Pier pressure: gate goes up at pier

Hand-feeding fish like this crowd-pleasing stingray Brutus from Z Pier at Gulf Harbour Marina has become popular with locals, but is no longer possible now public access to the pier has been closed off.

The closing of Z Pier at Gulf Harbour Marina to the general public this month has prevented ferry passengers from using it as an access point to the terminal and families from feeding fish from the pier.

At the start of this month, Gulf Harbour Marina padlocked the gate to the ferry terminal and installed a security gate on the bridge that connects the ferry ticket office to Z Pier.

Marina general manager Keith Hogan says that berth holders on the private pier have complained about the numbers of people using it.

He says families feeding fish, which has become very popular especially in weekends, is one aspect of this and that children have fallen into the water, which is a concern. Another problem is that as the number of ferries has increased, so has the volume of people using Z Pier as a walkway.

“People walking past from the ferry is an issue, and we have had people steal things and leave litter,” Mr Hogan says. “Gulf Harbour Marina has let people use the pier as an access point from the ferry, but it’s been overtaken by the public and that has affected the private users.”

He says there is a push to also gate other private piers at the marina.

“People can feed the fish from the rocks if they’d like to keep doing it,” he says.

Ferry passengers say that the pier is popular because there are no other footpaths on the Hammerhead, apart from a short stretch from the ferry jetty to the carpark.

Hibiscus & Bays Local Board chair Julia Parfitt agrees that the gating of Z Pier highlights the broader issue of foot access to the ferry terminal, and additional walkways may be needed. This is being discussed with Auckland Transport.


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