Archive | Matiatia

Waiheke marina applicant enters liquidation

The failed applicant for a marina at Matiatia on Waiheke Island, Waiheke Marinas Ltd, went into liquidation on 6 January, but the appointment of John Whittfield as liquidator still hadn’t made it on to the Companies Office online file 6 days later.

Graham Guthrie, who drove the 5-year marina battle that ended in rejection in December, is the company’s sole director & shareholder.

The company proposed a 160-berth marina in 2011, immediately north of the wharf in the northern corner of Matiatia Bay. In December 2014, the marina proposal was reduced to 112 berths and other elements were reshaped. The parking element was reduced from 55 to 39 spaces last year.

The application was referred directly to the Environment Court, bypassing the Auckland Council hearing process, and the hearing began before Principal Environment Judge Laurie Newhook & commissioners Anne Leijnen & Russell Howie in October 2014.

The application was strongly opposed by Direction Matiatia.

Earlier stories:
18 December 2015: Court refuses consent for Matiatia marina
16 April 2015: Court says Waiheke marina application now “out of scope” without parking
13 October 2014: Council switches from opposing Matiatia marina
9 August 2013: Council committee votes to refer Waiheke marina application directly to court
1 August 2011: 160-berth marina proposed for Matiatia
3 March 2006: Council sets timetable for Matiatia design competition (an earlier idea for the bay)

Attribution: Public notice.

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Court refuses consent for Matiatia marina

The Environment Court has refused consent for the proposed Matiatia marina at Waiheke Island.

The court has also taken the unusual step of writing a foreword to its decision, asking the many people involved in the battle for & against the development to consider a wider picture.

In the conclusion to the decision, Principal Environment Judge Laurie Newhook wrote: “We must record that the applicant has striven to tailor its draft conditions of consent to mitigate effects as far as possible and address the many concerns of parties opposing; but in a way that huge effort has ironically illustrated the difficulties of mitigating large structures on water and on or near the foreshore and ultimately the inappropriateness of the proposal.”

The original application was for 160 berths, 17 pile moorings, and 55 car parking spaces. Last December, the marina proposal was reduced to 112 berths and other elements were reshaped. The parking element was reduced to 39 spaces this year.

  • I’ll write a full story over the weekend.

Earlier stories:
16 April 2015: Court says Waiheke marina application now “out of scope” without parking
13 October 2014: Council switches from opposing Matiatia marina
9 August 2013: Council committee votes to refer Waiheke marina application directly to court
1 August 2011: 160-berth marina proposed for Matiatia
3 March 2006: Council sets timetable for Matiatia design competition (an earlier idea for the bay)

Attribution: Judgment.

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Court says Waiheke marina application now “out of scope” without parking

The Environment Court has rejected a late change to the proposal for a marina at Waiheke Island, saying it’s taken the application out of its jurisdiction.

Waiheke Marinas Ltd (Graham Guthrie, Church Bay) had its application to construct a 160-berth marina immediately north of Matiatia Wharf, within the northern corner of Matiatia Bay, referred directly to the court, bypassing the council consent hearing process.

However, towards the end of the hearing last year the company turned from its proposal to reclaim an area for parking and looked at providing parking on an adjoining site.

Principal Environment Judge Laurie Newhook said in yesterday’s decision that, during conferencing after Waiheke Marinas asked to withdraw its application for foreshore parking, the court also suggested the company might “want to think carefully about the shape & size of the marina as well”.

On 3 November, Waiheke Marinas advised the court it wished to proceed with an amended application, which it lodged on 15 December. The marina would be reduced and the parking removed.

On 30 January, the leading opponent, Direction Matiatia Inc, asked the court to rule that the amended application was out of scope and therefore beyond the jurisdiction of the court to consider further, because it differed substantially from the notified application.

In particular, the traffic-related aspects or impacts of the amended proposal differed in scale, intensity & character.

The court has given Waiheke Marinas 7 days to advise how it wishes to proceed.

The works include the construction of 5 floating piers within the marina, a 150m-long wave attenuator west of the marina, establishment of a floating marina administration office, dredging of the seabed to create a marina basin and a 3020m² reclamation to provide the parking area.

