IMPORTANT - Fort Takapuna and North Head sites under threat!

in

The Department of Conservation have recently released their draft Auckland Conservation Management Strategy (CMS) for consultation. This document sets forward the policies that DOC will use to administer the areas of land that they are responsible for in Auckland over the next 10 years, which includes popular flying sites at Moirs Hill, Fort Takapuna and North Head.

 

Of concern to all club members will be the proposed new policies that specifically ban any paragliding activity at Fort Takapuna, and which would appear to exclude hang gliding at North Head while being somewhat wishy-washy about the right for paragliders to fly there as well.

 

Policy 2.14.4 in the CMS states "Should not allow aircraft landings on or take-offs of non-motorised aircraft from Fort Takapuna Historic Reserve, to protect its recreation and amenity values, and visitor safety."

This is quite clearly aimed at our use of Fort Takapuna for paragliding, with the justifications of 'visitor safety' and 'amenity values' being weak at best.

 

Policy 2.14.8 concerns North Head and states "May allow the use of non-motorised aircraft limited to parapenting, model gliders and kites, subject to this activity avoiding any adverse effects on the safety and enjoyment of other visitors, and subject to the criteria in Policy 3.4.2 in Part Three."


The concerning aspects to this policy from my point of view are:

a) The language used. The policy says that DOC may allow paragliding at North Head, presumably giving them the option to revoke this permission without having to consult with us. I would like to see language that better reflected our existing use rights and that acknowledged that we act responsibly and don't inconvenience other recreational users.  

 

b) That no mention is made of hang gliding. The policy as currently written would effectively ban hang gliders from using North Head as a launch site.

 

c) The reference to Policy 3.4.2, which is only relevant to powered aircraft and which states that "landings should not occur within 50 m of tracks, huts or car parks". If this was adhered to then we wouldn't be able to top-land at North Head.

 

What can you do?

Fortunately this document is currently a draft and DOC is seeking feedback on these proposed changes. I encourage all members who want to still be able to fly at these iconic coastal sites to take the time to put in a personal submission in opposition to these policies. An official submission will be put forward from the AHGPC but the more people who comment on these policies, the better the chances of ensuring that DOC re-evaluates them. If we don't defend our right to use these sites now then we run the very real risk of losing them permanently.

 

The opportunity to put in a submission closes on Friday 15 March and instructions on how to do so can be found here:

http://www.doc.govt.nz/getting-involved/consultations/current/auckland-c...

 

The actual Conservation Management Strategy can be downloaded as a pdf here:

http://www.doc.govt.nz/Documents/getting-involved/consultations/2012/cms...

 

Cheers,

Graham.

 

 

Comments

Done

johnnyhopper's picture

Thanks for flagging that, Graham.

I've sent my submission.

Johnny

 

North Head / Ft. Takapuna

Stefan's picture

Hi all

As an amployee of said organisation, and partly having the responsability of managing both North Head and Fort Takapuna reserves on a daily basis, and being a pilot myself, I need to put in something here. I was not aware of it, until I was told by another member of the club. I have not been involved in any consultation regarding these issues. This is all done by our parent office, Auckland Conservancy Office. I have no clue as to what the thought process is behind these decisions. All I can think of is that possible future landowner / manager transfers may have had an effect. Although one would think that a new management plan would come into effect then anyway. For you that weren't aware, North Head has been transferred to the Tamaki Collective under OTS settlement negotiations).  DOC still manages NH, but at any time Auckland Council can step in and take over management on Tamaki Collectives behalf, as they do for all other Maunga in Auckland, although this is unlikely to happen within a year.

I have contacted the persons repsonsible for drafting up the CMS. I have explicitly stated that, as manager of NH and FT I do not see any issues regarding safety of visitors, or the negative effect on their enjoyment of the site. On the contrary, I think it adds a lot of value having floppy wings fly around, and it always gives a good spectacle for visitors to enjoy. While I do not know what influence I can have operating from the inside, I sure will press for the reversal of these decisions. In the meantime, I think it would be good indeed for as many club members individually to put in a submission,as well as an official club submission.

 

Watch this space.

 

Cheers,

 

Stefan

Thanks Graham and Stephan for explaining

On the website of the Office for Treaty Settlements (OTS) and the Tamaki Makaurau Collective Deed of Settlement Summary there is a paragraph regards the transfer of sites like Northhead to the Collective Iwi and Hapu within the Auckland region  "...for the common benefit of the iwi / hapû of the Tâmaki Collective and all other people of Auckland. The maunga will vest as reserves and public access and existing third party interests will be protected."  

From my individual PG pilot point of view this connects and reassures our past to future access and usage rights and responsibilities. I agree. Any proposed changes need to be discussed at every level possible. 

Fort Takapuna flying

robborobinson's picture

I had a same problem at Long Bay in about 2002! It needs to be pointed out that this community land is to be promoted for "ALL" recreational activities as laid out in their own policy.   Hope this helps as I went to many meetings with the council about this very issue. Cheers Robbo

Fort Takapuna flying

robborobinson's picture

Oops! hit the enter twice !!!

well done team auckland

http://www.doc.govt.nz/Documents/getting-involved/consultations/closed-c...

 

"3. PARAGLIDING AND HANG GLIDING AT FORT TAKAPUNA AND NORTH HEAD

3.1. Summary of written submissions

As a single issue, the management of hang-gliding and paragliding at Fort Takapuna and North Head attracted the most submissions."

Thanks for highlighting

Xen's picture

Thanks for highlighting Graham.

I made my submission too.

 

Cheers,

Xen.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.