Historic yacht club steered for heritage protection

Last Updated : 13 Dec 2017
Herne Bay Cruising Club Boathouse_Cropped.JPG
Herne Bay Cruising Club Boathouse

Nestled into the shoreline below Marine Parade Reserve in Herne Bay sits an important part of Auckland’s yachting heritage. The Herne Bay Cruising Club on Sloanes Beach is the former home of the Richmond Yacht Club, one of the oldest and most prominent yacht clubs in Auckland.

The club is one of 49 places recognised as having considerable regional historical significance, primarily for built heritage, and is proposed for inclusion in Schedule 14 of the Auckland Unitary Plan, which deals with historic heritage.

History of the club

The Richmond Yacht Club was established in 1903 by a small group of keen yachting families. It was originally based at Rawene Avenue, Coxs Bay, at the boatshed of James Donald.

By 1908 the club had grown sufficiently to warrant a more permanent facility. The club sought to build a boatshed at Sloanes Beach, Herne Bay, and after negotiations with local residents and authorities on its location, it was agreed that it would sit closer to the sea and the Marine Department granted consent for construction in 1913.

Herne Yacht Heritage image.jpg
Opening of the Richmond Cruising Club clubhouse at Sloanes Beach, 8 November 1913. Auckland Council Archives. ACC 439 / 2m 55 Marine Parade (formerly Richmond Yacht Club Boatshed Sloanes Beach at the end of Bella Vista Road)

The boathouse was opened at Sloanes Beach on 8 November 1913, and in its new home the club continued to grow and prosper in the Auckland yachting scene. A second storey was added to the building in 1932 after successful fundraising efforts. The work was offered to unemployed members of the club at a rate of 12/- per day.

An 'impressive landmark'

Noel Reardon, Auckland Council's Manager for Heritage, says the boathouse was identified as “it is an impressive landmark on Sloanes Beach and a well-known and admired part of the Herne Bay shoreline. It is part of the larger group of Herne Bay boatsheds and is the oldest, while also continuing to be used.”

The Herne Bay Cruising Club was identified as one of the most significant boatsheds in Auckland in the 2007 Auckland Region Boatshed Study.

Proposed plan change 

The Proposed Plan Change 7 to the Auckland Unitary Plan was notified on 16 November 2017. This seeks to recognise the values of these 49 historic heritage places by adding them to Schedule 14 Historic Heritage Schedule, Statements and Maps and the planning maps, making them subject to the provisions of the Historic Heritage Overlay.

The places have been identified as part of heritage evaluations funded by local boards, council-led heritage surveys, the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan Pre-1944 Overlay, and evaluations of heritage places nominated by the public. The places in the plan change are diverse and include churches, commercial buildings, former factories, past and present civic buildings, school buildings, and residences.

Closing date for submissions is 9 February 2018, see aucklandcouncil.govt.nz for further information.

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