Earlier stories:

13 October 2014: Council switches from opposing Matiatia marina
1 August 2011: 160-berth marina proposed for Matiatia
Attribution: Court decision.

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Council switches from opposing Matiatia marina

Auckland Council has reversed its position on Waiheke Marinas Ltd’s application for a 160-berth marina at Matiatia, from the original recommendation to decline it to a revised position of qualified support.

The turnaround has come largely through the Environment Court caucusing process following direct referral of the application, bypassing the council’s own consent hearings process.

The council indicated a possible change of position in June, when the senior council planner on the application, Nicole Bremner, filed the first draft of her evidence in chief. Ms Bremner has since left the council. Counsel Matthew Allan told the court on Friday her evidence had changed after she’d read the evidence of the applicant & Auckland Transport.

The direct referral process puts the council in the position of a court assistant, and Mr Allan provided what the council saw as an objective assessment of the application & environmental effects. He said Ms Bremner’s evidence had 12 specialist reports attached to it.

Broadly, Ms Bremner’s assessment, plus the specialist technical assessments, indicated that consent could be granted, subject to appropriate conditions & several caveats.

The hearing began in the Environment Court’s main downtown Auckland courtroom last Monday, with opening submissions by Richard Brabant for the applicant, followed by cross-examination of witnesses in support.

The council presented its submissions on Friday and the court moved to Waiheke today for the second week of hearing, including the completion of the council case. The courts hearing panel – Principal Judge Laurie Newhook with commissioners Anne Leijnen & Russell Howie – will conduct a second site visit tomorrow then hear cultural evidence on the marae on Wednesday and other island witnesses on Thursday-Friday.

Direction Matiatia counsel will deliver their submissions to start the third week of the hearing, back on the mainland.

Waiheke Marinas has applied for resource consent for a 160-berth marina plus 55-space carpark. The marina berths would displace the Matiatia Bay northern mooring area, providing 3 times as many berths. The company also amended its parking application in April, offering a deck on piles alternative to reclamation, covering the same footprint.

Mr Brabant said the marina responded to an identifiable demand in a more sheltered & secure mooring environment than any of the existing mooring areas could provide, along with the advantages of being beside the ferry terminal and with direct access to public & private transport facilities.

Berth prices haven’t been set yet, but marine industry consultant Phil Wardale, who said he was the intended operator and gave evidence last week, told the court berths would be expensive, partly because the marina would be small: “If the mooring is $2000 [figures of $2-4000/mooring at Matiatia were given], this is not a $20,000 berth. For the smaller berths, it is $100,000-plus. A 14m berth at Orakei marina is transferring at the moment in the order of $150,000.”

The original council report on the application identified 4 aspects where effects might be more than minor – traffic (if marina traffic had no time restriction), localised visual & amenity effects, copper accumulation on the ecology & water within the inner bay and noise for nearby residents.

However, Ms Bremner said she didn’t have enough information relating to effects on cultural & spiritual values of Maori to determine the degree of those effects.

Mr Allan said in his opening submissions the caucusing process had been particularly useful: “In a number of areas, agreement has been reached among the experts that the effects will be minor lr less than minor in nature, with no areas of disagreement.

“For instance, no issues of concern arise in relation to lighting effects, water supply & wastewater, stormwater management and coastal processes (encompassing coastal engineering, marina design, geotechnical & wave/wake effects.”

Nevertheless, Mr Allan said although caucusing had refined or narrowed issues, contention remained in 8 broad areas – acoustics/vibration, visual/landscape, recreation/tourism effects, archaeology, ecology, traffic/transport, cultural effects and reclamation/dredging.

One question which Mr Brabant raised was antifouling for boat hulls. Mr Brabant said the consent shouldn’t carry a condition requiring the marina operator to control discharge of antifouling contaminants from boats into the water. However, Mr Wardale accepted in cross-examination that antifouling measures could be addressed through berth holder contracts.

Mr Allan said Mr Brabant’s point was “unduly technical” and, if the court accepted it, would limit the Resource Management Act’s ability to address an acknowledged potential adverse effect on the quality of the environment.

