Ryton Bay Development at Lake Coleridge

Posted By yellowfin On With 0 Comments

This topic contains 21 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  yellowfin 12 years, 7 months ago.

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  • #6415

    yellowfin
    Participant

    [i:271zagin]I recently received the following letter from a very concerned angler. I have to say right now that I am in total agreement with what Rob has to say. It was only a couple of years ago that the farmer who controls the land at the head of Lake Coleridge started to charge $5.00 per camper per night to stay there; when camping in this isolated wilderness area has always been free!

    [/i:271zagin]

    #7461

    yellowfin
    Participant
    I must admit to being quite surprised when I read an article in the Christchurch Press about property developer Phillip Burmester’s plan to build a multi million dollar alpine fishing village at Ryton Bay, Lake Coleridge. This is about half way up the lake on the eastern side. The article quoted Burmester as saying that he thought sections in his development would start around $NZ195,000.
    My first thought was, “Who the hell would buy these sections?” Ryton Bay is near the end of a “no exit” shingle road a very long way from anywhere! Lake Coleridge is invaded every year on the first Saturday in November by some 700 anglers who go there for the excellent trout and salmon fishing. This “High Country Opening” weekend is something of a tradition in Canterbury with some blokes having made the trip every year since the Second World War. I remember speaking to one old guy who could remember coming up when there were no trees at the Harper end. There are some very big trees there now! But, other than at Christmas, and a few weekend day trippers, the place is deserted
    #7462

    yellowfin
    Participant
    #7463

    yellowfin
    Participant
    In view of the article published in the Press within the last week and a clearer view of the
    #7584

    yellowfin
    Participant

    I didnt see the article in the press but what i have read here is discusting!

    What will it be like in 10 to 15 years time? Hundreds of holiday homes a marina with dozens of

    #7588

    yellowfin
    Participant

    To many of us the title “developer” conjures up an image of a morally and financial

    #9946

    Ian Dampier
    Participant
    Ref: “Lake Project in New Hands” (by Tina Law) The Press, Saturday, 12 January 2008

    [/b]

    Those of you who use Lake Coleridge will be interested to note that The Ryton Station has been sold yet again. Ref: “Lake Project in New Hands” (Tina Law) The Press, Saturday, 12 January 2008.    While the users of the Ryton Bay should be pleased to see the back of Phillip Burmester, unfortunately his departure does not spell an end to the proposed development at the Ryton Bay  as the new owner, who laughably calls himself a “conservationist”, intends to continue with the project.   The new owner has clearly stated his views in regard in the present users of the Ryton Bay referring to our collection of caravans and huts as an “eyesore”.    Aided by the journalistic abilities of Tina Law of “The Press”  to articulate his views the new owner is critical of the abstraction of water for use by campers and the existing methods of sewage disposal.   Overall he describes the situation as “unhealthy”.  I refer to Ms Law’s as, is so often the case with her profession, journalists fail to adequately investigate before going to print,  with the end result of failing to present all the facts and ultimately presenting a biased store or point of view.  

    The piped water provided to campers for domestic purposes was initially very kindly put in by the previous owners of the property the Mears, who for years enjoyed a cordial relationship with their tenants.    There is an ecological self composting toilet at the Ryton which I believe was erected by the Department of Conservation.  This is by far the most extensively used toilet facility.   It is a clean well kept facility that is looked after and respected by its users.  In addition there are a very small number of private long-drop toilets.  While I believe long drop style toilets no longer comply with resource consent requirements these structures are situated well away from any water source and the soil structure provides safe and effective waste disposal.   Bearing in mind that these facilities only receive intermittent season use the environmental impact is minimal.  As to whether the existing camping facilities at the Ryton Bay are an eyesore is a matter of personal opinion.    To most of the users I am sure it represents a piece of paradise.

    While the new owner may choose to masquerade under the title of   conservationist you can rest assured that the environmental impact of the proposed development will far out way the very limited impact of the existing activities at the Ryton Bay     

    #10780

    yellowfin
    Participant
    #11685

    Ian Dampier
    Participant

    My original purpose when contributing to this forum was to promote debate on the proposed Ryton Bay development and to galvanize some opposition. Whether it is due to the obscurity of this site I’m not sure but I have had very limited success and I am disappointed by the lack of comment on this forum. At first glance I would appear to be waging a personal vendetta against past and present owners of the Ryton Station. I can assure you that this is not the case, but if you value something then you have to ask yourself if it is worth fighting for, and what could possibly be worth fighting for if not your favourite fishing spot that you have enjoyed for the past fifty one years. There is a large group using this location and despite the lack of contribution to this forum, there is strong feeling among those users in regard to seeing its unique character protected and maintained. I firmly believe that we are far too complacent when it comes to fighting for the environment.

    #11686

    Ian Dampier
    Participant

    True to his stated intent the new owner, John Shrimpton, withdrew the resource applications in early August 2008. Definitely good news but during a passing conversation with the Ryton Station Manager in mid winter I was lead to believe that there would be no more camping at the Ryton. While casual camping continues for the moment, unfortunately none of the leases on the camp sites have been renewed.

