Harbour Watch December 2020

Harbour Watch

Fishing trips and excursions
There’s a lot of positive action in the communities around our beautiful harbour. Grab yourself a copy of the November issue of Boating NZ to see an outstanding article, ‘Trapped by the Tide’.  It profiles the Manukau Harbour, the Ratahi and the dream of her present owner, Trevor Pennington, to provide a charter boat service that showcases the harbour. They’re now taking school parties and fishing excursions as often as the tide allows, but far more locals and visitors will enjoy the water once the harbour has a safe all-weather 24-hour jetty.

Clarks Beach pontoon/wharf/jetty (it’s a pontoon, really)
As the Boating NZ article says, water-based activities on the Manukau are severely limited by the lack of 24-hour deep water docking facilities. To start the swing back to water-based transport and use by the wider community rather than just the lucky people who can afford pleasure craft, the Clarks Beach Public Wharf Society has been working hard this year to get a safe docking facility. The application to Council is underway and they’ve received letters of support from iwi, local businesses, politicians and sports groups. The community has also spoken. The vast majority of those who completed two surveys earlier this year are in favour; responses show there is widespread enthusiasm for getting water transport back on the harbour, and other waterside communities are watching with keen interest.

An outstanding video to watch
To see what our harbour is really like, check out https://youtu.be/bPJI22CDDVU or www.facebook.com/ratahicruises.

Navigation markers
A number of boaties have had uncomfortably close encounters with dangerous basalt rocks invisible at high tide. These include the black rock at Waiau Beach and others up the Taihiki River. Harbour authorities have ignored these dangers, so public-minded residents have done something about it. Thanks to Jim Jackson for his work-in-progress on putting markers on these danger spots, plus lights on the end of the Boat Club pontoon, Wharf Road.

An interesting side note: The Kaipara, New Zealand’s largest harbour, will receive $100m over a 10-year period to address a range of environmental issues, especially sedimentation. The Manukau, the country’s second-largest harbour, with equal or worse sedimentation and a far greater population base to exacerbate problems, is so far being ignored. We’re keenly awaiting action.   

By Robyn Pearce