for the sheds restrict their use to boat storage and maintenance of vessels, which is what the sheds were originally consented for and built for, and is consistent with their recognised heritage values.”
The person listing the boatshed for sale has been contacted for comment, but was unable to be reached today.
Without getting a glimpse inside it’s impossible to see what $700,000 is likely to get you and what, if any, extras the boatshed will come with.
However, for history buffs the price could be well worth paying for a piece of marine history.
According to Auckland Council documents the shed is one of 17 built by settlers in the bay in the early 1920s and 1930s.
“From the middle of the 1920s the Auckland Harbour Board started receiving applications for boatsheds on the seaward side of the sewer.
“However the first of these sheds was not built until 1930, following the development of rail and road connections linking the eastern bays with the city”.
Council documents said the cream and green colours of the picturesque sheds became the enforced standard design to help achieve a uniform look for the row of sheds.
These became a cultural heritage site, granting them protection, in 2008 and are seen as an example of a common building type from the 1930s.
A weekend ferry service would be widely used to get to the city and beyond, respondents said.
Considerable support for a weekend ferry service from Gulf Harbour to Auckland city has been voiced.
The Hibiscus and Bays Local Board and Gulf Harbour developers Fairway Bay joined forces to survey residents on the topic after surprise at Auckland Transport’s view there was no demand for weekend ferry trips to the super-city’s CBD.
A total of 1200 people responded to the 10-day survey and, almost without exception, people living all over the Whangaparaoa Peninsula indicated enthusiasm for weekend ferries, Fairway Bay development consultant Michael Webb-Speight said.
The weekend service also showed interest from people on the Auckland city side, wanting a weekend away on the Hibiscus Coast.
“There is obvious demand for weekend ferries for multiple reasons which include avoiding traffic, a safe option to get home after enjoying drinks in the city, the cost advantages over driving and simply that taking the ferry is a more enjoyable way to travel,” he said.
People also want to use a ferry for major sporting and entertainment events, shopping, family days out and ‘importantly’ to transfer to the airport, Webb-Speight said.
Many respondents want the ferry to enjoy shopping, restaurants and a night out in the city without have to worry about congestion, expensive parking and having a drink.
Aside from the benefit to Whangaparaoa residents, introducing a weekend service will also help address Auckland’s congested weekend roads, he said.
Some cited the ferry as a way to avoid congestion and expensive city park prices, others wanted to it to take their bikes and explore the central Auckland via its new cycleways.
On top of wanting to use the service as a stepping stone to events at Vector Arena, Mt Smart and Western Springs, some respondents want to see a service linking to Devonport, Pine Harbour, Half Moon Bay and West Harbour.
Others from the far side of the city said they’d use it for weekend getaways to the Hibiscus Coast and Gulf Harbour businesses see it as a way to improve tourism and help them thrive.
The survey also polled on sailing time preferences, with 73 per cent choosing 10am from Gulf Harbour on Saturdays, with the most popular return times between 4pm and 6pm. Sunday preferences were for a similar morning sailing time, with desired return times spread throughout the day.
Notably, just 21 per cent of survey respondents are regular weekday ferry commuters, Webb-Speight said.
“This shows there is much wider interest for weekend ferry services than just those who use it to get to work and back.”
Webb-Speight is hopeful the facts emerging from the survey will help Auckland Transport in forming a view on weekend ferries.
“Judging by the overwhelming number of respondents in favour, it appears there is clear demand.”
The results will be presented to AT by Fairway Bay and the Hibiscus and Bays Local Board.
A recent Off the Record in Hibiscus Matters’ March 1 paper about the need for weekend ferries from Gulf Harbour to the city caused a lot of comment on social media.
As a result, the Hibiscus & Bays Local Board requested the developers of Fairway Bay, Top Harbour, to conduct a survey, focused on weekend sailings.
Local board chair Julia Parfitt has an upcoming meeting with Auckland Transport (AT), and wants to use the opportunity to present the survey as evidence of the potential demand.
“Whilst it may seem obvious to us, AT needs to see some evidence of demand before they can build a business case around weekend sailings. It is really important for the local community to get engaged in these processes,” Mrs Parfitt says.
Until last year, Top Harbour subsidised the weekday ferry sailings and development consultant Michael Webb-Speight says the company is open to having a conversation with Auckland Transport about supporting weekend sailings in future.
However he says it is impossible to make a commitment until the company has those discussions and knows what any such financial contribution may look like.
Caitlin Watson is challenging Auckland Transport’s view there is no demand for a weekend ferry service to the city.
