AT shuts Sand­spit sta­tion

Rodney Times - - OUT & ABOUT - DELWYN DICKEY

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.

DELWYN DICKEY/STUFF

The Har­bour­mas­ter build­ing on Sand­spit wharf now sits empty.

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