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No temporary parking fix,Frustrations to continue for boat owners

A DECISION to press on with the multimillion dollar inner harbour project and not proceed with a temporary solution to the boat parking problem means there will be no changes this summer.

After comments the council should get on with the main inner harbour project, the Future Tairawhiti Committee yesterday adopted a staff recommendation to not proceed with proposed interim boat trailer parking options that would have created more parks.

Instead the council will work with the stakeholders on the permanent solution that will come back to the council as part of the wider inner harbour redevelopment solution.

Committee members expressed disappointment that this meant nothing would now happen until the main project began at the end of the year. But there was a feeling that because the stakeholders would not agree it was better to wait for a permanent solution.

Mayor Meng Foon said the temporary solution offered was not really a solution at all.

Chief executive Judy Campbell said one of the things that was taking time for the full project was the pipework needed for underneath the proposed infrastructure.

Beca Consultants and the utilities staff had been working on this and it would come back to the full council for sign-off. If the council was going to spend $6m or $7m on the project they did not want to have to start digging up a nice surface to do some pipework.

“We can’t move the garden by The Works (restaurant) to open up the parking because there are lots of pipes and wires under it.”

Digging it up and moving the pipes was a “tens-of-thousands” job. It would not be moved until the full project started.

The temporary solution would have cost only $5000 and would have provided another 15 parks.

Strong feelingsMrs Campbell said there was strong feeling from boat owners about the congestion, with some even saying the council should “get rid of Shed 3” .

Another issue was that the land by the boat ramp was mixed ownership between the port and the council.

Inner harbour project manager Kylie Dowding said the boat owners had come up with potential solutions.

However, if the council wanted to restrict some parks for boat trailers only, it would require a change in the parking bylaw and this would need to be enforced.

Pat Seymour said the council should look at moving four small pohutukawa in the garden in front of The Works to make more room. A large pohutukawa had been safely moved before from in front of the courthouse.

Mrs Campbell said that while there were no difficulties with moving the trees, the land was sloped and would require earthworks to make it available for parking. The council could either do nothing, some temporary parking or start the main project.

Rehette Stoltz said she would have loved to have seen some temporary solution for the summer. The boat owners were frustrated. Her column in The Gisborne Herald on Monday had resulted in a strong reaction on social media.

Haphazard parkingShannon Dowsing said the most underused area during the last fishing competition was the area where the council was proposing extending the parks. Vehicles were parked haphazardly there. He did not believe extending them was a great short-term solution.

Another issue was that when people parked their trailers in The Works car park, when they returned they often had to go and find car owners in the restaurant to get them to move their vehicles. He would like to see a better alignment of the parks in The Works car park. The area in front of Shed 3 should be left as is.

Mr Foon said the area was only busy when there was a competition or when a membership draw was being held at Gisborne Tatapouri Sports Fishing Club. The rest of the time there were plenty of parks.

Graeme Thomson said the permanent solution must take into account the dynamics of parking a large boat trailer, which had the same width as a Kenworth truck.

TRAILER PARK: Competitors in the Bay Bonanza used the vacant port logyard today but Gisborne District Council has decided not to go ahead with a temporary solution to parking problems in the inner harbour area, which means there will be no change this summer until the multimillion redevelopment project starts. Picture by Liam Clayton