It’s been a very busy few weeks for Quiet Sky Waiheke which began with a submission to the parliamentary select committee on the Civil Aviation Bill. See the Latest Updates on our website if you missed it. Various media outlets picked up on our submission, which resulted in a Newshub interview on the 5th March featuring Quiet Sky spokesperson Kim Whitaker and a frustration of Oneroa locals.
Newshub also reported on the helipad application currently being processed for 48 Korora Road which is attracting attention due to its central Oneroa location (note its excellent proximity to the Matiatia ferry terminal). What is also interesting about this application is it proposes only a single flight path. We believe it is neither safe, nor realistic to expect that one flight path will be suitable for all weather conditions, and have submitted our views to the council planning team. If you’re interested in this application it’s particularly worth reading.
Radio New Zealand also provided a 20-minute analysis of the helipad uproar on Waiheke Island, Auckland and Aotea Great Barrier Island. Reporter Nikki Mandow drew an interesting comparison between roosters and helicopters – namely that you can’t have a rooster in your backyard, but you can have a helicopter. Council’s website recommends “having a chat to your neighbours before you get your chickens and addressing any concerns about noise or other potential issues.” But even a chat with your neighbours isn’t a requirement for a helipad application on Waiheke. It is only thanks to the Waiheke Local Board, and the dedication of Gulf News reporters, that Waiheke residents get any warning that a helicopter might be about to land in their neighbour’s backyard.
The Gulf News also published three pieces this month including an interview with Civil Aviation expert Mike Haines who believes that current rules around helipads and heliports on Waiheke are “a bit light-handed”. We concur.