Council to increase boat access to Kerikeri Inlet

Published on 14 July 2020

Windsor Landing2.jpg

A 16-year project to provide coastal access for boaties on the south side of Kerikeri Inlet will finally shift into the construction phase this spring.

Far North District Council has committed $840,000 for the construction of a sealed access road and parking area at Rangitoto, otherwise known as Windsor Landing, off Kerikeri Inlet Road. The development will provide public access for the first time to a concrete boat ramp, jetty and floating pontoon originally built by a private developer 18 years ago. The project includes widening of a 90m section of Inlet Rd opposite the entrance to the carpark, as well as dredging the approach to the boat ramp to make it navigable at low tide.

Opening the ramp will take pressure off often crowded facilities on the north side of the inlet, including Opito Bay. The facility will also provide easy access for boat owners using nearby swing moorings operated by Northland Regional Council.

Mayor John Carter says opening up access to trailer boats on the southern side of the inlet makes good sense. “Recreational boating is a very popular activity in the Far North and it’s long been a source of frustration to boaties that there is no sheltered public boat ramp on the southern side of the Inlet.”

He says the search for a site began in 2004. Several locations were considered, but Windsor Landing was a clear favourite because of the existing ramp, jetty and pontoon.

Consent for the project was granted following a joint hearing between Northland Regional Council and Far North District Council in 2007. An archaeological authority was also obtained from Heritage New Zealand and its recommendations were reviewed by the Environment Court.

Mayor Carter says Heritage NZ and the Environment Court have applied strict management rules around the proposed work to protect significant areas. These include a midden that was extensively damaged in the past and two fish traps that are near, but not part of the boat ramp development.

He says independent archaeologists will monitor and record the works as they progress and hapū members will also be notified and involved in the work.

The Council’s commercial company, Far North Holdings Ltd, will manage the project with work to begin in September. It is due for completion in time for summer.