On the positive side the marina applicant, Mr Bremner identified 10 positive effects of the proposal, and the counbcil’s own coastal plan generally acknowledged some positive effects of marina, such as enhancing amenity for boat users, concentrating vessels & associated effects into defined areas and providing for a more efficient use of harbour space.

Barring successful argument from opponents, the council has proposed a single set of conditions if the court accepts the marina application, following the process from preconstruction through to post-construction management. The applicant preferred 3 separate consents, each with its own conditions, but Mr Allan said this would create unnecessary duplication.

Link: Environment Court, Matiatia direct referral

Attribution: Hearing.

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Council committee votes to refer Waiheke marina application directly to court

Auckland Council’s hearings committee overrode planning staff advice and voted 4-3 today to refer a Waiheke Island marina application directly to the Environment Court.

The decision was deferred from the committee’s meeting on 26 July because it had been reduced to a bare quorum of 3. This time, the agenda still contained a recommendation from principal hearings & resolutions planner Veena Krishna to reject the direct referral request by Waiheke Marinas Ltd (Graeme Guthrie) but, instead, chairman Noelene Raffills proposed her own resolution.

Cllr Raffills said the committee should opt for direct referral, “having considered the applicant’s legal submissions on 26 July, the minute of the local board on the application from its meeting on 18 July and the officer’s report & recommendations, acknowledging that the applicant’s reasons for a direct referral request and the considerations discussed in the officer’s report and recommendations supporting a council hearing both have merit and are finely balanced”.

She recommended approving the request because there was a high probability any council decision on the merits of the application would be appealed to the court, applicant & submitters would save time & costs from a single hearing before the court, direct referral would be consistent with the Resource Management (Simplifying & Streamlining) Amendment Act 2009, the application involved complex technical evidence and all parties would benefit from the processes available at the court, such as mediation–dispute resolution & caucusing to refine issues before a hearing.

While council costs in the direct referral process couldn’t be quantified, the council’s involvement in the administration of the application, report writing & preparation of technical evidence would be reduced with only one hearing. Submitters could become section 274 parties to participate in the court hearing.

Waiheke Marinas Ltd has applied to construct a 160-berth marina immediately north of Matiatia Wharf, within the northern corner of Matiatia Bay.

Attribution: Council committee meetings.

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Waiheke marina direct referral decision deferred

Auckland Council’s hearings committee, reduced to a bare quorum of 3, decided today to defer reaching a decision on an application to refer the Waiheke marina proposal directly to the Environment Court.

Waiheke Marinas Ltd (Graeme Guthrie) had a chance of having the court hear its application for a 160-berth marina at Matiatia in December, once the next few months were eaten up by preliminaries such as the completion of reports, notification of submitters and sharing of evidence.

The council committee’s deferral – though it’s only by a fortnight – may mean the marina application won’t be heard this year.

That’s despite one member of the committee, Independent Maori Statutory Board member David Taipari, emphasising that the committee did have a quorum enabling it to reach a decision, and establishing that the timeframe for council action on the application would have to be extended to prevent it from breaching the Resource Management Act-required timeframe.

Committee deputy chairwoman Penny Webster said she believed this was precisely the kind of application the Government passed the Resource Management (Simplifying & Streamlining) Amendment Act for in 2009 – “for councils to use some common sense and, if this was the sort of application that would end up in the Environment Court, then cut out the middleman”.

Committee chairwoman Noelene Raffills allowed Waiheke Marinas counsel Richard Brabant to speak to the application, but also expressed her concern that nothing had been heard from the local board. Council senior Waiheke planner Nicole Bremner told her the board chairwoman, Faye Storer, didn’t wish to make a comment on the request.

Attribution: Company release.

