Time running out for wakeboard park
‘‘It is our view that it would be an injustice to not allow the public the opportunity for a public inquiry.’’
The future of Auckland’s first wakeboarding park is in murky water.
Rixen Cableways NZ opened a two-way cable park in Onehunga lagoon in March 2016 under a temporary 40-day operational period.
The trial period, granted by the Maungakiekie-Tamaki Local Board, ends on September 7.
Under the terms of the agreement, Rixen is required to remove all of the cable park’s infrastructure on this date.
Rixen co owner Kerry Martin says the company has applied for a public inquiry as they want to stay long-term at the lagoon under a five-year, non-exclusive water use lease.
Martin says the cost of removing the cable park would end the company and it would like to keep the infrastructure in place while the public inquiry is carried out.
He says they put forward their application five weeks ago and it is now awaiting approval from the Maungakiekie-Tamaki Local Board.
‘‘We have got support from all relevant water user groups for the inquiry now except from the local board.’’
Local board chairman Simon Randall says the application is currently being processed by an Auckland Council inquiry team.
‘‘It might get to us for our September local board meeting, if not it will be on the agenda for late November,’’ he says.
Martin says if the application is not considered in the September meeting it will be ‘‘impossible for the cable to stay’’.
‘‘The consultation period would last about two months, the council do not carry out inquiries for a period of December as well, this would mean we would miss operating in the crucial summer period.’’
Martin says they have already received letters of support from community members and groups.
‘‘The Marine Education and Recreation Centre and Halberg Disability Sports Foundation have written letters of support as we can help cater their great programmes. It is our view that it would be an injustice to not allow the public the opportunity for a public inquiry.’’
Randall says the board has done all it can to accommodate the cable park and the processing of the application is out of the board’s hands. ‘‘When we first gave temporary approval we said now is the time to apply to stay long term and they didn’t. They have now done that and it is being processed.’’
Riders wait their turn to ride the cable system at Onehunga lagoon.