Several friends of mine who are “hut owners” at Lake Coleridge are of the view that the only way forward is through negotiation with the new owner. They realize that the law is against them on this. They are trying to avoid antagonizing the new owner. Some are extremely “upset” to put it mildly. Their public and private views are quite different.
Unlike many lakes in New Zealand there is no public road running around Lake Coleridge to provide easy public access for boat launching and camping. Entry to the lake is down no exit roads with the surrounding land in private ownership. The problem is made worse because Coleridge is the only decent boating and fishing lake close to Christchurch.
Notwithstanding the “illegal building” aspect, the gate business is just not on. This whole affair should never have been allowed to develop in the first place. Strict conditions of sale should have been imposed by the government to allow anglers to drive to these lakes as they always have. Many years ago Tony Orman warned about the insidious reduction of the public’s right of access to public lands. He was right to say so! It seems to me that a sort of slow creeping erosion of access rights is taking place here. Bit by bit unfettered access is being taken away from the majority and placed in the hands of a wealthy few. The rights of the landowner to do as he wishes on his own land must also be upheld. Sadly the pendulum is unlikely to swing the other way while the majority remain silent.