Hobsonville Point community floats weekend ferry trial

Mon, 06 May 2019
Hobsonville Point community floats weekend ferry trial

Community spirit and collaboration were the driving forces behind a new weekend ferry service at Hobsonville Point.

The ferry was initially sailing between Hobsonville Point, Beach Haven and central Auckland on weekdays, proving popular with commuters and visitors alike.

However, residents wanted to see the ferry service extended to weekends to provide more public transport options for residents and encourage visitors from the city to experience the new cafes, restaurants, Farmers Market, and businesses popping up at Catalina Bay.

Auckland Transport didn’t have the money to fully fund the extra ferry sailings. That’s when the Hobsonville Point community spirit kicked in, buoyed by support from HLC and our builder partners.

Rather than sitting back and waiting, the Hobsonville Point Residents Society (HPRS) came up with a plan.

A ferry trial proposal was put to a vote at the HPRS AGM, attended by about 300 people last October. It was carried by an overwhelming majority.

HPRS committee member Lindsey Dawson says the organisation’s structure is unusual in Auckland in that every new resident in Hobsonville Point joins and contributes $200 a year towards maintaining and improving the community.

“Because it’s designed to be medium density, it’s a much closer-knit community than most other places in Auckland and it was really important that it was set up with ways and means for people to work together.”

Dawson says getting the weekend ferry trial off the ground was an example of the tight-knit Hobsonville Point community pooling its resources to bring about meaningful change.

The plan was supported by a funding contribution from HLC, as well as money from builder partners and local businesses.

The weekend ferry trial launched in January 2019 and is expected to last about a year.

If the trial is successful, Auckland Transport has said it will become a permanent service.

It has proved very popular over the summer months, averaging about 500 trips a weekend, blowing initial expectations out of the water.

That means hundreds more people visiting Hobsonville Point, supporting local businesses, and experiencing attractions like Te Ara Manawa – the Hobsonville/Onekiritea Coastal Walkway.

Hobsonville Point Project Director Caroline McDowall, of HLC, says the ferry trial shows “the power of an organised community”.

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