On one hand, a ferry service between Park St and Kelvin
Peninsula is described as a missing link, while on the other,
it is an unwanted commercial activity in a residential area,
commissioners heard yesterday.
The ferry service is proposed to operate from 6am to either
10pm or midnight, depending on the season, and the proposal
has divided public opinion.
Yesterday was day one of the resource consent hearing for the
Narrows Ferry, scheduled to continue today and tomorrow
before commissioners David Whitney and David Clarke.
Real Journeys Ltd, which operates TSS Earnslaw and over 30
other vessels, has applied for consent for the proposed
two-ferry service and associated structures.
The Queenstown Lakes District Council recommends consent be
refused for the proposal in its present form.
Real Journeys' commercial director Antony McQuilkin told the
commissioners the proposed ''Bumble Bee Ferry'' would be
electrically powered, ''virtually silent'', ''create very
little wake'' and ''is not radical, it is obvious''.
Conversely, the commissioners heard opposing views from some
Park St residents.
Resident Philip Sanford, said the street was the last
remaining lakeside area near the central business district
with no commercial activity and ''it must remain this way''.
Furthermore, the size of the jetties and pontoons would have
major effects on lake users, noise from people waiting for
ferries, especially late at night, and rubbish, bottles in
particular, would be a problem, Mr Sanford said.
The proposal includes a ferry terminal at Park St, which
would consist of a jetty on the lake foreshore and lakebed, a
floating breakwater and a passenger building; and a Kelvin
Peninsula terminal would consist of a jetty on the lake
foreshore and lakebed and a passenger building.
Mr McQuilkin said Real Journeys anticipates a trial ferry
could be in operation ''for a period of up to two years in
order to test the economic viability of the proposal'' and
the jetty structures would be put in place if the permanent
ferry service was implemented.
The resource consent application generated 55 submissions in
support, 51 in opposition and six neutral.
Mr McQuilkin said the proposed route from the Jubilee Park
area of Park St to the western end of the Wakatipu Yacht Club
site is about 320m and the total voyage time, including
manoeuvring and docking, ''should be less than five
The yacht club is scheduled to make a verbal submission in
opposition to the proposal and in its written submission said
the lake near the club could be congested at times and ''an
unacceptable reduction in the level of safety'' would result
if the ferry was used the area.
Mr McQuilkin countered concerns from some submitters
regarding noise pollution, saying a main concern appeared to
be the possibility of noise from drunken passengers.
Sir Eion Edgar, as a patron of the Queenstown Trails Trust
and a resident of Kelvin Heights, spoke in support of
The hearing is expected to continue this morning.