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Whitianga Boat Ramp Pontoon

This is the first of the items that was dealt with in Public Excluded last Wednesday. This is a direct quote from the paper as presented:


Council has approved a budget of $100,000 in the 13/14 financial year for the construction of a pontoon on the existing Whitianga (Wharf) boat ramp.  The budget was set based on information supplied by the preferred supplier as an estimate for the installed cost plus engineering and consenting.

Since that time consultation with boat ramp users has identified short falls with the existing ramp design i.e. the existing ramp ends at approximately the low tide mark making launching and retrieving boats at low tide from the existing ramp very difficult.  Most boat owners are tending to use the sand at the side of the ramp rather than chancing successful retrieval on the ramp at low tide. As such this was not included in the original $100,000 estimate.

Tonkin and Taylor have been engaged to complete the design and consenting for the new pontoon.  Their brief included the design of an extension to the existing ramp, making launching and retrieving adjacent to the new pontoon "all tides" a viable option for ramp users.


1. Receives the Report

2. Agrees to increase the budget for the construction of the Whitianga Boat Ramp pontoon from the adopted 2013/2014 Annual Plan amouint of $100,000 to $181,000.

3. Notes the reintroduction of the Whitianga boating amenity/parking fees as confirmed in the 13/14 Annual Plan that will provide revenue to offset the additional cost over time.

4. Confirms that the additional budget be funded in the interim via loan or local consolidated depreciation reserves with any principle and interest costs to be met locally by the Mercury Bay Community Board area.  

Moved/Seconded ByFox/McLean

Note that suddenly 'loan' funding has entered into the equation. What this means is that once again, Whitianga is enabled to meet its immediate needs as and when required, instead of waiting in line as in all the other Board areas.

The question of the use of depreciation reserves for such a purpose then arises. It is my understanding that such reserves are only supposed to be used for replacement - not new capital works, but I will stand corrected if that is not the case. 

The second irony that emerges from this motion is that it was moved by Cr Fox who was the principle opponent prior to the last election, and some would say, was elected on his opposition to boat or parking fees at boat ramps. It seems that he has now modified his position, and that Whitianga is now to join all other Board areas in terms of the imposition of boat or ramp parking fees. How the worm turns!




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Reader Comments (1)

Not to mention that this would indicate that the ramp is going to remain in its existing location for many years to come. It seems to me that $181k could go a very long way to getting through design and consents to finally move the ramp to a more suitable location - Brophies beach, say, on public land in front of Mr Mclean;s house.

August 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSailing Away

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