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2017 May June Marina World

The magazine for the marina industry

MARINA PLANNING & DESIGN

MARINA PLANNING & DESIGN inside did not flush and was stagnant, algae-choked and infested with invasive catfish. There were plenty of other issues. An island took up valuable space in the middle of the basin. Boats berthed around the perimeter were pile-tied with their bows to a crumbling timber sea wall. The ‘boaties’ - many of them ageing - had to clamber onto the pointy end with their groceries in their arms and shuffle alongside the deckhouse to the cockpit. Motuoapa Marina was loved, but long past its useful life. There was no water, no electricity, no security, no lighting and no services. Part of the marina was on the boundary of private land and half the boaters were effectively trespassing to get to their boats. Worst of all, due to a lake level that fluctuates by 1.4m (4.6ft) over a year, boaters couldn’t access their berths or navigate the channel during low water. And you think your marina has problems! Taking charge As noted, the lakebed is owned by Ngāti Tūwharetoa. The lake boating facilities are owned by the ‘Crown’ (as the New Zealand Government is called), and managed by the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA). The Lake Taupō harbourmaster is employed by DIA, and is responsible for the maintenance, upkeep and safety of four marinas, numerous jetties and 17 boat ramps. The harbourmaster’s office is in Taupō, 40km (25mi) north of Motuoapa. The tribe, as owner of the lakebed, receives an annual payment from the Crown for providing access to Lake Taupō and its permission is required for any renewal project. The DIA harbourmaster, Philip King, completed a career as a superyacht captain in the Caribbean and returned to New Zealand to settle down and start a family. He became harbourmaster in 2008 and in 2009 initiated a survey of all the Crown assets on the lake. The renovation of Motuoapa Marina was high on the list of projects and had been on the drawing board since the late 1990s. King and the DIA developed an asset management plan and went to the Crown with a proposal for funds for capital improvements. The plan was approved in 2011. “Prior to the asset management plan we had NZ,000 for capital improvements on the entire lake,” said King, “which was impossible. During our planning phase we touched base with Bellingham Marine for some concept ideas that we needed and they were helpful.” In 2015 the DIA approved NZ million for the Motuoapa Marina project. Tenders were offered and several dock manufacturers and civil engineering companies responded. Seay Earthmovers, a local company based in Taupō, won the bid for the civil work. Bellingham Marine was named contractor for the docks and dock installation. “We had several competitive bids and chose Bellingham Marine based on reputation, technology and cost,” King explained. “We liked some of the product differences they offered, particularly the new FRP thru-rods.” Consent and planning The original marina was built by the community well before resource consent applications were required. Acquiring resource consent to build a marina in New Zealand is long and requires patience. The public consultation process included boat owners, the local community, government The lake region is rich in Mãori culture (above) and the home of the world’s most threatened gull species; the black-billed gull (below). Pontoons lined up in the newly cleared basin awaiting configuration. www.marinaworld.com - May/June 2017 27

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