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Friday
Jun132014

Boat Fees Now Universal

Signs (and collection boxes) have gone up at all Council owned boat ramps that promulgate the universal fees that now apply throughout the District.

Not that this is a bad thing - the previous Council (2007-10) fought to introduce such charges, but was threatened by a group led by Tony Fox who ran the Game Fishing Club at Whitianga at the time. It was a major election issue at Whitianga and Tairua/Pauanui, and passions ran high - well and truely massaged by the anti-fee group. Fox wrote a highly inflammatory letter at the time as part of his 2010 election campaign.

Now Councillor Fox has has been caught out for the hypocrisy that surrounded his campaign. He stood aside from the issue when it arose following his election, and the fees were standardised District-wide without a whimper. Now the signs have appeared that give effect to the change, and the question arises whether the famously loud and insistent Cr Fox has apologised to all his supporters who were so vociferous in their opposition to the fees in 2010. 

The moment Mayor Leach blew the horn, Councillor Fox ran for cover.

 

 

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Reader Comments (7)

Bill are you sure of your facts here. As a fisherman & TCDC staff member who frequents 3-4 ramps I only know of fees being reintroduced back at the Whitianga ramp & for the small fee we scored a very useful pontoon that makes it easier for launching & retrieving of boats. I've not heard or seen any evidence of the fees being introduced at any other ramps.

June 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterFisho

Bill are you sure of your facts here. As a fisherman & TCDC staff member who frequents 3-4 ramps I only know of fees being reintroduced back at the Whitianga ramp & for the small fee we scored a very useful pontoon that makes it easier for launching & retrieving of boats. I've not heard or seen any evidence of the fees being introduced at any other ramps.

June 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterFisho

There was Hell to play when the idea was first mooted here in the Bay. Yea old Tony Fox threatened the Council with all sorts of action, including a block vote of his [then] 2000 club members against any person who stood for Council in 2010. Even I was told by those in the know that he offered his considerable mediating talents to the then Mayor so she could get out of the 'jam without losing too much face'. No way over his dead body would there be any boat launching fees in the Bay. Tony even dragged Carl Muir [ tourist boat operator in Tairua] into the fray and they both bagged any candidate who thought ramp fees were a good idea.
That useful pontoon could have been there years ago 'Fisho' had the fees remained in place, after all 3 out of every 5 Whitianga ratepayers has a boat according to Tony.
Funny now that Mr. Fox has his feet in the public trough that he has rolled over about ramp fees.
Sometimes it takes time for good ideas to sink in for some people eh Tony?.

June 18, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLocal Fisher

Yep no doubt about that and we'd probably have paid it off too. I just don't think Bill is correct as I've not heard of the fees returning to other ramps in Mercury Bay or elsewhere. I wouldn't want to be in the enforcement jobs if the Council introduced it again as those staff got hammered last time round.

June 18, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterFisho

Council certainly bowed down to pressure from boaties who seem to believe that ALL ratepayers should subsidise their hobby of fishing. From memory there was a huge uproar from the Whangapoua folk who claimed to have put in the boat ramp themselves and 'would rip it out' before paying any fees- even pulled out all the signs and tossed them over the bank on some forestry road. Council countered by saying that they had put in the car parks, toilet and walkway from beach to wharf - but all to no avail - those bad boys just would not pay. Then somebody told me of Matarangi where Council put in $140,000 and upgraded their ramp - but again fishers got all bitter and twisted and would not pay---- Kuaotunu was more muted from memory - paying into an honesty tin as did Cooks Beach. Funny how boaties don't mind paying at the Sugar Loaf, Whangamata, Waikawau ramp [not Council] and now Whitianga--- so I guess those who use the other ramps on the Council map must selfishly believe that ratepayers need to stump up for their pleasure- and that includes visitors and ratepayers alike. - Me , I just fish off the beach and I might add, get good fish.
So good on you Tony- you wasted 5 years of revenue because of your hard nose attitude

June 18, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLocal Fisher

Yep things were pretty heated back here in Tairua too and we're nervously watching what happens after the Marina is finished as we may end up with a limited launching area / parking etc. I can't imagine anything new being built for free. I'd be happy to ay if I see a good new facility.

June 19, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterFisho

Bill - always good to see a brave man fall on his sword. I did some checks too & the fees have only gone back to the Whitianga ramp after Tony Fox fought for the ramp upgrade & pontoon. Looks like a win win really & a huge mouthful of humble pie for Tony. Now we just need a similar upgrade at Tairua & then Bob Rentin can share the same pie & everyone can move on.

June 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterFisho

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