A peaceful protest is planned at a Kerikeri boat ramp tomorrow where the Far North District Council is planning an access road and carpark.
The boat ramp, at Windsor Landing off Inlet Rd, was originally built by a private developer but is now council-owned.
The council wants to put it to use to take pressure off Kerikeri's overcrowded boat ramps, most of which are clustered on the opposite, northern side of Kerikeri Inlet.
The catch is, there is no road access to the ramp and adjoining jetty. Current users reach it by crossing a neighbouring private property on a dirt track and park wherever they can.
• Ngāwhā business park could create more than 500 jobs, Far North Holdings says
• Premium - Opua residents demand a say over controversial subdivision
• Provincial Growth Fund's $1m helps Far North Holdings start Russell Wharf renovation
Now a decade-old plan to put in a road has been revived but some members of local hapū Te Uri Taniwha are opposed, saying construction of the carpark will require a centuries-old fish trap — one of five in the area — to be filled in.
Hapū member Ian Mitchell, of Waima, said the area also had fresh water springs and deep, extensive middens.
''If they fill in this fish trap for a carpark for 20 boars and trailers they will wipe out an 800-year-old taonga. It affects the future of this area being used as a food source for many, in favour of an affluent few who can afford big boats.''
Fellow hapū member Esther Horton, who has lived on Inlet Rd almost all her life, was also concerned about the increase of traffic if Windsor Landing, or Rangitoto as it was originally known, became one of Kerikeri's main boatramps.
She called on the council to develop Wharau Bay or the end of Inlet Rd as a boat launching area instead.
''We'd like it to remain quiet and peaceful,'' she said.
The pair are organising a protest and whānau get-together at the boat ramp from 6pm on January 17. The site, which is just past the point where the seal ends, will be signposted from Inlet Rd.
The Windsor Landing boat ramp has a convoluted history.
The ramp and jetty were originally built by a developer in the late 1990s as part of a subdivision, though the public was supposed to have access.
They became council property after the developer went to ground and didn't renew his consents.
The Far North District Council gained the consents and archaeological authority needed for an access road and set aside the funds in 2009.
The project was shelved when the financial crisis hit and then-Mayor Wayne Brown put spending on hold.
The project was revived in 2012 when the council asked its commercial arm Far North Holdings to investigate options for a boat ramp on the south side of Kerikeri Inlet. Windsor Landing was identified as the best option.
A law change in 2014 meant the council had to get a fresh archaeological authority from Heritage NZ. That was granted but challenged by Mitchell in the Environment Court.
Mitchell lost but the judge ordered some of the conditions to be tightened up.
According to Heritage NZ a large midden had already been extensively damaged when the subdivision was created and the carpark would not damage the fish trap.
That was disputed by Mitchell who said Heritage NZ had considered only the fish trap's stone wall and not the rest of the trap.
Just over $600,000 has been set aside for the project in the district council's 2015-25 Long Term Plan.
Far North Holdings called for expressions of interest to construct the carpark and road late last year. It is expected to call for tenders next month.
With a growing population and high visitor numbers pressure has been increasing at boatramps across the Far North, reportedly even leading to incidents of ''ramp rage''.
Existing public boat ramps in the Kerikeri area are at Waipapa Landing, Rangitane and Opito Bay. The Kerikeri Cruising Club also has a ramp at Dove's Bay.
Boats are often launched at Wharau Bay, despite a sign prohibiting vehicles on the beach, but a four-wheel-drive is required.