Anti-marina event

GEORGE GARDNER
Last updated 05:00 08/01/2014
Hawkesby

DOUBLE ACT: Alan Smythe and John Hawkesby are all set for their twilight concert at Pie Melon Bay this Saturday. The family event will raise funds for the campaign against a 160-berth marina development at Matiatia.

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Two personalities have come together in the name of one cause to create a big family event this weekend.

Veteran concert organiser Alan Smythe and former broadcaster turned wine writer John Hawkesby are adamant they don't want to see a marina being built at Matiatia.

Plans have been submitted for a 160-berth facility to the north of the main wharf and the proposal will be heard in the Environment Court this year.

Around 220 people showed interest in having a berth when the proposal was in its early planning stages in 2011.

And Auckland Council's first submission round on the proposal that year attracted 257 submissions for the marina compared to 57 against and six neutrals.

Since then, others have become concerned about the marina's impact - both environmentally and longer term - on the already congested gateway.

Now a group called Direction Matiatia has been set up to fight the application in the Environment Court.

John and Alan want to raise as much money as possible to gather the maximum amount of expert advice they can muster for the people opposed to the idea.

T-shirts bearing a Matiatia - Let It Be logo designed by artist Denis O'Connor are being sold and a family twilight concert at exclusive private estate Pie Melon Bay on Saturday will help pay some bills.

It will be a feel-good, fun, family variety concert at Waiheke's most beautiful location, Alan says.

He claims the event was John's idea. John says it was Alan's. But they agree it is a good idea and they certainly have the experience.

Alan is responsible for events like Coca-Cola Christmas in the Park, Symphony Under the Stars and Opera in the Park.

John has the loudest voice and the sharpest wit of any host in the country.

Alan says: "We worked together on 20 to 30 of those big concerts at the Domain and John was the best MC ever.

"I knew what I was getting into working with him."

There is a lineup of local performers with some headline acts from Coca-Cola Christmas in the Park.

Michael Hurst will be acting excerpts from Shakespeare in a hilarious contemporary Kiwi fashion.

And there could be an appearance by someone so famous that the pair are keeping stumm. "I'm talking ‘A' list. If I tell you I'd have to kill you," John says.

"I'm making a cheeky approach, you never know."

People should bring a blanket and cash for food and beverages.

There will also be an auction of Denis O'Connor's original Matiatia - Let It Be artwork, and some other items.

Everyone is welcome, whatever their views.

"This is a fun, friendly evening with no ranting and raving against the marina proposal," John says.

"Even if you are for the marina, you will be most welcome.

"And the irony of selling you a ticket to raise money to defeat your proposal will not be lost on either of us."

TWILIGHT CONCERT

Let It Be is from 5pm to 8pm on January 11 at Pie Melon Bay, 77 Waiheke Rd.

Drive to Onetangi and take the first right after the Z petrol station into Waiheke Rd. Drive up the hill. The entrance to Pie Melon Bay is at the top of the hill, as the road bears right towards the "bottom end" of the island.

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Tickets are available at Shop the Rock in Oneroa and Island Coffee Roastery, behind True Blue in Ostend. They are $25 for adults. School-aged children accompanied by an adult get in free. VIP tickets are $125, which include one car with four adults and parking at the bottom of the hill by the beach.

- Waiheke Marketplace

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