The chop of helicopter blades is set to reverberate through Auckland today as noise tests begin at richlister Rod Duke's Herne Bay home.

These tests come at a time when a deadline looms for a new Orakei heliport at another Richlister property.

The tests will be conducted at the home of the Briscoes managing director where a fold-back roof has been developed on a boatshed at Sentinel Beach and up to three helicopter flights are planned a week.

An authority told the Herald late yesterday of plans that decibel measurements would be recorded today but no time has been disclosed.


Duke's new home is an existing place, gutted then expanded on two adjoining cliff-top Sarsfield St sites. He got resource consent for the helipad in the roof of his boatshed over the public beach, but a High Court judge ruled the council needs to reconsider the consent.

The Kawau Island Action group wanted the scheme stopped but the court refused to order an immediate halt to work there, a judge saying the arguments should go to a full hearing. Opponents feared construction could be finished and choppers using the helipad by that time.

Auckland Council sides with opponent of rich-lister Rod Duke's Herne Bay helipad
Richlisters' plans for a helipad on Auckland's exclusive Paritai Drive upsets locals

Duke's helipad isn't only one catching public attention.

Across town, people have until the end of this month to make their views known on a proposed heliport in one of Auckland's wealthiest streets.

The Civil Aviation Authority got an application from Advanced Flight to develop the heliport at 74 Paratai Dr.

Property records show that is owned by Tappenden Holdings whose directors include richlisters Trevor farmer and his son Dean and sculpture farm owner Alan Gibbs.

The authority says it is conducting an aeronautical study to consider the effects of the heliport proposal, looking at the effect on neighbouring aerodromes, on existing airspace uses and on the safety of people and property.


Interested parties should write to the group executive officer at Civil Aviation, P O Box 3555 in Wellington before April 30, the notice says, or they can email, according to the authority's notice.

The Ōrākei Local Board and Ōrākei Residents Association last year opposed the scheme, saying they do not want helicopters taking off, landing and flying over other properties.

Paritai Dr still holds New Zealand's record for the country's most expensive house sale, first owned by former Hanover Finance director Mark Hotchin, sold in 2013 to businessman and Oravida Group chairman Deyi Shi for $39m.