A lack of demand for a weekend ferry service from Gulf Harbour to Auckland is being questioned by the Hibiscus and Bays Local Board and Gulf Harbour developers Fairway Bay.
At a meeting of the local board, member Caitlin Watson and other board members challenged the view there is no demand for weekend ferry services – a statement made by an Auckland Transport (AT) representative.
The debate has led to a furore on social media, with many residents saying they would use a weekend service to the city and calling for a trial.
Fairway bay is working with the Hibiscus and Bays Local Board to survey residents to see if they would use a weekend ferry service.
Albany Ward Councillors John Watson and Wayne Walker have also weighed in on the issue.
“We know from our own feedback that there is real demand for additional services,” Walker and Watson say.
Developers of Fairway Bay in Gulf Harbour played a significant role in the increased weekday ferry services to Gulf Harbour, and their development consultant Michael Webb-Speight says it is difficult to gauge demand until the service is provided.
“Our previous surveys showed considerable interest, but we didn’t really understand the strength of that demand.
“The assumption within AT was that it may take years to achieve the sort of growth in passenger numbers that was achieved within the first few months of introducing the new timetable.”
Increasing the weekday ferry services saw usage grow by 120 per cent.
Webb-Speight says the local board requested Fairway Bay to conduct another survey, this time focused on weekend sailings.
Hibiscus and Bays Local Board chairwoman Julia Parfitt has an upcoming meeting with Auckland Transport, and wants to use the opportunity to present evidence of the potential demand.
“We feel encouraged by the positive response from senior AT management to our request for a meeting to discuss this matter., She says.
Whilst it may seem obvious to us, AT needs to see some evidence of demand before they can build a business case around weekend sailings. It is really important for the local community to get engaged in these processes.”
As a regular ferry user herself, Caitlin Watson says: “The road trip in to town is becoming more and more congested, and by contrast the ferry ride can be a magical experience.
“On top of that there is now so much to do at the CBD waterfront on weekends.”
To participate, fill out the survey on the Fairway Bay website at fairwaybay.co.nz.
Hibiscus Coast residents are keen to see Penlink built as soon as possible to ease congestion on Whangaparāoa Peninsula, Hibiscus Coast Highway and the surrounding area.
Penlink is a 7km, four-lane toll road linking Whangaparāoa Peninsula with State Highway 1 at Redvale, scheduled for construction in the decade starting 2028.
It has the required route designations and resource consents so it’s ready to be built.
Hibiscus and Bays Local Board is advocating strongly for an earlier start date. The local board is also working with the Auckland Chamber of Commerce to bring Penlink forward because of its regional importance.
Local board chair Julia Parfitt says the recent ‘live-zoning’ and more houses in Dairy Flat, Orewa and Wainui will have a big impact.
“Eventually, another 27,000 homes are planned for this area and significant infrastructure is needed to support this anticipated growth.”
Albany Ward Councillor Wayne Walker says Penlink will be an important part of a new transport network for the growing areas of Silverdale, Wainui and Dairy Flat.
“Penlink will free up Hibiscus Coast Highway and the Silverdale interchange by attracting thousands of vehicles a day on the new link, which will be 6km shorter.
“The shorter route will reduce bus travel times from Whangaparāoa Town Centre to Auckland by 15 minutes and cycle facilities on the bridge will open up new connections between Stillwater and Whangaparāoa.”
Penlink will cost $380 million and with tolling estimated to cover only 25 per cent of the project, funding needs to be secured.
The team of students, now in year 10, returned to their old school on Wednesday afternoon to officially open the track.
The new track gets a thumbs up of approval.
Ex-pupils who helped design the track in 2013 cut the ribbon.
Pupils navigate the small humps in the track.
TPupils prepare to try the track for the first time.
The track circumnavigates the school field.
Principal Kevin Cronin blessed the opening with a karakia, sprinkling water on the new asphalt, and pupils united to sing a waiata.
Kronin thanked parents, staff, sponsors and supporters, and spoke of the memories pupils will make on the new track, including the odd scraped knee.
After the ribbon was cut, the pupils got their chance to enjoy the track for the first time.
Heading off in single file, the pupils biked, scootered, and walked around the track.
Whangaparaoa Primary School has spent the last three years fundraising for the track, which cost around $85,000.
A Givealittle page allowed parents and supporters to contribute directly to the project, and fundraising nights proved successful.
The school’s latest quiz night run by school parents raised over $10,000 and the school Parents and Friends association raised $10,000.
