Wa­ter sports cen­tre for Okahu Bay

Central Leader - - NEWS - By JU­LIAN RAETHEL

Auck­land’s coast­line is about to get a new land­mark.

The Hyundai Marine Sports Cen­tre is in its fi­nal plan­ning stages at the ex­ist­ing Royal Akarana Yacht Club site in Okahu Bay.

The multi-sport fa­cil­ity has been granted re­source con­sent and Fletcher Con­struc­tion is set to pick up the $12 mil­lion con­tract.

Akarana Marine Sports Char­i­ta­ble Trust gen­eral man­ager An­drew Brook­land says it’s been a long time com­ing. ‘‘ We love the way the build­ing looks,’’ he says.

‘‘The site and city de­serves this and the open­ing up of the wa­ter­ways to more peo­ple.’’

Dis­cus­sions about the Ta­maki Drive site be­gan in 2005 and work was planned to start last year.

How­ever fundrais­ing tar­gets weren’t met and re­source con­sent took longer than an­tic­i­pated due to lo­gis­tics around traf­fic and park­ing.

Most of the cen­tre’s front will be glass to max­imise the view of the Hau­raki Gulf and Ran­gi­toto Is­land.

So­lar pan­els are also on the wish­list so the cen­tre can be­come self­suf­fi­cient, Brook­land says.

It will play host to a num­ber of school sports teams and clubs in­clud­ing pad­dle­board­ing, triathlon and sail­ing.

New Zealand Laser Ra­dial class sailor Sara Winther is con­fi­dent the new cen­tre will help with her Olympic am­bi­tions.

‘‘This fa­cil­ity will be of a size and qual­ity to be able to host large in­ter­na­tional events, which will not only We love the way the build­ing looks. The site and city de­serves this and the open­ing up of the wa­ter­ways to more peo­ple as­sist with my road to Rio but will also help sup­port the up and com­ing sailors of New Zealand,’’ Winther says.

Brook­land says a num­ber of schools have ex­pressed in­ter­est in the fa­cil­ity in­clud­ing Western Springs Col­lege, Ta­maki Col­lege and Sel­wyn Col­lege.

The build­ing will also en­able the de­vel­op­ment of a sep­a­rate Waka Cen­tre for Ngati Whatua Orakei, he says.

Co-founder of Orakei Wa­ter Sports Donna Ta­maariki is con­fi­dent that the stan­dards of the com­mu­nity will be met.

‘‘The big­gest suc­cess of this pro­ject mov­ing for­ward are the users who have sup­ported it.’’

Ta­maariki says there is fur­ther op­por­tu­nity to im­prove the wa­ter­ways at Okahu Bay.

‘‘It would be even bet­ter if Whai Mai Ltd’s [Ngati Whatua Orakei’s tribal de­vel­op­ment com­pany] sub­mis­sions to re­move the moor­ings are suc­cess­ful,’’ she says.

‘‘There is so much history and sig­nif­i­cance of Okahu Bay.’’

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