Tjhe Queenstown Lakes District Council's proposed
navigation bylaw is not worded in the way originally intended
by harbourmaster Marty Black.
The new bylaw proposes to extend the hours when jet-boats can
operate at unrestricted speeds on the Clutha River, between
two points - the upstream point 2km below the lake outlet
marked by yellow poles and buoys, and the downstream point
3km below the Luggate Red Bridge.
However, emails provided to the Otago Daily Times under the
Official Information Act yesterday show harbourmaster Marty
Black had a different upstream point in mind while the
proposed bylaw was being worked on in June.
Asked by council senior solicitor Kristy Rusher on June 25 to
''make the changes you consider necessary'' to the Clutha
River section of the bylaw, Mr Black responded the
''uplifting'' of the 5-knot speed limit should be ''from the
Albert Town bridge downstream to the council's boundary which
is about 3km below the Red Luggate Bridge''.
Mr Black said that would mean ''fishermen can get access
below Albert Town Bridge until 10pm, which makes good sense,
especially considering that there is limited access by land
for this section of the river downstream''.
However, when the draft bylaw went out to the public,
Schedule 3, paragraph 10 (b) stated: ''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.''
At the first hearing day in Wanaka on Monday, fishing groups
and residents along the river vehemently opposed the change,
which would allow jetboats at their normal speeds on the
river during summer evenings on a popular recreational part
of the river.
While Mr Black told the hearing the move was for the benefit
of fishers, the Fish and Game Council and Upper Clutha
Angling Club told the hearing they were unaware of fishers
wanting speed restrictions ''uplifted'' and were firmly
opposed to the council move.
They questioned the motivation for the proposed change, and
Fish and Game Council environmental officer Peter Wilson told
the ODT he suspected the bylaw change followed pressure from
''I think our conclusion was that there was a high degree of
communication between one stakeholder group, probably the
commercial jet-boat fraternity, and the QLDC and the
Information provided by the council yesterday contained
nothing about where the idea to uplift the speed limit