Wrong place to park - now there's a $20,000 bill

By John Maslin -
1 comment
The Adventurer II on the Whanganui River. Photo/Stuart Munro
The Adventurer II on the Whanganui River. Photo/Stuart Munro

A boat owner faces a bill for damage, estimated at $20,000 or more, after parking his vessel in the wrong spot.

As a result, the owner of one of Whanganui's river tourism boats has been given a clear message from the Whanganui District Council about where he can and cannot moor his boat.

Robert "Baldy" Baldwin operates the Adventurer II mainly on the lower reaches of the Whanganui River but twice this year council has written to him and fellow shareholders concerned about where the boat was being moored alongside the riverside walkway.

The boat had been tied up to the wooden boardwalk behind 7 - 9 Taupo Quay just downstream from the permanent mooring occupied by the PS Waimarie.

Council wrote to Mr Baldwin in June asking him to shift the Adventurer II from where it was tied up against the boardwalk and offered him six months free mooring at the City Marina downstream from the City Bridge.

Mr Baldwin didn't move the boat or take up the offer of free mooring.

A second letter from council to the company said the problem had escalated to the point where the Adventurer II had caused considerable damage to the walkway and asked that the boat be removed "immediately". Estimates of repairs were then put at $25,000 which included a $4000 contingency.

Council gave Mr Baldwin until 3pm on June 27 to shift his boat and if it was moored illegally at any other part of the walkway "it will be treated as a trespass to council property".

"If the vessel is still moored to the walkway after that day and time then council will ... have it removed, at the owner's risk and expense, to the City Marina".

He was also told that once repairs had been carried out to the damaged walkway the Adventurer II owners would be billed for that cost.

But the problem appears to have been resolved.

Leighton Toy, council's general manager property, told the Chronicle that since that correspondence, the Adventurer II had been shifted to an approved berth behind the Waimarie.

"Mr Baldwin has been advised that the Adventurer II is not permitted to be moored alongside the public boardwalk. This is because of damage to the boardwalk near where the Adventurer II was previously moored," Mr Toy said.

"We have yet to fully assess the damage to the boardwalk. Mr Baldwin has not been billed for the damage," he said.

Robert Baldwin and Bob Harris are directors and shareholders of the company and Joseph Antonius Ebben is the third shareholder.

The Chronicle emailed Mr Baldwin asking for comment but had received no response by press time.

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