    The other abhorrant action Mr Shrimpton has taken is to block the access road to Lakes Ida and Catherine. Although it has always been accepted that this is a private road, access has never been an issue under the previous owners. Some time within the last few months Mr Shrimpton has seen fit to permanently lock the gate at the point of entry (off Harper Rd.) The locked gate is now festooned with signs clearly indicating the land owner’s intention. There is also signage to indicate that the land owner will allow foot access ONLY and intends that members of the public should take an arduous walk across country to reach the lakes in question. My enquiries with the Ryton Station indicate that this is a long term arrangement. When asked the reason for this decision the response was [b:13vmel80]“because it is a private road and because we can”.[/b:13vmel80]

    While there is no disputing that the road is private, I take extreme issue with the fact that an area that was freely accessible for many years is now effectively locked off to the general population wishing to pursue outdoor activities such as fishing. If I wish to fish the three lakes accessed by this road I must now take an arduous cross country journey on foot leaving my vehicle exposed on the side of the road.

    I and many others find it totally unacceptable that a piece of prime New Zealand real estate of high recreational value can be sold to a non-New Zealand resident who can then lock out the New Zealand Public, all presumably with the approval of Overseas Investment Office, LINZ, who approved Mr Shrimpton’s purchase of the Ryton Station. I would have thought that one of the conditions of the sale would be continued and uninterrupted public access to public waterways, but I am in the process of pursuing that line of enquiry ?

    This sort of arrogant behaviour is a good example of why there are groups within NZ who lobby in opposition of foreign ownership of prime NZ real estate. Mr Shrimpton clearly thinks he is still in his native England, where private ownership includes the waterways themselves and the fish that swim in them, and the cost of a days fishing is measured in the hundreds of pounds.

    I note with concern that Mr Shrimpton is presently seeking to purchase Glenthorne Station in the same region, and I wonder what other access restrictions he will impose if his purchase is approved by the Overseas Investment Office and the sale proceeds.

    #11691

    Ian Dampier
    Participant

    grimace

    #11699

    yellowfin
    Participant

    He sounds like some ‘upper class’ stuck up pom who should bugger off back to his sad country and its classes, we don’t need or want his type around here. I guess the main thing is that there are still accessible lakes being stocked by fish and game – I guess if there are less lakes for fish & game to stock, then they would get more fish?
    But it is best to fight these sorts of things early, because if you give these people an inch they might end up taking a lot more than that.
    I haven’t found the other forum users on here to be very revved up about fighting for their rights either (I helped fight the pier fishing ban), have you tried ringing fishing clubs? Maybe fish & game could give you some ideas on who could help you.

    #11709

    Ian Dampier
    Participant

    Welcome aboard Booger.

    It is not so much a case of the location or the issue not being in the public eye. Everyone who uses Coleridge or any of the surrounding lakes is aware of the issue. Engage anyone in conversation on the subject, particularly other users of the area in question, and you very quickly become aware that we all share the same level of feeling. Admittedly New Zealanders are a fairly laid back lot but regrettably I think Kiwis are just too easily pushed around and are too willing to let the big boys walk all over them. The number of submissions against Burmester’s original development plan was pathetic compared to the number of people that use the area. F & G are our strongest advocates and are involved in ongoing negotiations with Shrimpton. Unfortunately NZ Governments, past and present, allow these situations to develop and do very little prevent them, or to represent the interests of New Zealanders. The ultimate solution is to stop non NZ residents buying NZ property, particularly property that is considered an aesthetic, recreation or environmental asset.

    #11755

    yellowfin
    Participant

    Would the local council have any say over how the land is being used in terms of public access? Or is there some other body who would? What about the local MP? Or could the council force him to sell the land the road is on to them?

    Contacting the media to see if they’re interested in the story could help too, surely Shrimpton doesn’t want to be seen on the local papers or on TV as being a selfish git.

    If nobody has explored these avenues then they could be worth a crack, never any harm in asking. Could be more effective than trying to sweet talk someone who doesn’t appear to have good intentions at all.

    #12286

    Ian Dampier
    Participant

    ” Writing On the Wall for Coleridge-area Huts.”. The Press, Sat 24 Jan 2009.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/thepress/4827932a19753.html

    So it appears that ALL the huts around Coleridge are to go, starting with those on private property, and the days of camping at the Ryton Bay are over, although I detect some some ambiguity in the subject article. A sad conclusion to a community that has been a traditional retreat for many generations of NZers over the last 60 or 70 years or longer. Also a sign of the times in a country where NZers are increasingly being squeezed out of their traditional retreats and recreational areas. No Taupo or Queenstown for these people. Add hock building out of control and regulations flouted, maybe, but that has always been one of the great aspects of the Kiwi way of life. It could have happened under any circumstances and you could say it was bound to happen sooner or later. The fact that it has happened as a result of the two properties concerned (Ryton & Glenthorne Stations) being sold to foreign ownership, and with DoC and the Office of Overseas Investment as co-conspirators, should serve as a warning to all NZers who value their freedom and access to the great NZ outdoors. Mr Shrimpton has already sealed off road access to Lakes Catherine and Ida. What next ? Access through the Ryton Station front gate and $25.00 a visit ? We’ll wait and see.

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