Moves to ease cruise ship impacts in Akaroa

The city council is working to ensure there are measures in place to manage the impacts of 90...
The city council is working to ensure there are measures in place to manage the impacts of 90 cruise ships which will visit Akaroa this season. PHOTO: Newsline
New measures are in place to help manage cruise ship impacts in Akaroa.

But Akaroa Ratepayers and Residents Association chairman Harry Stronach says he is "disappointed" the community was not consulted with more before action was taken.

With 90 cruise ship visits to the town this summer, the city council is working to ensure there are measures to manage the influx of passengers as well as other general tourists and visitors.

There will be tighter controls on tourist bus parking, more toilet facilities and “smart” public rubbish bins will all be in place for the busy upcoming cruise ship season.

City council citizens and community principal advisor Brent Smith said there has been a collaborative approach to supporting the busy cruise ship season in Akaroa.

“We’re working with the cruise lines, transport operators, businesses and other organisations such as NZ Police to improve the experience for locals and visitors in Akaroa during the cruise ship days,” Mr Smith said. 

“We’ve introduced measures to help manage high visitor numbers, and believe these multiple improvements will benefit everyone.”

But Mr Stronach said while he is "delighted" to see the city council is taking the most action he has seen in eight years, he wished there was more consultation with residents groups and affected property owners.

"The city council say they are collaborating with various parties, but it's conspicuous who they are not consulting with - and that's the local community," he said.

"The city council has demonstrated that they are focused on supporting the interests of businesses."

He said whether the measures will produce meaningful results or not "can only be judged by the results seen on the streets of Akaroa in the coming months."

Under a new trial, fewer tourist buses will wait in Beach Rd to pick up or drop off-ship passengers, minibuses will move to the Bruce slipway on quieter days to help reduce Akaroa Wharf congestion, and there will be greater enforcement of parking restrictions. 

Tour bus drivers will be encouraged to arrive in Akaroa closer to their pick-up times to help reduce waiting time and congestion.

City council staff will be in Akaroa to monitor the rollout of the plan and make adjustments if necessary.

A spokesman for Bruce Apartments said he was "thrilled" the city council was doing something about the congestion.

The body corporate has been seeking legal action over large numbers of buses gathering outside the apartments on Beach Rd during cruise ship days.

Additional measures will be in place to help ease cruise ship impacts, including more toilet facilities and new “smart” rubbish bins, which will be in place by mid-November.  

A new public toilet block at Place de la Poste – behind the Akaroa Service Centre on Rue Jolie – will replace the old toilets. It will contain eight toilets, including two accessible toilets.

Six solar-powered Bigbelly rubbish bins will be operating at key spots around Akaroa.

A built-in compactor means the bins can swallow up to five times more rubbish than a standard waste bin.

The bins utilise smart sensors to detect rubbish levels and alert maintenance staff when nearing capacity.

Some will also have Wi-Fi capability that is free for public use within a 60m radius.

The city council will also step up parks maintenance during the summer.

HAVE YOUR SAY: Are you happy with the methods being used to ease cruise ship impacts? email your thoughts to - jess.gibson@starmedia.kiwi

 

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