Yacht club locked in parking battle

Bucklands Beach Yacht Club’s board wants to resolve a long-running issue over the lease of its car parks. Times photo Wayne Martin

“Do you want the Bucklands Beach Yacht Club to survive as a community facility and sporting club in your Howick ward area?”

That was the question posed by the club’s commodore Sara Poore to Howick Local Board members at their last monthly business meeting.

She told them about a long-running issue the club’s had with Auckland Council over control of car parks at its premises at Ara Tai, Half Moon Bay.

Poore previously raised the subject with the board late last year.

She said the club paid for and built “the entire car parking area and boat ramps”.

It was given exclusive use of 159 car parks as well as 18 parks adjacent to the marina for loading and unloading, she said.

“During the past lease renewal processes the specific references to car parks was omitted and this is what has caused this situation today.

“The club is requesting a continuation of the status quo that has been for nearly 40 years [which is] BBYC use of reserve land at Ara Tai for community use including car parks.

“As a minimum baseline, the club is asking for enough car parks to meet the council’s [Auckland] Unitary Plan requirements.”

Poore said without the car parks, the club “cannot function in its current form effectively”.

“We are asking you [the board] to help us secure the car parks we need to function.

“We are asking for a continuation of what’s happened for the last 40 years, which is being able to use these car parks.

“We are a community-run club, predominantly by volunteers, and we are not a wealthy club.

“We’ve currently got 111 car parks for the club house and 21 shared car parks.

“We can’t stop the commuter parking and currently 30 people who are non-members park in that area in front of the clubhouse.”

At the board’s last meeting, Poore reiterated the importance to the club of having its own dedicated parking.

She said apart from the original loan to build the Ara Tai clubhouse, and a “small grant” to buy life jackets this year, the club has never applied to the council for funds to help it to operate.

“We have run the majority of our activities by member volunteers.

“We have managed to fund ourselves through the different things we do.

“So we really want you to think about if you want us to remain a viable club, please can we try and resolve this to that end.”

Poore requested the board ask the council officer in charge of the club’s car parks and their lease to visit its clubroom and meet the club’s board to try to find a solution to the issue.

“My concern is I’ve inherited this problem as [the club’s] commodore and in the two-and-a-half years I’ve been a flag officer, we actually haven’t had anybody visit our club to talk face-to-face with us.

“I think we need a different approach.”

Local board chairwoman Adele White told the Times she expects a report to come back to the board on the issue in “the near future”.