A flotilla - or should that be convoy - of boats will be towed through Dargaville next week to protest a planned bylaw that would see powerboats banned from Kai Iwi Lakes.
An outcome of a recent review into the Taharoa Domain Reserve Management Plan 2002, the suggested bylaw - titled the Draft Kai Iwi Lakes (Taharoa Domain) Bylaw 2015 - has been drawn up by the Kaipara District Council and is being put out for consultation alongside the Draft Kai Iwi Lakes (Taharoa Domain) Reserve Management Plan 2015.
If approved, the bylaw will abolish the use of powerboats in the Kai Iwi Lakes' Taharoa Domain catchment and could rid the area's popular lakes of recreational watersports from as early as 2018.
This could spell ruin for the Kai Iwi Lakes Water Ski Club, a club which has been established on the Lake Waikare shoreline for more than 40 years and holds annual competitions at the lake.
On Tuesday the Friends of Kai Iwi Lakes working group wants to send a message to the KDC with a peaceful towed boat protest that is planned for Victoria St from 11.30am.
The parade is designed to raise awareness, among the boating community, the wider public who use the lakes at Taharoa Domain and the local business community, of the proposed changes that are outlined in the plan, group spokesman Rob Stevenson said. About 50 boats have already registered to participate in the parade.
"The banning of powered boats are not the only changes proposed in the Draft Reserve Management Plan that we don't agree with," Mr Stevenson said.
"There are a number of proposals that simply lack any robust information and evidence to support what is planned.
"We are appalled that KDC has not considered the economic impact on the district in the draft plan.
"Local businesses are telling us they will be negatively affected and may not survive if some of these changes are implemented."
He said as well as the proposal to ban powered boats by 2018, KDC proposes the closure of the very popular Promenade Point campground, extensive development and extending Pine Beach campground and work towards stopping the release of trout fingerlings into Lake Taharoa and Lake Waikare to protect the native fish (Dune Lake Galaxias).
Taharoa Domain Governance Committee chairman Peter Winder said the core of the draft plan is to protect and enhance the environment, while also making the lakes and domain accessible for a wide variety of activities and recreation.
"In conjunction with the Kai Iwi Lakes (Taharoa Domain) Draft Reserve Management Plan we are also consulting on a bylaw relating to the use of the lakes by powerboats.
"The proposed bylaw reflects the draft plan proposal to remove powerboats by 2018.
"Whatever is finally decided regarding powerboats will be reflected in decisions on both the draft plan and the proposed bylaw," Mr Winder said.
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