Community feedback will help shape a concept design for a new wharf in Akaroa.
Following a month-long engagement period from late May seeking ideas or suggestions on which wharf facilities are most important to local residents and best meet community needs, a range of views have been received.
Formal consultation on a concept design for the new wharf is due in early to mid-2020.
In total, 95 individuals and groups provided feedback on the wharf.
Christchurch City Council Head of Parks Andrew Rutledge has welcomed the high level of community engagement on the wharf facilities.
“The range of views and suggestions clearly illustrates the high level of interest in the wharf, and the importance of having the community involved in the process,” he says.
“Our next step will be further consultation with the Banks Peninsula Community Board as we move closer to formulated a concept design for the Akaroa wharf.”
The feedback shows that some Akaroa wharf users believe cruise ship-related congestion is limiting community use of the 130-year-old structure and that a dedicated jetty may better suit tour groups.
However, 32 submitters cite recreational fishing as “working well” with the current wharf and 24 are happy with the commercial/tourism use.
Twenty believe that boat access also “works well” and that the wharf is an “historical asset”.
Forty-eight submissions cite cruise ship crowding as an issue for the present wharf, followed by 19 submissions on safety concerns relating to the condition of the structure.
Fourteen submitters have raised issues with tourism and retail premises restricting space while 11 have voiced concerns over refuelling access.
Ten are unhappy about access for recreational boats and that buses collecting cruise ship passengers are causing traffic congestion.
Fifteen submitters believe any new wharf needs more seating while 14 suggest that access for local fishing and tourist operators needs to be improved.
Eleven suggest that a jetty be built south of the boat ramp or near the recreation ground to better service tour bus passengers.
Many also favour an “over-water“ restaurant or cafe, along with a shelter at the end of a new wharf.
Nine submitters want the “heritage” wharf preserved while eight want a new wharf with improved water and land access and a structure in keeping with the history of Akaroa.
Meanwhile, several submissions favour the “picturesque” present wharf and the good location.
The Banks Peninsula Community Board will receive an update on the findings following the local body elections in October.
Initially built for coastal shipping, the wharf use has changed and adapted over the years to meet the needs and interests of the local Banks Peninsula community.
Council staff have been collating information on the condition of the wharf, including the impact on the environment of any new structure. The information – alongside the public feedback – will help inform the design of a new wharf.