A team from Yachting New Zealand will return to the mediating table at the end of the month as they work to protect the interests of all yachties and boaties.
Yachting New Zealand are worried about proposed changes in the new Northland regional plan that will impose rules, costs and restrictions to yachties and boaties that aren't fair. A first round of mediation was undertaken last month when chief operating officer Andrew Clouston and lawyer Jeremy Brabant appeared alongside other appellants.
The present case is just one of a handful Yachting New Zealand have been involved with and the national sports organisation are always engaged on some level of advocacy on behalf of clubs and their members and the wider yachting and boating community. Another case is presently being heard on the Marlborough environment plan.
The highest profile case was Plan Change 4, which was a proposed change to Northland Regional Council policy governing the establishment and management of aquaculture in Northland, which resulted in a positive outcome.
These cases are often expensive and time consuming but are important, particularly to those into cruising and boating.
The present case covers a some of the same territory as that from Plan Change 4. Yachting New Zealand are:
- seeking anchorages in Northland that are important to boaties are recognised appropriately by definition in the plan
- seeking that these anchorages are mapped on recognised maps within the plan
- seeking that decisions made in the Plan Change 4 to do with aquaculture are carried over to the new plan which provides protection to anchor and safely navigate routes free from the establishment of new aquaculture
- arguing against the extent of proposed marine pollution boundaries being imposed that could make it unsafe and impractical for boaties to empty their tanks. Rules are already in place through the Resource Management Act 1994
- arguing against restrictive rules being put in place around cleaning of a boat's hull while in the water
- arguing against the introduction of tight restrictions on the number of consecutive days boats can spend in any one area
"Essentially, we're seeking for the provisions in the plan to be pragmatic and achievable without adding extra costs to boaties or introducing potential limitations on how we enjoy coastal marine areas," Clouston said.
"While the present case might relate to Northland, it could have implications for other areas and we don't it to set a precedent for other areas which is why we think it's important to get involved."
You can learn more about the advocacy work done by Yachting New Zealand here.