The track has also received support from the Harcourts foundation, organised through the Manly and Orewa branches, the Hibiscus and Bays Local Board, the Lion Foundation, Constellation Communities Trust, and Fulton Hogan.
Bike On Trust gave support through Bikes in Schools, sourcing a set of bikes and donating helmets.
The track will assist in educating pupils on road safety and bike confidence, as well as encouraging environmentally friendly transport and healthy lifestyle choices.
The bike track will be open for members of the public to use after school hours, and a pump track is to be added.
Dozens of fish – and a few friendly stingrays – visit Gulf Harbour’s Pier Z every day for feeding.
There’s something fishy going on at Pier Z…
The popular fish feeding spot at Gulf Harbour Marina has not disappointed this season, with hundreds of visitors flocking to hand feed snapper, kingfish, and of course, the famous resident rays, Brutus and Stumpy.
Lynette Smith, who owns charter boat Kiwi Angler with her husband Rex, has been feeding fish at Pier Z for 21 years.
Brutus emerges from the depths for a feed with Lynette Smith.
Snapper and kingfish compete for the bait.
The pier is a very popular spot for tourists.
The water at Pier Z is thick with hungry snapper.
Hungry kingfish aren’t shy.
It all started with sprats and kahawai, but as the years went by, the number – and size – of fish increased dramatically.
Now, on any given day during summer, visitors can enjoy the unique experience of hand feeding wild fish.
Lynette Smith says hello to her mate Brutus who has popped up for a feed.
With hundreds of eager snapper and at times dozens of kingfish all competing for a feed, it’s a thrilling spot to visit, but the highlight for most is the giant stingrays.
Brutus, named for his huge size, has been well known in Gulf Harbour for years.
Around 1.5 metres from wingtip to wingtip, the ray has become famous for his feeding habits, which started around three years ago.
Lynette was on the pier feeding fish, when to her surprise, Brutus rose out of the water vertically, hungry for a pilchard.
It has since become his signature move, and incredibly, he has shown the tailless stingray Stumpy how to do it too.
“About two years ago, the oldest stingray we call Stumpy came around Brutus, and Brutus got under Stumpy and pushed him up where we do the hand feeding so I could hand feed him vertically as well,” Lynette says.
Both rays now delight crowds with their feeding antics, and give many tourists and visitors a once in a lifetime experience.
The best time to see fish and stingrays is between 3pm and 4pm, when Kiwi Angler returns to the dock.
If the pier receives too many visitors throughout the day, they can lose their appetite and be less abundant.
Be wary of fingers, as snapper and kingfish can draw blood if they bite, and don’t feed any of the fish bread.
Pilchard and squid are the best bait, and can be picked up locally in Gulf Harbour.
There is strictly no fishing allowed in the marina, and a full list of regulations can be found at the entrances to the pier.
Penlink development which will provide another route in and out of the Whangaparaoa Peninsula. Photo / Supplied
By Michael Barnett
The community is desperate for the Penlink Project to get underway on the Whangaparaoa Peninsula.
An acid test of new mayor Phil Goff’s leadership will be to ensure the ‘ready-to-go’ Penlink Project gets a construction start in his three-year term.
The project is all about congestion relief for the Silverdale-Whangaparaoa area by building a new 7km road direct from the Whangaparaoa Peninsula to the Northern Motorway, and bypass Silverdale, a rapidly expanding business centre which has its own growing congestion issues. Private sector commuters, freight and bus services stand to benefit hugely.
Penlink is ready to go. It is consented. Appeals have been dealt with. The land has been purchased.
There is a strong business case: Benefit cost ratio of 2.9 for four lane version — 5.7 for two lane version. The community desperately wants it — they are sick of 5km of morning peak period congestion everyday and a number of businesses on the peninsula are struggling.
So why isn’t the $380 million construction underway?
The answer that keeps coming back is that there are more deserving projects in south and west Auckland for the limited resources available.
But that excuse doesn’t stack up.
They aren’t ready to go. Besides Penlink’s business case provides for a toll — which the community has agreed to — giving a revenue stream that has potential to reduce the capital cost and cover operating costs long-term.
Penlink is in the central government-Auckland Council aligned project (Atap) programme for the second decade — starting 2028. But this decision was taken before the ‘live zoning’ of nearby Wainui which adds another 20,000 to the population growth of next the 10 years (already the size of a Hamilton).
Without Penlink this development and other potential urban developments in this area of Auckland will be hugely compromised.
