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YNZ investigates Gulf Harbour for High Performance sailing facility

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Six years of failed attempts to get a multimillion dollar sailing facility in Takapuna, Auckland, has finally led Yachting New Zealand (YNZ) to be "investigating" an alternative site in Gulf Harbour.

Both Minister for Sport Jonathan Coleman and Sport NZ chief executive officer Peter Miskimmin said that YNZ is "investigating a potential site" at Gulf Harbour on Auckland's Hibiscus Coast.

The Gulf Harbour region is 20km north of YNZ's ideal location on Takapuna Beach.


Auckland Councillors from the Albany Ward John Watson, left, and Wayne Walker in front of the Gulf Harbour marina that Yachting NZ are "investigating".


The statements from Coleman and Miskimmin come only four days after Auckland Council chief executive officer Dean Kimpton refused to provide detail over YNZ's interest in Gulf Harbour on October 5.


"Yachting New Zealand has advised the council it remains committed to a High Performance facility in the Auckland region, particularly on the North Shore. There is no formal council-led consultation at this stage with any Local Boards as a preferred site is still to be confirmed," Kimpton said.


North Shore councillor Chris Darby has serious concerns over the use of old North Shore City money used to construct a Hibiscus Coast sailing facility.


Huge community objection since 2010 has prevented the Devonport-Takapuna Local Board from granting landowner consent to YNZ for a lease of Takapuna Beach Reserve.

Unfortunately for YNZ, according to Auckland councillors for the Albany ward John Watson and Wayne Walker, the Gulf Harbour site is equally as contentious as Takapuna.

The Hammerhead grassy section of the Gulf Harbour marina area is considered a likely spot for YNZ's "investigation", because it has a secured 700 square meter commercial lease, yet to be taken up by businessman James Speedy of Harbour Investments Limited.

Marion van Dijk

Minister of Sport Jonathan Coleman said; "I’m aware that Sport NZ is now investigating a potential site at Gulf Harbour.”


"The danger is that licensee could do a backroom deal with the High Performance yachting people that the council, the community, the yachties, people who launch boats here, aren't party to, that cuts them out of their say as to what should happen here," Walker says.

Another major issue with YNZ's Gulf Harbour investigation is that $3 million of funds it has stashed away for the facility from Auckland Council in 2010 was obtained from land sales in Auckland's old North Shore City.

The possible new Gulf harbour site is in the Rodney district, and Auckland Councillor for the North Shore Ward Chris Darby has issues with North Shore funds being spent on a sporting facility outside their district.

"This is national sporting facility and Auckland Council has got to be very careful about the use of its public money, and that $3 million came from the old North Shore City and it would be totally inappropriate to apply that outside the old North Shore area," Darby says.

"We've got some huge core infrastructure demands and transport and I would be very surprised if the new council had an appetite for spending $3 million on a yachting facility."

Yachting New Zealand chief executive office David Abercrombie was contacted for comment for this article.


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That particular spot, the Hammerhead at Gulf Harbour, is a political mine-field to say the least.


From a land use point of view, the area is much more compatible to something like a high performance dinghy sailing area, i.e. there are lots of complementary land uses around there (yacht clubs, boat ramps, boat storage etc). Good public transport with the ferry terminal and buses right there.


it is a fairly busy piece of water, and a very busy public boat ramp, but the waters off there are very good for racing, no tides (minimal tidal effects), not near major shipping lanes etc.


Will be interesting what actually happens.


Kind of funny how the paper article feels obliged to explain where Gulf Harbour actually is, like its some far flung back water out the back of the North Shore  :evil:

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I live in the village in the GH marina. I would far rather see YNZ here than at Takapuna. Plus, if they don't get the land it will very likely be turned into multi story apartment blocks. 

They just added 3 more sailings a day to the ferries here. The hammerhead is getting pretty full of commuters cars now, not sure where they are all going to go...

In a few more years, this are will be considered really as part of the city - 45 mins from Auckland CBD now, 15mins less if Penlink is ever built. It's not far out of town by international standards.

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I agree that a YNZ yachting facility on the Hammerhead would be far preferable to any apartments. Would be nice though to see some consultation  with the current user groups at Gulf harbour....

Yep, but almost certainly won't happen. Speedy owns the development rights if I understand correctly. He's a businessman, and will do whats best for him.

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