The Northland Regional Council is calling for expressions of interest to prepare a draft moorings and marinas strategy for Northland - to be released for public comment in February.
The council is considering a range of options to deal with concerns they have about the way moorings and marinas are being managed.
Since July, staff have been working with a subcommittee of the council to refine the scope of the strategy, discuss options and speak with key stakeholders.
The Bay of Islands is the priority area.
Stakeholder consultation has been mainly done through a "focus group" of key parties in the Bay of Islands including boating clubs, marina developers, Department of Conservation, iwi and environmental groups and community groups.
At issue is the potential future decline in the availability and affordability of moorings and marina berths for Northlanders.
Many people live in and visit Northland because of the boating opportunities. Key to this is access to affordable moorings and marina berths. Demand for moorings and marina berths is likely to increase over time, particularly in popular boating areas such as the Bay of Islands. There is already high demand for marina berths and there is very little space left in existing mooring zones.
One of the biggest potential constraints to intensification of existing mooring zones is dealing with existing swing moorings.
They are also questioning who should pay for land-based facilities.
At present, mooring owners do not pay a direct contribution to land-based facilities - particularly parking.
The council has the responsibility to manage the coastal marine area. Traditionally, it has not been involved in promoting mooring and marina development opportunities. The council has recently indicated an appetite to explore mooring and marina development opportunities. The draft strategy will outline the range of options.
The objective of the strategy is to provide a range of sustainable and affordable mooring opportunities to satisfy the foreseeable demand.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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