The Team Has Been Working Hard

We’ve been working hard behind the scenes and will soon be able to share an update with you

It’s fair to say that creating a Marine Centre has been a bigger task than most involved would have imagined. There are so many hoops to jump through, especially when you are starting without even having land to build on.

Where We’ve Come From …

In 1853, the Crown bought 600 acres on the peninsula from Ngati Whatua and renamed the area ‘Port Hobsonville’ after Captain William Hobson, the first Governor of New Zealand and later in 1929 the air force identified the area as a location suitable for both land and sea based aviation, and established what became known as the RNZAF Base Hobsonville.

Water based activities have been at Hobsonville since the area was an RNZAF Base. Competitive sailing began at Hobsonville in the early 1930’s which led to the formation of the Hobsonville Boating Club (HBC) in 1934 and since the airforce base was moved from Hobsonville have been known as The Hobsonville Yacht Club

When the development was proposed in Hobsonville Point the yacht club and rowers who were established on The Landing were advised that they would need to relocate, and that there would be some land reserved to build a new facility on.

Back in 2009 the Waitakere City Council (now Auckland Council) and Crown (Government) entered into an agreement to establish within The Landing a facility which will cater for the needs of a range of water based recreational uses and other community uses. This agreement was determined to make available land for the establishment of a facility with a minimum footprint of 400 square metres that will include provision for boat storage, a lounge/meeting room and a yacht club start tower.

In 2017 it was decided that a group was needed to progress the Marine Centre and a Trust was created to undertake the establishment of the new Marine Centre. The key was and has always been to have the ability to easily access the water so the community can use the Upper Harbour for water based activities. As well as the water access, some sort of facility was always required to store safety boats and equipment, and it was always desired to retain some type of clubrooms to replace the yacht club for social and training activities.

Kāinga Ora (formerly HLC (2017) Limited) was delegated the authority to undertake the development of the land at Hobsonville Point held by the Crown for State housing purposes and to enter into agreements relating to the development of Hobsonville Point, and the Trust has been working closely with Kāinga Ora to establish the new Marine Centre.

The first thing needed was an agreement outlining the principles and legal framework for the establishment of a marine recreation facility at Catalina Bay, Hobsonville Point to accommodate the needs of the community groups. This was a long process with a lot of negotiation needed, but an agreement has been made and that formed the starting point for the development including the establishment of a building platform.

While we were coming to the point of having an agreement we continued to work on the project and there were plenty of challenges. The biggest challenge was finding a suitable site as all the options on The Landing (where we were meant to be located) had been sold. We looked at various options, but having access to the water was a requirement and where land was available the access was going to be an issue. It’s not easy for young rowers to carry their boats or young sailors to transport their yachts very far.

As there was no land available to build on we have had to create a building platform over the water. This will give us the ideal position and we could not be any closer to the water, but of course is not a cheap way to build. We are also constructing a 40+ metre wharf that reaches out to the deep water meaning there is no longer going to be issues with water access at low tide.

Things Are Progressing

We have come a long way and have our sights set on getting the Marine Centre completed.

Funding is secured for the first stage and you will soon start to see construction of the building platform and wharf. We now have to secure funding for building the Marine Centre and the team are working hard behind the scenes to see if this can be secured soon too.

We look forward to sharing more soon.

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