Big news on past and current helipad applications:

Are they non-complying and improperly-consented? Firstly, an update: Your many protests and objections have been effective in persuading Auckland planning to send Obsidian’s application back for more information. Quiet Sky Waiheke have strongly challenged the way that Auckland has awarded helipad applications in the past, pointing out three different provisions in the District Plan that should require applications to be refused if they damage peace, quiet and safety. The…

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Helicopters on Waiheke

Obsidian Vineyard’s application for a vineyard in Onetangi is only the latest of a flood of helicopter activity in Waiheke over the past decade.

Auckland Council has consented 48 helipads without any notification of either close neighbours or the general public. Nowhere else in NZ is there such a concentration of helipads.

There has never been a study, or consideration of, the cumulative impact of exploding helicopter traffic. Some consultants have a specialty in producing planning applications that claim the helipad use will fall within an arbitrary and fanciful noise limit, under equally fanciful mitigations, and virtually all helipad applications have been approved.

This must be changed.

And existing helipads must stop ignoring their consent conditions and strictly comply with restrictions on number of flights, flight paths, and other mitigations that reduce noise pollution.

To find out more about our proposed programme for Waiheke go to our Information page

PLEASE NOTE: Quiet Sky Waiheke supports and values the vital emergency and medical helicopter flights that service the island. We only take issue with private, non-essential helicopter flights.

Waiheke Island helicopter consents

Image courtesy of the New Zealand Herald, 4 July 2021

What can you do?

Quiet Sky Waiheke hopes to mobilise the greatest possible participation of Waiheke residents in this issue. The Obsidian application is still under review by Auckland Council planning.

You can help in the following ways:

  1. Write an email to Pippa Coom and other political representatives
  2. Contact the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) when you notice low-flying helicopters or helicopters deviating from their official flight path.
  3. Track helicopters through Flightradar24. Take note of near-misses and any other safety concerns or breaches of rules.
  4. Let us know about helicopter violations – like helicopters ignoring authorised flight paths, excessive number of landings, low flying, landing in unconsented locations etc.
  5. Spread the word – talk to your friends and neighbours about the ongoing impact of helicopters on Waiheke, and forward them a link to this website
  6. Volunteer to help us reach out to more residents on Waiheke

Unless the public engages in this issue, there is no telling how crowded, noisy and unsafe the airspace over Waiheke will become. (Covid-19 has caused just a temporary reduction in helicopter traffic.)

The Obsidian Vineyard application is a key moment for the public to speak up and show that:

  • Helicopter impacts aren’t “minor”….speak from your personal experience
  • Public notification is needed for all helipad applications
  • The cumulative impact of all helicopter activity must be studied before any new helipads are consented
  • Obsidian’s application isn’t consistent with Objective 13.3.2 (6) of Auckland’s District Plan Hauraki Gulf Islands Sections to “not provide for helipads in locations that can adversely affect the amenity of surrounding residents”

Send your emails to:

Pippa Coom, Auckland Councillor for Waiheke

Please copy your email to:

Chris Darby, Chair, Auckland Planning Committee

Brad Allen, Planning Team Leader, Auckland Council

Cath Handley, Chair, Waiheke Local Board

Quiet Sky Waiheke

Climate Emergency

How can recreational use of helicopters burning 80 litres per hour be justified when New Zealand has declared a climate emergency and convenient ferry transportation is available?

Mayor Phil Goff is quoted on the Auckland Council website as saying:

“By unanimously voting to declare a climate emergency, we are signalling the Council’s intention to put climate change at the front and centre of our decision-making”

Expanding helicopter use would directly contradict the goal of reducing carbon emissions.

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