ARC ditching seabed fees

By Wayne Thompson

Marina users at Half Moon Bay, West Park and Bucklands Beach Yacht Club have welcomed a decision to phase out seabed licence fees over four years.

The Auckland Regional Council says the current charges will fall by 25 per cent in each of the next four years, starting this financial year.

ARC chairman Mike Lee said boaties using these three marinas were unfairly lumped with the charges because the marinas were established before the Resource Management Act came in.

The fees were a transitional arrangement until a coastal occupation charging system came in.

"This has not happened as quickly as we would have liked so we have decided to take action," said Mr Lee.

The move will save berth holders from $400 to $1000 a year.

Boaties made 539 submissions to the ARC annual plan calling for suspension of the fees and presented a petition signed by 1329.

Geoff Burgess, a spokesman for the boat owners, said the ARC move was a vote of support for boating.

The move brought fees in line with marinas such as Westhaven, Bayswater, Outboard Boating Club and Orakei, which were established under the act.

These pay ARC "annual functions, powers and duties" charges, ranging from $112 at a marina berth to $176 for a mooring.

- NZ Herald

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