Bid to return Takapuna Beach campground to original lease overturned at fiery meeting
A notice of motion to return the lease of the Takapuna Holiday Park to a single large lease was overturned at a heated local board meeting on Tuesday, September 6.
The meeting was packed with members of the public, some of whom shouted comments and then walked out after the vote.
The campground lease was carved into two, one covering 10 per cent of the publicly owned land in December 2015.
At that time, the 10 per cent subdivision lease was seen as a concession to Yachting New Zealand, which had failed in its bid to obtain a larger lease for a $8.5 million Community Marine Activity Hub on the campground site.
The 10 per cent subdivision lease, equating to 580 square metres, is enough for YNZ to construct a hard stand for sailing boats.
* Takapuna campground victory after Yachting NZ withdraws application
* Yachting New Zealand renews interest in Takapuna beach reserve for sailing facility
* Mixed emotions for Takapuna Beach Holiday Park supporters
On Tuesday, Devonport-Takapuna Local Board deputy chairman Grant Gillon presented a notice of motion to scrap the 10 per cent subdivision and return the existing Takapuna campground site to just one large lease.
With board members votes tied 3-3, chairman Joseph Bergin used his casting vote to reject the motion.
However, Bergin says his decision had absolutely no connection to keeping YNZ's hopes alive to build a hard stand on the reserve, but was to pave the way for a larger area of beach reserve open space in the future.
"There's no basis to that accusation," Bergin says.
"My main motivation behind the vote was the Takapuna Beach Reserve Management Plan has a stated policy to turn as much of the land on Takapuna Beach reserve into open unencumbered space.
"My intention is that the 10 per cent won't be leased and will be available to be turned into public open space."
Gillon says this is not the end of the reserve lease subdivision issue.
"I'm disappointed that the three board members that aren't coming back made a decision that is against 80 per cent of North Shore residents, but I will raise the issue again if re-elected" Gillon says, referring to a 2015 public poll.
The three local board members who voted against the motion; Joseph Bergin, Allison Roe and Diane Hale, are not standing for re-election for the Devonport-Takapuna Local Board in October.
Organisers of a community group set up to save the campground were vocal in the meeting, shouting comments from the floor immediately after the chairman cast his vote.
"Obviously I'm extremely disappointed in Roe, Hale and Bergin's attitude to this whole campaign," Save Takapuna Beach Holiday Park organiser Gavin Sheehan says.
"None of them have ever come up with a concrete argument that shows to eliminate all or part of the holiday park is good for our community."