AT shuts Sandspit station
The Sandspit harbourmaster’s building now lies empty, after Auckland Transport staff transferred into Warkworth recently.
But, with more boats ignoring the five knot speed limit around the estuary and bay already, Sandspit residents and boaties alike have concerns.
‘‘This summer will be the telling time,’’ Sandspit residents and rate payers association Greg Doherty said. ‘‘Especially when it comes to jet skis.’’
Restructuring came after long term maritime officer Graeme Kearney resigned, leaving a skipper and a maritime assistant at the office.
‘‘The administration work previously undertaken in the northern region will now be consolidated at the harbourmaster’s main office in Mechanics Bay allowing the Northern team to be more operationally focused,’’ Auckland Transport spokesman Mark Hannan said.
‘‘Concerns had been raised that the Sandspit Wharf office wasn’t fit for purpose, so the option was taken to move to the Council service centre in Warkworth.’’
Sandspit Marina manager Grant Brown’s home overlooks Sandspit so he has a front row seat to the overall boat traffic in the area.
‘‘Without a doubt there has been an increase in the number of boats not obeying the 200 metre rule,’’ he said.
Under Maritime New Zealand rules boats must not exceed a speed of five knots, within 200 meters of the shore. He also has concerns over jet skis.
Complaints about speed should go to the Mechanics Bay office, Hannan said.
AT expects staff to be operating out of Sandspit almost daily covering the northern area including the Whangapara¯ oa, along with trailering the 8.5 metre patrol boat to the Kaipara Harbour.
Previously launched and recovered off the beach each day, a site at the marina is now being trialled for the boat with a new container workshop going in the car park.
All up this should see staff spending more time patrolling and maintaining the areas navigation aids, signage and markers than in the past, Hannan said.
The Harbourmaster building on Sandspit wharf now sits empty.