Marina lessee reassures berth holders ahead of pot

The leaseholder of the Gulf Harbour marina has written directly to the berth holders, reassuring them that their rights will remain unchanged should the company take full ownership of the marina.

Auckland Council CCO Panuku Development proposes to give freehold title to the marina land (Lots 1-6) to Gulf Harbour Investments (GHIL) in return for a cash payment and the lease rights over the Hammerhead (Lots 7-9).

Opposition by berth holders has been vociferous and focused on the potential impact on its car parking rights (in Lots 1 and 2), as well as the importance of retaining the reclaimed foreshore and seabed in public hands.

In a letter dated July 11, Gulf Harbour Investments Ltd (GHIL) director Jim Speedy states that the marina land will continue to be used “for marina-related purposes” should the deal with Council proceed.

“Incorrect predictions of high rise apartment buildings/hotels replacing car parks on the marina land are being spread by individuals opposed to change at Gulf Harbour,” the letter says. “We do not intend to reduce car parking on the marina land and residential development is not permitted there.”

“GHIL plans to continue to own and operate the marina on a long term basis. We will use the marina land for continually upgraded marina related activities to support the operation of the marina, with the objective of making it the most desirable in the Auckland region,” the letter says.

Gulf Harbour Marina general manager Keith Hogan says the letter reassures berth holders that there will be no change to the rights they currently have, including parking. “The company has sent a clear message that those obligations will be honoured,” Mr Hogan says.

He says because the deal will enable further development of The Hammerhead for public transport and recreation, it will benefit the whole of Whangaparaoa Peninsula.

Panuku Development will seek endorsement from Council’s Finance and Performance Committee to proceed with the proposed deal at the committee’s July 24 meeting.

Councillors Wayne Walker and John Watson have spoken out against the proposed deal, seeking that the Public Works Act should be used instead to secure the Hammerhead. Residential development is not currently permitted on the marina, but the Councillors are concerned that because the deal will see the land no longer under public ownership, a Private Plan Change could be sought in future to allow apartments to be built there.