Coun­cil ap­proves new jetty

Hamilton News - - Front Page - Tom Row­land

A new jetty is com­ing to the banks of the Waikato River in Hamil­ton’s CBD.

On Thurs­day last week, Hamil­ton City Coun­cil voted 11 to 1 in favour of spend­ing $550,000 to build an ex­tended jetty on the Waikato River be­hind the Waikato Mu­seum.

The new jetty, part of the city’s River Plan, will in­clude a gang­way, ramp and a 5sq m float­ing pon­toon. The struc­ture will ex­tend 23m into the Waikato River.

Waikato River Ex­plorer skipper Dar­ren Mills spoke at the public fo­rum on Thurs­day in favour of the new jetty, which would al­low him to trans­port cus­tomers from the CBD to the Hamil­ton Gar­dens and back.

Two op­tions were put to the coun­cil — the new up­grade or the re­build of the old jetty, which was dis­man­tled last Septem­ber.

A bud­get of $280,000 was set aside for the re­build op­tion and the short­fall of $270,000 will come from funds re­al­lo­cated from a post­poned walk­way project for Em­bassy Park.

Mr Mills said that the up­grade was his pre­ferred op­tion as with­out the pon­toon he would be un­able to dock due to the low wa­ter lev­els.

“If the coun­cil opts for the more de­sir­able op­tion we would then be moor­ing our ves­sels a full five me­tres fur­ther out and us­ing a float­ing pon­toon which is a bet­ter fit for a river that rises and falls,” Mr Mills said.

Coun­cil­lor Ge­off Tay­lor sup­ported the up­graded jetty.

“This is a prac­ti­cal im­por­tant early step to en­cour­age use of the river,” Cr Tay­lor said.

“There’s the magic num­ber of hours in which, if you can keep vis­i­tors for three hours in the city, you’ll get a bet­ter chance of hav­ing them stay overnight.”

How­ever, coun­cil­lor Garry Mal­lett was on the op­po­site side of the ar­gu­ment say­ing that the coun­cil­lors are spend­ing like “drunk sailors”.

“We’re in a sit­u­a­tion where out­side this cham­ber we are telling our ratepay­ers that we are con­cerned for them and that it is re­ally bad that your rates are go­ing up and then we come into this cham­ber and spend away like drunk sailors,” Cr Mal­lett said.

Mayor An­drew King was in sup­port, say­ing the big­gest as­set of the city was the Waikato River.

“We have the beau­ti­ful gar­dens there which bring tourists in, but we don’t have a jetty in our CBD to trans­port peo­ple in from the gar­dens,” Mayor King said.

Coun­cil­lor Garry Mal­lett was the sin­gle coun­cil­lor op­posed to con­struc­tion of a new jetty.

Photo / Hamil­ton City Coun­cil

The planned ex­tended Hamil­ton jetty with a pon­toon at the end.

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