Thursday, May 4, 2017


Christchurch City, through it's Lyttleton Port Company is to build a Designated Cruise ship terminal capable of berthing most of the ships plying that trade in the Southern oceans during the summer months at the other end of "the tunnel" for a mere fifty six million dollars.
Since the earth quakes of 2010/11 created a disaster zone over the Port Hills from the SI main city up to 85 ships per year have made Akaroa a 24 hour pause and as with any such itinerary change the laws of unintended consequences enter the fray.
Carrying up to 6000 people with around 4000 wanting to come ashore, the old wharf that grew as a support for a now almost nonexistent fishing industry, has been found to be rather primitive and for many potential "tourists" just too daunting. A 30 minute journey in a lifeboat to get from ship anchored in the centre of the Harbour off Wainui does cause some issues, then,  what to do in a township that takes all of another hour to see for passengers who have paid already for much of what Akaroa tries to sell them.
 So there are now more coffee outlets, the bakery burned down and now another trinket shop in situ joining an expanding plethora of outlets selling NZ souvenirs "made in China".
That has  those of a more restful disposition and desiring of a quiet time an hour from the City,  increasingly resentful of the hoards that use our little bit of Paradise. Then there are the many buses that invade our narrow (only 12 meters from footpath to Footpath in a French designated specification) streets to take those very large and intimidating machines piloted at times by drivers who indicate by their ability to have gained their qualification in a weetbix packet.
An estimated  third of a passenger manifest, choose to travel to places that have through movie sets and brochures, created a must see opportunity in the ravaged city and beyond. Some head to Arthur's pass on the "Tranzalpine" to return by coach, others might take the jet boat tours on the Rakaia or Waimakariri with some taking a tour to the upper Ashburton where some Lord of The Rings sets were created.

For Darby and Joan's who chose pre EQ to enjoy a serenity and quiet life sans the Nor East winds that hammer the City and Plains ( including Lyttleton harbour),it has been just too bad.
Now under current RMA constraints, just  to build a cabin on a title can take months even years and end up in an expensive court process (with some still being thwarted)  being opposed by people who will never see the said cabin, yet able to make things difficult if not impossible.
This massive disruption to a lifestyle and population density happened at the end of a State Highway (cough cough) Seventy Five designed for horse and carts then shingled and tar sealed over the years with corners that only the most experienced and able drivers can negotiate without crossing the centre line. Upwards of a hundred buses for a single boat.
Then sometimes two Ships arrive and on occasions three so poor old Akaroa with its one access street designed on French standards too narrow for street parking becomes a pottage of disruption flavoured with frustration.
Yes for a small number, the 'Ships' have created opportunity for new business, for others it has turned their dolphin watch and other water based entertainment to higher profits  plus some trinket vendors and cafes into much more lucrative business. However it is noticable on a day sans Cruise Ship with the terrific weather Akaroa can deliver, it can be a ghost town with a few Campervans and even fewer day trippers because the word is out and many choose to stay away.

Yes Mr Rainbird is correct, taking the boats back to Lyttleton will impact on his growing business but for many of those who came here before his opportunity was delivered by nature and a City Council who, while making decisions around enjoyment of freehold title so fraught with their overarching district plan,  saw no such need to ask those who live here if the massive disruption and despoiling of our chosen retirement option, for our views, Suddenly the modern fixation with Consultation was consigned to the "we know best" file.
Meanwhile dear old Darren Rainbird can follow the Boats back to wherever.

2019, yes please but what are the odds, that will become 2020 or even later, hell they are only talking about it so what will happen when due process around consents, so savagely disregarded seven years ago is reinstated, justifying interference by better resourced entities wanting their say. Come in Timaru, Oamaru, Port Chalmers this move puts you all  in a passing lane, a feature not plentiful  on SH 75.

1 comment:

Johno said...

Had to laugh at dear old Brian Rudman in Granny Herald yesterday lauding the fact that Ports of Auckland will be paying for millions of dollars worth of cruise ship terminal improvements, not the Auckland ratepayer.

Does the confused old duffer not know who owns Ports of Auckland?

Time to start looking at retirement, Brian.