Jetty own­ers’ re-con­sent­ing night­mare

Rodney Times - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - DELWYN DICKEY

With hardly any roads on Kawau Is­land, wharves and jet­ties are crit­i­cal for most is­lan­ders to ac­cess their prop­er­ties.

The cost of main­tain­ing th­ese struc­tures is in­creas­ing. But, claims un­der the Marine and Coastal Area (Taku­tai Moana) Act, are putting some is­lan­ders un­der in­tense fi­nan­cial pres­sure.

Of more than 70 wharves or jet­ties on Kawau Is, most are pri­vately owned.

As cli­mate change re­lated storms ramp up, they are tak­ing their toll, Kawau Is­lan­der and Kook­aburra mag­a­zine ed­i­tor Michael Mar­ris said.

‘‘The storm surges up­rooted wharf piles putting them right out of the wa­ter,’’ he said, some­thing he has not seen be­fore.

At­tached to this are safety con­cerns over pub­lic use of pri­vate jet­ties to ac­cess pub­lic beaches with­out con­tribut­ing to up­keep.

Chair­man of is­land com­mu­nity group KIRRA, Les Mel­lars, shares a wharf with around six other prop­erty own­ers. He es­ti­mates main­te­nance costs av­er­age out to around $10,000 an­nu­ally. Re-con­sent­ing is­sues, in­clud­ing those re­lat­ing to marine cus­tom­ary ti­tles, are putting se­ri­ous fi­nan­cial pres­sure on jetty own­ers, he said.

With hun­dreds of cus­tom­ary ti­tle ap­pli­ca­tions na­tion­wide, it is likely to take years to get through them all.

In the in­terim, as 20-year re­source con­sents for wharves come up for re­newal around the coast, own­ers have to find and no­tify any claimants be­fore reap­ply­ing to coun­cil.

‘‘The re­spon­si­bil­ity lies with the ap­pli­cant for re­source con­sent to en­gage with the Cus­tom­ary Ti­tle ap­pli­cant, prior to the lodge­ment of their ap­pli­ca­tion,’’ an Auck­land Coun­cil spokes­woman ad­vises.

‘‘The coun­cil does not no­tify ap­pli­ca­tions for Cus­tom­ary Ti­tle, that is a re­spon­si­bil­ity of the Crown.’’

There are around 30 ap­pli­ca­tions for Crown en­gage­ment in the Auck­land re­gion with Mar­ris es­ti­mat­ing seven in­volve Kawau Is­land.

‘‘They must all be con­tacted via a lawyer,’’ he said, with a six month lead in time to sort out de­tails.

Af­ter sev­eral months try­ing to sort re-con­sent­ing, res­i­dent Max Tem­ple­ton ended up go­ing to a plan­ner.

This cost $3,500 plus an en­gi­neers re­port for $5,000. The re­sult­ing work needed on the wharf then set him back $35,000.

DELWYN DICKEY/ STUFF

Jet­ties give ac­cess to prop­er­ties and the Kawau Is­land ferry is a life­line to the main­land for many.

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