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160-berth marina proposed for Matiatia

Published 1 August 2011

Jurisdiction: Auckland Council


Neighbourhood: Waiheke Island, Matiatia


Applicant: Waiheke Marinas Ltd (Graham Guthrie, Church Bay)


Application detail: Ocean View Rd, to construct & operate a 160-berth marina immediately north of Matiatia Wharf, within the northern corner of Matiatia Bay

Notification date: 25 July


Submission closure date: Wednesday 17 August


Other details: The works include the construction of 5 floating piers within the marina, a 150m-long wave attenuator west of the marina, establishment of a floating marina administration office, dredging of the seabed to create a marina basin and a 3020m² reclamation to provide a parking area for the marina facility.

The reclamation also includes establishing a viewing deck, associated stormwater discharges and a boardwalk that will connect with an adjoining coastal reserve.

Access to the reclamation would be via an access point leading off the turning head at the end of Ocean View Rd, with earthworks proposed landward of the coastline to provide a level vehicle entrance, and would involve realignment & formalisation of parking in this area.

The works in the coastal management area are subject to a coastal permit for a non-complying activity.


Want to comment? Go to the forum.


Attribution: Council notice, story written by Bob Dey for the Bob Dey Property Report.

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Council sets timetable for Matiatia design competition

Published 3 March 2006

Auckland City Council agreed the outline of a design competition for the Matiatia gateway project on Waiheke Island yesterday.

The chairman of Capow (Community & People of Waiheke), Brian Griffiths, made an impassioned appeal to the council’s urban strategy & governance committee for the land the council bought at Matiatia last year not to be a mixed-use commercial development, for which he said there was “virtually no support” on the island.

He said the provision of open space was a vital issue and told councillors: “Matiatia should remain a point of difference from the mainland. It is primarily a gateway. It is not a destination.”

Waitemata Infrastructure Ltd had planned a $35 million township development at the island gateway, taking it through public consultation & due diligence before the council bought the company last year for $12.5 million.

With some public-good elements to the acquisition, the council wants to recoup $7.5 million from its purchase.

Mr Griffiths criticised this focus: “Recovering money seems to be the only driving force at the moment.”

He wanted the 2500-member Capow to be given 6 months to come up with alternative design options. Instead, the committee went ahead with the “good ideas search” proposal mostly as it was presented by Auckland University architecture professor & council urban design panel chairman John Hunt, who chaired a working party which came up with the design brief for stage 1 of the search.

The good ideas search timetable now is:

Launch this month
Close end of May
Public exhibition end of May
Judging & awards ($5000 to each of the finalists) in June
Drafting of stage 2 brief in June and stage 2 search launch in July
Stage 2 search closes end of August
Judging & final concept endorsed by council in September.

The search assessment panel will comprise:

the chairman of the design brief working party (Professor Hunt)
2 representatives from the council’s property enterprise board, which will administer the site
an expert on sustainable buildings
a Waiheke community board representative
an iwi representative, and
2 councillors, Faye Storer (from Waiheke) & Christine Caughey.

Professor Hunt said the intention of the design brief was to create maximum design flexibility. He said the document didn’t refer to “mixed-use commercial development” but to “mixed-use development” and that possible uses could include education, for example, which might still give the council a return on its investment.

Cllr Richard Simpson warned of the “potential for a ghost town”, saying Auckland had a history of “postage-stamp thinking”. What was needed, he said, was an interrelationship between Matiatia & Oneroa.

“It’s very sad, Matiatia becoming the carpark for Waiheke. I don’t see the interrelationship being part of that (design brief) whatsoever.”

However, Professor Hunt said that in notes on activities the working party had said retail activities should be at the gateway primarily for visitors, complementing existing retail elsewhere on the island, and that major retail outlets were considered inappropriate.

Residential development could take up to half the site, but was marked as optional in the design brief.

Cllr Scott Milne wanted the brief to include a reference to the council’s agreed user-pays regime, but accepted it didn’t have to be specified.

Website: Council Matiatia page


Earlier stories:

26 August 2005: Council approves Matiatia deal, looks at design competition

13 July 2005: Council to spend $12.5 million resolving Matiatia dispute

4 April 2005: Court clears way for reduced Matiatia project

16 October 2002: Matiatia project needs integration of regional & district plans


If you want to comment on this story, write to the BD Central Discussion forum or send an email to [email protected].


Attribution: Committee agenda & debate, story written by Bob Dey for this website.

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