Changing tides for Coastguard Ōpōtiki

Members of Coastguard Ōpōtiki outside their current building. Supplied photo.

With significant changes already happening on and around the water in Ōpōtiki, the local Coastguard is looking ahead to the future with its own plans for a bigger, brighter presence on the Ōpōtiki Wharf.

Coastguard volunteer Ron Jones (Jonesy) says the organisation has been working with Ōpōtiki District Council around four potential sites for their new headquarters.

“Ōpōtiki is going through a lot of change and we are likely to experience a massive jump in the number of people using our water space when the harbour entrance opens up next year. We’ll have safer access to the sea but also more professional and recreational users and that means we’ll need to be ready to meet that need.

“With all this expected new activity, and our current building not meeting our needs any more, we wanted to go through a more formal process before taking the next steps. So we considered four possible locations for our headquarters and the pros and cons of each – a yard in town, the proposed trailer parking area, the new marina and the current wharf location.

“The current wharf in place of the current building came out on top of that analysis. We are working with Council to figure out how that fits with their plans for the site and how best to make our vision a reality.

“There is a lot of work to done and questions that need answering, and quite a few decision to be made over the coming weeks and months, but it is good to have the start of a plan to be working on together.”

Ōpōtiki District Council planning and regulatory group manager Gerard McCormack agrees that it's good to be working with the Coastguard from the earliest stages of the process.

“Ōpōtiki is in a fortunate position of being able to plan ahead for changes we will see once the harbour entrance opens at the end of 2023. We are working on a masterplan and have started talking to some of the main organisations like the Coastguard about what they need and how the future might look for them.

“We want to map-out uses and areas, thoroughfares and opportunities for recreation so that we make the best use of the waterfront areas. There are quite a few things we want to be ready for – additional boat parking, pedestrian and cycle access, people wanting to get out to the sea walls, good links to the town centre so that visitors are encouraged to stop for coffee or supplies. These are all in the mix to allow for the different ways people will use that space.

“When we have a draft ready in a month or so, we look forward to sharing that with the wider public so that they can have their say and help us develop this further. Keep an ear out in April for more information.”

You may also like....


There are no comments on this article.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to make a comment. Login Now