Tussle over wharf structures

CONTENTIOUS: Unpermitted signage, posts and seating on Akaroa wharf. PHOTO: Victoria Andrews

A tussle over unpermitted structures on Akaroa wharf seems to be coming to a head.

Black Cat Cruises installed signs, posts, seats and a disability access ramp on the city council-owned wharf without getting the necessary permission.

The Banks Peninsula Community Board requested removal of the structures in November but nothing has been taken down yet.

The issue is around exactly which structures Black Cat Cruises will need to get rid of. It has been negotiating with the city council about the disability ramp, which it said was installed as part of its building consent.

Chief executive Paul Milligan said in early April that Black Cat Cruises wanted to make sure it wasn’t breaking more rules by removing the wheelchair ramp.

City council staff last month outlined in a public excluded session which structures it recommended should go.

But the board rejected the plan, saying it wanted to consult the Akaroa Fisherman’s Association, another wharf stakeholder, about the proposed changes.

Deputy Mayor Andrew Turner told Bay Harbour News the association wanted to see further changes before the proposal went back to the board on June 11.

“It was good we got that feedback because we want to find a solution that’s workable for Black Cat and that meets the needs of the association or addresses their concerns in a meaningful way.”

Association chairman John Wright said it had asked for changes before the proposal went before the board again.

“The whole lot should be removed,” he said. “The bottom line is none of those structures on the wharf occupying public space have got consent. We can’t understand why the city council hasn’t just asked them to remove the whole lot.”

Cr Turner said he didn’t yet know if the discussion on June 11 would exclude the public.

He would not say whether the city council would pay for any costs associated with removal.