In the total scheme of Auckland’s transport investment needs, Penlink is small-scale. A public-private partnership is an option and the private sector is interested, but it is a growing political weeping sore.
Common sense says let’s just do it. Both politically and doing something for North Shore it is win-win.
Surely, the private sector, central government and Auckland Council working together can find a way to build Penlink with minimal impact on Council’s debt levels. I say it could/should be first cab off the rank for the new council — a test case for Auckand Council showing it has a ‘can do’ culture.
A big welcome to Tania who has reopened the cafe at Hobb’s Wharf as Poppy’s Cafe. It will be opening Mon – Fri 9-5, and weekends 8-5, serving coffee, delicious home baking, sandwiches, pies and quiche. So come on down, grab a coffee and sit under the pohutukawa tree if you like or inside!
“Yachting New Zealand has advised the council it remains committed to a High Performance facility in the Auckland region, particularly on the North Shore. There is no formal council-led consultation at this stage with any Local Boards as a preferred site is still to be confirmed,” Kimpton said.
North Shore councillor Chris Darby has serious concerns over the use of old North Shore City money used to construct a Hibiscus Coast sailing facility.
Huge community objection since 2010 has prevented the Devonport-Takapuna Local Board from granting landowner consent to YNZ for a lease of Takapuna Beach Reserve.
Unfortunately for YNZ, according to Auckland councillors for the Albany ward John Watson and Wayne Walker, the Gulf Harbour site is equally as contentious as Takapuna.
The Hammerhead grassy section of the Gulf Harbour marina area is considered a likely spot for YNZ’s “investigation”, because it has a secured 700 square meter commercial lease, yet to be taken up by businessman James Speedy of Harbour Investments Limited.
Minister of Sport Jonathan Coleman said; “I’m aware that Sport NZ is now investigating a potential site at Gulf Harbour.”
“The danger is that licensee could do a backroom deal with the High Performance yachting people that the council, the community, the yachties, people who launch boats here, aren’t party to, that cuts them out of their say as to what should happen here,” Walker says.
Another major issue with YNZ’s Gulf Harbour investigation is that $3 million of funds it has stashed away for the facility from Auckland Council in 2010 was obtained from land sales in Auckland’s old North Shore City.
The possible new Gulf harbour site is in the Rodney district, and Auckland Councillor for the North Shore Ward Chris Darby has issues with North Shore funds being spent on a sporting facility outside their district.
“This is national sporting facility and Auckland Council has got to be very careful about the use of its public money, and that $3 million came from the old North Shore City and it would be totally inappropriate to apply that outside the old North Shore area,” Darby says.
“We’ve got some huge core infrastructure demands and transport and I would be very surprised if the new council had an appetite for spending $3 million on a yachting facility.”
Yachting New Zealand chief executive office David Abercrombie was contacted for comment for this article.
More sailings are being added to the schedule for two popular ferry services.
From 17 October, Auckland Transport is adding six sailings a day to the Gulf Harbour route and four more to Half Moon Bay.
Ferry Services Manager, Gareth Willis, says the extra services are to meet customer demand. “We’ve experienced growth of 130 per cent over the past two years on the Gulf Harbour services. We’ve talked to our customers and they want more choice in time for the busy summer period.”
He says the additional seats follow several months of talks with the operator, 360 Discovery. “There will be improved integrated transport for locals and visitors with the connecting bus services for peak time ferry services.”
Mr Willis says Auckland Transport is also planning for future growth to Gulf Harbour to support the housing growth in the area.
There will now be three peak morning sailings at 6.30am, 7.00am and 7.30am, and three peak afternoon sailings at 4.45pm, 5.15pm and 5.45pm, as well as new sailings in the middle of the day at 10.30 am and 12.30pm from Auckland and 11.30am and 1.30pm from Gulf Harbour.
“Jimbo” James Bailey, Manager 360 Discovery Cruises says his company is pleased to be involved with the development and growth of the Gulf Harbour service. “We are working closely with Auckland Transport to improve the service we offer our customers. The increase in passenger numbers has enabled us to provide a more frequent service with improved reliability due to the purchase of newer vessels.”
Mr Willis says the new Gulf Harbour timetable could mean hundreds of cars coming off the road. “We will provide an extra 750 seats a day so there will be plenty of room for people who currently drive into town.”
He says Half Moon Bay is also getting a boost with new sailings at 9.15am and 3.15pm from Half Moon Bay and at 8.35am and 2.30pm from Auckland. “These extra trips will help with issues around capacity and peak times and mean more choice for those travelling during the day.”
