An old boatshed in New Zealand's most expensive suburb can be demolished and a new one built so multimillionaire businessman Rod Duke can use it as a helicopter landing pad to get to his golf course north of Auckland.
And in a nod to James Bond, the new boatshed's roof will fold back and open, just as the choppers are about to land at the $12 million-plus property.
Auckland Council documents show the Briscoes Group managing director and his wife Patricia got consent to demolish their old Herne Bay corrugated iron and weatherboard boatshed and build a new one for chopper use.
The existing boatshed and ramp can be bowled and an entirely new boatshed, ramp and helipad built, along with a temporary structure to enable construction and barges used during the building phase.
The Dukes' new boatshed and helipad is to be at their Sentinel Beach property and Duke said yesterday he wanted chopper landing rights so he could get to golf faster.
"From time to time, I have got a golf membership up the coast. I don't want to have to drive to Onehunga," he said yesterday referring to getting to a hire helicopter at Advanced Flight.
Duke's national retail empire encompasses Briscoes Homeware, Living & Giving and Rebel Sport and he appeared on this year's NBR Rich List with an estimated $750m fortune.
The Dukes' resource consent application described a sophisticated solution to his golf transport issue, creating a sliding section in the new boat to house a helicopter landing pad - the roof would open to let choppers land.
The bay has three boatsheds but the Dukes' new one would become an extremely sophisticated structure, able to move when choppers were about to land.
"The proposal involves the demolition and removal of the existing boatshed and ramp ... the construction of a new boatshed, ramp and helipad ... the occupation of common marine and coastal area by the new boatshed, ramp and helipad ... the use of the new boatshed roof as a helipad for the arrival and departure of a helicopter," the council document says.
Resource consent was granted on August 18.
It was only this week the project came to light when the Dukes lodged Environment Court proceedings against the council, objecting to flight restrictions.
The council document described how the new boatshed would open up to let choppers fly in.
"There will be periods when the boatshed is in the open position with a helicopter situated on the landing pad, exposing a timber and coated structure underneath," the council report of August 18 said.
"This will be visible during take-offs and landing and in between these times but noting that the helicopter will not be stored permanently at this location," the council document said.
"The portion of the Herne Bay shoreline where the boatshed is located is not readily accessible to the public and the proposal will not further reduce public access to the coast," said the report from resource consents team leader Matthew Wright.
But the application was for a "non-complying activity as the proposal involves construction of a helicopter landing area within the general coastal marine area."
The Dukes are building a new house in Sarsfield St above the bay and their site slopes down to the waterfront and one of Auckland's closest inner-city beaches.