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Connectivity By Sea Gains Momentum

Orewa 15 December 2005
Available for Immediate Publication

Connectivity By Sea Gains Momentum

Rodney mayor John Law’s vision of giving towns along the Hauraki Gulf’s eastern seaboard greater connectivity by sea is gaining influential support.

The concept, a series of jetties along the eastern seaboard connected by a ferry service, is the focus of attention for the newly created Northern Ferry Interest Group.

The group comprises representatives of local bodies, members of parliament, North Shore business associations and marine transport operators.

It met this month to begin work on a plan of action that it hopes will see major town centres along the coast fully connected by a ferry and water taxi service within a decade.

Group Chair, North Shore City Councillor Peter White says the network would extend from Warkworth in the north to Takapuna in the south.

“It would open up one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world to day-trippers. That includes tourists but also locals who would be able to catch a boat to head north or south for a picnic, game of golf or even a spot of shopping.”

An efficient water-borne commuter service was certainly in the group’s thinking, but wasn’t an immediate priority, said Mr White.

The group was buoyed by the enthusiastic support shown by two of the most affected councils, North Shore City and Rodney District Council.

Rodney District Council’s Special Projects Manager Ray Ginnever says that his council already had much of the infrastructure in place and would fully embrace the concept.

“We already have jetties at Leigh, Sandspit, Warkworth and Gulf Harbour and a new jetty was being built at Scott’s landing. Others are in the planning stages.

“We believe that connectivity by sea will work on several levels tourism, recreational and later as a commuter network.š It will go some way to reduce congestion on our roads, but it is also an enjoyable way to travel. When you have a coastline like ours why not use it for that purpose?”

The Northern Ferry Interest Group will be working over the holidays to develop its plan of action. It next meets in early February.


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