Mr Willis says construction is well underway on the new pier at Half Moon Bay, it’s due to open in early 2017. In the past two years patronage on services to Half Moon Bay has grown by 9%.
While the words ‘marine education centre’ may conjure up a substantial structure such as the Sir Peter Blake Centre at Long Bay, the centre being built at Gulf Harbour is taking a different approach.
A Coastal-Marine Research Group, based at Massey University, has signed an agreement to use a new Marine Education Centre, at Hobbs Wharf.
Provision of the centre was one of the conditions imposed by the Overseas Investment Office (OIO) when granting consent to Top Harbour, the multi-million dollar company owned by Chinese interests, which is developing Fairway Bay.
But rather than being built next to the wharf, as was first mooted, the centre is being built on a 30-tonne floating block of concrete which is lined inside with polystyrene.
Top Harbour’s development consultant Michael Webb-Speight describes the floating solution as “highly attractive and very relevant to its intended purpose”.
Under the conditions set-down by the OIO, it was envisaged that the centre would be a free facility for community use. The Coastguard, in particular, was cited as a group that could use the centre for training and storage.
Mr Webb-Speight says that the small building is consistent with the ‘coastal living’ theme of the development.
“It’s a facility that is quite exciting for the Massey research group,” he says.
Group director Dr Karen Stockin says the ability to tow the centre to research sites in the Hauraki Gulf makes it a bit of a novelty.
“Even with it in situ means we can offer students more of a field trip experience,” she says.
The group is involved in a range of research from marine mammals to marine birds, reptiles, fish, invertebrates and algae. Mr Webb-Speight would like to see a study done on the Mediterranean fanworm, which he says is a huge problem for boaties.
Isn’t it great to see more ferry sailings from Gulf Harbour – not only does it help ease peak hour congestion but gives us options during the day -Lisa Whyte, Albany ward of Auckland council news will also continue to lobby for weekend sailings if you vote her in as an Albany Ward councillor – would you use the ferry to the city if it was available at the weekend?
Thanks to the support of ferry users the timetable has increased services from October 17th there have been improvements to bus connections for peak sailings as well but midday use will be monitored and reviewed
The $384 million tolled Penlink Highway – which will provide another route in and out of the Whangaparaoa Peninsula – is a step closer after an out of court settlement with land developers.
But Auckland Transport hasn’t yet decided if it will fund the 7km road, which locals and the Chamber of Commerce say is “desperately needed” and should be a priority.
The route is now protected and Penlink can be built anytime within the next 20 years.
Promoters of the idea say the four-lane toll road, which includes facilities for cyclists and pedestrians and a 540m bridge over Weiti River, would mean a 12-18 minute quicker journey for drivers who use the road, and a trip five minutes faster for those who continue to use the current road.
Penlink is expected to attract 16,600 vehicles per day and will use a toll system similar to the Northern Gateway.
An electronic toll system has been designated for it and its expected users will pay up to $3 a trip.
After a new designation was confirmed in March, landowners Green McCahill Holdings and Weiti Developments near the route lodged appeals relating to access to their housing developments.
But last month they reached an agreement with Auckland Transport – the private firms will build a roundabout and part of the southbound on-ramps to the 7km road next month even though the project hasn’t even been funded.
Auckland Chamber of Commerce chief executive Michael Barnett said in a Herald opinion piece in June that Penlink’s cost was “modest” compared with the billions of dollars of recent larger projects. Its benefit-cost ratio of 2.9 also gave it a rating higher than several of NZTA’s Roads of National Significance.
With council dragging its feet on funding, Barnett said the pre-conditions are in place for a farsighted local private-sector investor to add Penlink to its portfolio.
“Clearly, the traditional approach of relying on council hasn’t worked. If the project is to be speeded up, a new approach is required.”
In its business case, the highway was touted as a “very strong candidate” for a public private partnership with a toll of up to $3 a trip.
Hibiscus and Bays local board chairwoman Julia Parfitt said Whangaparaoa residents have always been happy with paying a toll – just as long as it got built to ease pressure on the sole congested road on and off the peninsula.
It would also help unlock the potential of Silverdale as an economic hub for the north and help connections to intensive housing areas like Dairy Flat.
“Silverdale was meant to be an employment centre but the massive congestion either side is a huge chock to that development. [Penlink] is desperately needed now. We’re ready. We’re just waiting for Auckland Transport.”
Auckland Transport spokesman Mark Hannan said they did not have construction funding but were “regularly reviewing the priority” for Penlink.