By Pauline Stewart.
Trevor Jensen and his family have lived in their home by the estuary for 6 years. They love their home - the view, the closeness to the estuary, their life in retirement after many years of hard work. It’s not a new home; built about 1960. It is gracious and spacious and very homely - built according to accommodate the view and the power of the estuary.
Recently, Trevor and his family have felt very threatened by the news, which is not confirmed at the point where Trevor talked to The informer (but is now featured in the TCDC news page this issue as considering two options), that consideration is being given to the Mercury Bay Boating Club moving its building which is presently on stilts, to the land in front of his home - adjacent to Dundas Street entrance south of the Marina, right near the boat ramp.
“It will be a large building blocking a good part of our view and changing the scape of this whole area. The Council does not have the right to withhold any information. ” Trevor went on to say how the Boating Club has needed to promote its venue for events like weddings and parties to help raise funds. “That won’t be changing as the need for funds won’t change. But party central doesn’t belong here,” says Trevor. “I should be notified and have a chance to object. This matter has not been thought through enough!
Trevor raised a number of issues –
The boat trailers park all across that area where the boating Club is thought to be set down. Where is the alternative parking area?
The current flow in the estuary is already very swift. There is traffic from Waterways boats and fishermen and the ferry and special fishing events. How do young sailors navigate this in safety? Not every sailing regatta can fit around the regular estuary traffic.
Trevor is asking why the Boating Club cannot stay where it is. Trevor is clear, “Its’ original position was put at risk due to there being no rock wall to halt erosion. Has the Council got some responsibility for the fact that if they had built a rock wall to protect the Boating Club, it would not have had to be moved in the first place? We are all paying for this lack of foresight and action.”
Where is the consultation with the people who live here? When has a community building not required a notifiable resource consent?
The Boating Club made a statement to The Informer recently, “We have so much work to before we can know what it is we can do.” Indeed, they do, as the Club building is on stilts and midway between where it was on the shoreline to where it has requested to go - nearer the Taputapuatea Bridge adjacent to the SH25. They are progressing conversations as to this being possible as really all they wan to do is to train young sailors and be an excellent organiser and host of sailing events.
Trevor is aware that any plans to move the Boating Club would be very expensive. Nothing has been decided but he has been close by when Boating Club and TCDC reps were pacing out right near his home, ‘just how the Boating Club building might be placed with a deck out from the shore.’
Policy not operational: Then there is the matter of policy around the Mercury Bay Reserves; Management Plan 2021 stated “There is concern over Lyons Park being used as an overflow parking area for marine activities, particularly given the ongoing growth of the Whitianga Marina and the limited parking options available to users.
Further in the management plan, it states in the Reserve Management Policy
a) Objectives and policies in the Thames-Coromandel General Policies Reserve Management Plan apply.
b) Any use of this reserve for parking must directly relate to an activity or event that is being held on the reserve. (Lyons Park).
A senior manager at TCDC is aware of the distress caused to Trevor and was to speak with him in this time. Trevor has requested information through the Freedom of Information Act and he waits for that but has been told that he is asking for so much information, that he will have to pay for it.
Clearly, no decision has been made or can be made but open conversation so to what is planned and what has to be considered is a worthy next step.
Caption: Trevor Jensen