Beach-dwellers balk at ski lane

00:00, Feb 03 2014

Little Kaiteriteri residents are concerned a proposal to move the main beach's water-ski access to their foreshore will affect the environment and the safety of young swimmers and families.

Resident Louise Devine said more than 100 residents attended a meeting last month to discuss the proposed shift of the water-ski lane from the main beach.

They could not believe the proposal was made without any apparent consultation with users of the area and feared the a new ski lane would change Little Kaiteriteri from a peaceful and well cared for beach area to a chaotic, rubbish strewn and hazardous swimming area, she said.

In addition change would undermine traffic, pedestrian, swimming and vehicle safety.

Ms Devine said Little Kaiteriteri lacked the infrastructure to cope with an increased recreation population. Residents were concerned the existing reserve would become a trailer park to the detriment of picnickers, the recently completed erosion plantings would be destroyed and the area's wildlife - penguins in particular - would be disturbed.

She said Little Kaiteriteri's wind and wave action was greater and the beach was not as a safe for water skiers as Kaiteriteri.


Resident Mark Oldfield said there seemed to be unanimous opposition to the proposal.

It would be a shame to see the lovely area lose its value, he said. Its main attraction was that it was a sanctuary for those who wished to get away from the densely populated main beach.

The quiet nature of Little Kaiteriteri meant children could freely use lilos and kayaks and their parents could be confident that they were safe, he said.

Tasman district harbourmaster Steve Hainstock said the proposal was driven by the need to separate the increasing number of swimmers using the lagoon's stream to the sea and power boats - a situation also highlighted by Maritime NZ.

His options had included doing away with water skiing altogether, coming up with a safer arrangement for users or shifting the water-ski access lane to Little Kaiteriteri.

Meanwhile, the council is reviewing how it manages its coastal moorings. It proposes all moorings are licensed and exist within new planned mooring areas - many of which align to the majority of current mooring sites.

Only a third of Tasman's 234 swing moorings are authorised or have consent. Mr Hainstock said the preferred option, depending on feedback, was to set up specific mooring sites in areas where licences to occupy would be required.

Those currently holding resource consent outside those areas would not have to change. Those holding no consent and moored outside the new proposed mooring areas would have to move and get licences.

He said the proposal was simpler and cheaper than pursuing the status quo option which would require the owners of all moorings to hold resource consents.

Mooring owners would face paying at least $280 in licence deposit fees and an annual fee of about $100 under the proposed system. But this was far cheaper than requiring resource consents, which tended to be expensive, he said.

Currently only about a third of the district's 234 swing moorings have been approved or are authorised by the council, he said.

The review was being driven by the need to efficiently allocate space, particularly in popular mooring areas, remove the inequity between legal and unauthorised moorings and the legal requirement that the council have an accurate record of the ownership of coastal structures. Those structures not identified as having an owner become the property of the Department of Conservation and may be removed.

Submissions on both proposals are open until March 28.