Protect Wall's Bay Reserve
Opua residents have good reason to be worried that the legal wrangling over Wall’s Bay Reserve has been continuing at great expense to ratepayers for countless years. Despite being small, this is the only waterfront reserve near the local hall and village. It is critically important that no encroachment of industrial activities is allowed. Far North District Council have a duty under the Reserves Act, to see that the reserve remains intact as a public amenity for everyone, locals and visitors, to enjoy. Favouring the boatyard owner as the Council has done is not in the public interest as he has his own land to work on.
Of major concern are the persistent challenges by the Boatyard to take possession of prime areas of the Reserve and have occupational rights legalized. Notwithstanding that such action is against the spirit of the Reserves Act with its apparently large financial backing, the Boatyard has burdened our courts and authorities in an attempt to expand onto our public esplanade reserve.
What triggered the formation of Opua Coastal Preservation Incorporated was that on 30th October 2014 the Far North District Council submitted to the constant pressure placed on them by the Boatyard owner. Despite it being questionable in law they have deprived the public of their land and benefited a private individual.
It appears that when dealing with problems and passing controversial issues without public input, Councils’ may well be working on the principle that the public will not take the next step to a judicial review of their actions because of the lack of determination and or resources.
The residents now have a voice, through Opua Coastal Preservation Incorporated to put pressure on and request that the Council rescind the easements it has given the Boatyard and also redraft the Management Plan for Wall’s Bay.
Local ratepayers should not have to protect the Reserve and uphold the law but we felt it necessary to file a statement of claim against the FNDC on the 27th March 2015. The outcome of this affects not only Opua, but the whole of New Zealand as well. As we did not get the easements revoked in the 14th February 2017 judgement we have lodged an appeal in the High Court on the 14 June 2017. The Court of Appeal date has been set as 13th February 2018.
Showing the site of our Wall's Bay Esplanade Reserve, its placement and value to the land based community, including how well the boating fraternity are catered for elsewhere.
photograph 1 - Breach of FNDC RC 2000812 – Condition 13. Yacht ‘Millennium Falcon’ water-blasted on reserve no screens - 7 February 2017, 5.37 pm.
Photograph 2 – Breach of Conditions 4 and 8. There were no vessels on the private boatyard land.