The Queenstown Lakes District Council came under fire at a
hearing in Wanaka yesterday over changes it is proposing to
its navigation safety bylaw.
One contentious change would ''uplift'' speed restrictions on
jet-boats using the Clutha River from a point 2km downstream
of the outlet of Lake Wanaka to the Red Bridge, about 11km
At present, jet-boats are restricted to 5 knots on this
stretch of river from 6pm.
The council proposes to change the time, during daylight
saving, to 10pm.
Harbour master Marty Black was asked on two occasions during
the hearing to explain where the idea for the change came
He replied it was a result of ''issues'' to do with access
Hearing committee chairman deputy mayor Lyal Cocks told the
Otago Daily Times the change was the result of
feedback to council staff over three or four years.
However, Otago Fish and Game Council environmental officer
Peter Wilson told the hearing the council was unaware of any
pressure from anglers for the speed limit to be done away
''We've had no pressure from any angler, ever, for speed
restrictions to be lifted,'' he said.
He took issue with the council over how it prepared the draft
bylaw, suggesting the proposed change was ''based more on
''It is not clear how the clause came about''.
Schedule 3, paragraph 10 (b) of the proposed bylaw states:
''The 5 knot limit is uplifted from the yellow poles at the
old county boundary downstream to the Red Bridge at Luggate
during the following hours: 10am to 4pm during the months of
New Zealand standard time and 10am to 10pm during the months
of daylight saving.''
Mr Wilson said Fish and Game was ''pretty disappointed'' it
had not been consulted prior to the bylaw being put out for
public submissions and considered that to be a ''major
Mr Wilson said Fish and Game had not seen any council
documentation to show where the idea for the change came
from, and he considered the council had ''not followed a
robust enough process''.
Fish and Game was ''strongly opposed'' to the change to the
speed limit along a stretch of the river with a good
reputation for fly fishing, and he described the proposed
change as a ''glaring error''.
Rick Boyd, representing the Upper Clutha Angling Club and
others, also raised concerns about the process and said the
club had also not seen documentation to show where the idea
to uplift the speed limit came from.
''We don't see the necessity, we don't see the evidence, we
don't know why we were not consulted,'' he said.
He spent many hours on the river and was concerned about the
effect of the proposed change on other river users.
The order paper for the hearing noted a total of 44 written
public submissions were made to the bylaw with 24 in favour,
nine opposed and nine partly supporting.
Of the 24 in favour, 14 raised ''serious concerns'' about the
proposed lifting of the speed restriction.
The hearing continues in Queenstown tomorrow. email@example.com