The owner of a large boat temporarily anchored off Sumpter Wharf since late last year has applied for consent for a permanent mooring at Oamaru Harbour.
Kapala, a former Australian fisheries research vessel, turned up unannounced at Oamaru Harbour late last year.
The Otago Regional Council (ORC) and Waitaki District Council worked to identify owner Glen Perham and the large vessel was anchored at a temporary location as allowed by ORC’s navigational safety bylaws 2019, ORC harbourmaster Steve Rushbrook said.
However, a year later, it remained in the harbour on a temporary permit.
“We’ve continued to encourage [Mr Perham] to find a solution, a legal solution,” