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Pass the Path

With Skypath being debated tomorrow by councillors, our friends at Generation Zero have put this together. Let your councillor know to pass the path.

PASS-THE-PATH-DIRECT

15 comments to Pass the Path

  • Fred

    And a fantastic tourist attraction & recreation facility!

    Let’s hope the councillors let it progress for further investigation.

  • This has to be a real test for councillors who often say they support getting people walking and cycling. And, frankly, it’s a very easy test for them to pass as it doesn’t cost a cent of ratepayers money and may even earn some.

    And is the chance to fix critical gap in the city’s Active mode network.

  • tuktuk

    Just when I was in a state of pre-Christmas stress and grumpiness, Generation Zero come in with this piece of advertising graphics that lets the sun shine in!
    What a positive message which pitches the Skypath well. Great work guys, I’m sure this will go well tomorrow.

  • Robin

    It still seems like an incredibly slow process compared to what you hear about roading approval. What happens after tomorrow? More detailed report stage isn’t it? And no doubt if it ever does get to the consenting stage the marina people will oppose and delay it for months… So any chance of it being started before 2015?

    • Steve D

      The Marina is owned and operated by the Waterfront Auckland CCO. I’d assume they’d be totally in support of Skypath if the Council wanted it, and even if not, Council still calls the shots (as it should).

      As far as I can see, the main reason it’s going slowly is because of the bizarre PPP structure, and then the need to coordinate NZTA (who should really be paying for the whole thing, since it’s a State Highway), AC, AT, and the private investors.

      • conan

        Why isn’t NZTA paying for it again?

        • Greg N

          ‘Cos they’re legally prevented from doing so.
          And even if they weren’t they are morally forbidden by the Government from doing so..

          • Steve D

            Have you got a citation for that legal prohibition? As far as I know they can build it, they just don’t see it as a priority.

        • Steve D

          Because NZTA have got a pitiful budget for walking and cycling, and understandably they’ve preferred to spend it on a few smaller projects around the country rather than a single big one, important though it might be.

          NZTA’s answer to walking and cycling across the Waitemata is – wait a decade or three for the second harbour crossing. Then they’ll be allowed to use a tiny fraction of their motorway budget to reallocate a single lane of the existing harbour bridge for green hippy shit like “walking”.

          The upsides of the PPP is that the bridge will happen sooner, and probably to a higher standard, than it otherwise would. The downsides are that A. it’ll still take years, B. it’s killed off any chance of getting an untolled crossing, and C. it’s set a precedent that toll footpaths are OK.

          The tolls aren’t guaranteed to last the full 20(?) years. Muldoon abolished the car tolls on the harbour bridge well before it was paid for, but that seems less likely to happen again, since Skypath will be seen (by non-regular-users) as a tourist thing, rather than something used by Normal People. It’s also easier to abolish tolls when you already own the bridge, merely foregoing future revenue. It’s another thing again since the council would need to buy out the private operator.

      • Greg N

        “The Marina is owned and operated by the Waterfront Auckland CCO”

        Not quite.

        The marina is “operated by” the WMUA under a trust deed from the old AHB.
        Waterfont Auckland may have inherited the “ownership” from the AHB via POAL.

        But this Management right apparently come up for renewal some time around 2026.

        The WMUA seem to believe that their management rights under the deed are not extinguishable,
        Waterfront Auckland CCO have a different legal opinion.

        Time will tell.

        Meanwhile some of the folks in WMUA run the marina like their own fiefdom and are opposed anything to do with SkyPath unless $$ changes hands.

        • Steve D

          Interesting, I didn’t know that. I thought the old ACC had bought it outright (with a little help from the government) in 2004. What exactly did they spend north of $40 million on, then? I thought the whole point was to stop the site being redeveloped.

          Do you have the trust deed, and/or any of those legal opinions? If not, time to pull out the trusty LGOIMA and see what’s really going on.

          • Greg N

            When the Skypath stuff first came up here this year, there was a link to Skypath consultation area on their website which had a whole bunch of documents relating to WMUA and the other residents associations (background material for the SkyPath Trust discussions with the Marina folks on the southern landing).

            In those documents were the summarised by WMUA legal positions WMUA have on the Trust Deed that created and governs Westhaven Marina.

            See this document http://www.skypath.org.nz/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/130416_AHBPT_Westhaven-Marina-Users-Assoc-Meeting-2.pdf
            (more stuff available at this link: http://www.skypath.org.nz/project-status/consultation/

            WMUA believe that the rights gifted to them under the deed survived the buy out of the Waterfront land from POAL.

            This is the notes text verbatim from that meeting in the above document:

            “The Trust Deeds, which grants leases until 2029, are becoming a major focus for WMUA. Three Westhaven Trusts are involved.

            Trust Deed(s) cannot be renegotiated with Waterfront Auckland, nor become null and void

            WMUA believes it is now time to clarify the status of the Trust Deeds and of Westhaven Drive

            WMUA submission to Waterfront Auckland’s Draft Westhaven Plan will state that its legal advice is that the Trust has stewardship of Westhaven and
            this will be difficult to circumvent. Discussion on this will begin with Waterfront Auckland

            Trevor noted that Transpower paid a substantial fee for an easement on Westhaven Drive to allow cable installation ($7million) and suggested that
            WMUA may say to SkyPath: we can invite you to be part of Westhaven but it will involve payment of a fee.”

            Basically this line from that Herald article back in 2004 sums it up pretty well:

            “Auckland City will also need to consult with the Crown **and other stakeholders** if it wishes to develop the land at Westhaven further.” (including Skypath I guess).

            This is where the WMUA come into the picture. Since they manage the marina they think they can decide were SkyPath lands and how much they’ll pay in annual rental to do so.
            On the basis that Transpower’s easement created a precedent of $$ changing hands..

            Be interested in the LGOIMA outcome with what Waterfront Auckland think.

            But I suspect the Council and CCO’s legal opinions may be kept to themselves as releasing them could harm the council negotiating power with WMUA.

        • Steve D

          In any case, the shared path through Westhaven is already under construction, so I guess they’ve sorted it out – http://www.waterfrontauckland.co.nz/Waterfront-Auckland/Pages/NewsPage.aspx?ID=201

  • SF Lauren

    I wonder what sort of impact it will actually have on traffic volumes. In all likelyhood it will funtion primarily as a tourist attraction and any reduction in vehicle use by commuters could be more than offset by people driving to the bridge to walk to the top.

  • Adam

    Skypath. Really? That’s a terrible name and would put me off even using it. Can’t we just call it the bridge cycle path or something else less lame

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