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Boats take over reserve

LIZ WILLIS
Last updated 05:00 30/01/2014
Sailors

NO PICNIC: A photo taken on January 16 shows sailing dinghies dominating a Takapuna reserve close to the proposed NOWSC site.

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Sailors are already taking over a reserve that neighbours the proposed controversial National Ocean Water Sports Centre site.

The reserve is loved by summer picnickers but up to 12 dinghies were seen parked overnight in January, next to a sign that prohibits boat storage.

People opposing the yachting centre plans warn the problem will only get worse if the campground closes and yachties move in.

Simon Waymouth of Friends of Takapuna Beach Reserve says the reserve would be the closest spot to rig boats once they came out of storage.

But it's "everybody's reserve" and is often packed with picnickers enjoying what it's there for - open, public space, he says.

It appears a sailing camp was being run in early January for children and they were using the reserve to store boats, he says.

Mr Waymouth says council officers occasionally police the problem but they didn't appear to be doing so in early January.

It's a rare spot of open ground close to the popular launching spot at the boat ramp, he says.

Auckland Council compliance officers issued removal notices to boat owners periodically.

The most recent were issued on January 14, local and sports parks north manager Martin van Jaarsveld says.

"These notices give the boats owners two weeks to remove their boats before impounding action can be taken," he says.

"This must be balanced with legitimate storage of boats as part of approved events, both national and international."

Mr van Jaarsveld says the land should be freely available for public use and bollards are in place as a deterrent.

The council is looking at further measures to address the problem, Mr van Jaarsveld says.

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