Bureaucracy slow to budge building

01:00, Sep 26 2013
Boulder Bank shack
GETTING BOLDER: A structure that is being erected on the Boulder Bank now has a roof.

The bolshie Boulder Bank builder who threw stones at a Nelson Mail photographer last week looks likely to retain his perch for a while longer.

Nelson City Council community relations manager Angela Ricker has confirmed that the council is preparing an enforcement order application to the Environment Court, the next legal step after the man ignored a council abatement notice giving him two weeks to pull down his ramshackle platform below the high tide line.

The Mail has been told that getting such an order could take weeks or even months, although an urgent request might be processed quickly.

The council was also looking at "the possibility of assistance through Maritime New Zealand" because the structure, a tin-roofed room built of pallets sitting on four poles, was a potential navigation hazard, Ms Ricker said.

The man refused to identify himself when the abatement notice was served three weeks ago. The council now knows who he is but will not provide the name to the Mail for privacy reasons.

In a statement, Mrs Ricker said that if a court order was issued and had to be actioned, it was likely the council would seek police assistance.

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The man peppered a Nelson Mail photographer with stones when they were updating the paper's images of the platform, which is sited inside the Boulder Bank near the historic baches.

His project has drawn hundreds of internet comments - many of them backing him - from around New Zealand.

Harbourmaster Dave Duncan has repeatedly described the building as a navigation hazard and said it had to come down.

Department of Conservation Motueka conservation services manager Mark Townsend, who has responsibility for Nelson under DOC's new management, said DOC wanted to see the structure gone and was "supporting" the Nelson City Council.

He said it had been built without any authority and was very close to the "iconic landscape features" of the Boulder Bank scenic reserve.

DOC's responsibility ends at the mean high water mark with the coastal marine area under control of the council.

"The reason we've got involved is that it's very close to the boundary and we want to support each other through this process."

It could be looked at under the Maritime Transport Act as a navigational hazard.

The coastal marine area fell under the Coastal Maritime Marine Act and the Boulder Bank scenic reserve was covered by the Reserves Act.

"We've got all this legislation behind us . . . We've got to go through this calmly and methodically. The department definitely wants this structure gone," Mr Townsend said.

A Maritime NZ spokeswoman said the agency was responsible for administering the Maritime Transport Act, which covers navigation hazards nationally.

In this case, the nature and location of the structure meant it sat more appropriately within the jurisdiction of the Nelson City Council.

"MNZ works closely with regional and local authorities throughout the country on a range of issues, including safe navigation, and will provide support or advice to the Nelson City Council if requested," she said.

The Nelson Mail