15 Dec 2016

Fishing club told it can't stop public using boat ramp

7:13 pm on 15 December 2016

A Far North fishing club can't stop the public using a boat ramp it built at Houhora Harbour, say local councils.

The Houhora Big Game and Sport Fishing Club, and its disputed boat ramp.

The Houhora Big Game and Sport Fishing Club's rooms - and its disputed boat ramp Photo: RNZ / Lois Williams

The Houhora Big Game and Sport Fishing Club said it wanted to install a barrier arm and sell swipe cards to people wanting to launch their boats at Monkey Point.

It said it cost a lot to maintain its facilities, including the ramp and jetty.

But local boat owner Fiona Furrell said the club had no right to do so.

She said it was given consent to build on reserve land at Monkey Point, on the condition it gave the public free access.

At a public meeting held by the club early this evening, the Far North District Council said the club paid a peppercorn lease of $100 a year for its land, and under its original resource consent it must allow use of its ramp by vehicles and foot traffic.

The Northland Regional Council agreed, saying the club could not legally restrict access to the boat ramp because it was in the coastal marine area.

Houhora is about 40km north of Kaitaia, on the Aupouri Peninsula.

Ms Furrell said the fishing club had chopped down pohutukawa trees and flouted other conditions of its resource consent.