Boat survey ramps up

Last updated 05:00 14/11/2013
Shelley Beach
GEMMA WOOD

SHELLY BEACH: The popular spot for fishing charters and boaties is considered ideal to access Kaipara Harbour and will be reviewed in an Auckland Council survey.

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Support from the Rodney Local Board comes in waves for an Auckland Council survey of boat users which goes live today.

The survey on council's website includes Shelly Beach which is one of the problem spots.

User-pays boat ramps in the super-city is one option being considered by council reviewing boat ramp, launching and mooring facilities at 92 sites in the Rodney and Hibiscus Coast local board areas.

Studies show ramps are at capacity at peak times and there is a perceived shortage of all-tide, all-weather boat ramps.

Boaties and coast users are experiencing traffic and parking issues, and gridlock on and off the water during peak launch times.

Based on the number of registered boat trailers there are now about 38,000 trailer boats in the region.

This is predicted to increase to between 67,000 and 90,000 boats over the next 20 to 30 years.

One of the difficult areas is Shelly Beach Rd, South Head.

There is a lack of parking as boats with trailers park all day in the best spots. Park and beach visitors are forced to park up a very narrow road with no shoulder.

The popular spot is regarded as the best access to the Kaipara Harbour.

Rodney Local Board chairwoman Brenda Steele says the board welcomes the review.

"Shelly Beach has no mooring facilities and this community and boat users have been lobbying us about the lack of data. Our communities have complained about the boat ramps, lack of parking and high use."

She doesn't see the board supporting user pays as their ratepayers have already built the boat ramps.

Mrs Steele says it's a well known fact that the Kaipara Harbour has very limited access for boat launching and this survey is going to be vital.

Possible improvements may include, but are not limited to, boat ramp upgrades, new ramps, parking and signs, or improving the availability and accessibility of information regarding ramp use and location.

Needs will be identified by the online survey and consulting users at ramps. Where an improvement is needed, provision options for it will be developed. The survey asks boaties which of the 92 boat ramps they use, why and how often they use it, and how much they would be willing to pay for the use.

Fill in the survey at auckland council.govt.nz/have your say before February 8.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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