Maungakiekie-Tamaki Local Board has granted approval for wakeboarding to operate on Onehunga Lagoon (Te Tauranga) between now and May.
Powered winches and cables will pull participants across the water on skis or a wake board, as they complete a circuit or attempt tricks on water obstacles.
Riders are charged a fee by the operator who provides full instruction and safety equipment. The park will be operated by Rixen (NZ), the New Zealand agent for a German cable park company that builds and operates water ski and wakeboarding recreation facilities worldwide.
The local board consulted neighbouring residents about the proposal, with almost all of the 60 respondents in favour of the trial. The board has delegated authority to grant leases for local parks, subject to Reserves Act requirements.
Fantastic use of an underutilised area
Board chair Simon Randall says the innovative proposal offers plenty of recreational fun for wakeboarding experts across greater Auckland, and novices within the local community.
“Our recent upgrade to Onehunga foreshore has been a catalyst for creative thinking about potential uses for the foreshore reserve, lagoon, and indeed options for Onehunga as a whole.
“Wakeboarding and the lagoon are a natural fit. It doesn’t impact on other activities in the surrounding park, and locals are keen to both observe and join in the fun. We had no concerns in issuing the initial 40-day operational period to coincide with the warmer water temperatures,” says Simon Randall.
Local comments to the consultation included “this is a fantastic use of an underutilised area!”, and “Auckland needs these activities for kids to grow up with.”
Training of wake boarders
A safety plan will be put in place including training of riders, compulsory use of helmets and life jackets, having a first aider on site and restriction of rope length for novices so they don’t access the jumps. The towers will be padded when not in use to restrict access.
The activity will run as a commercial venture, along with community-focussed events to encourage new participants. The local board will receive a commercial rent for the activity which will be used for the betterment of the reserve.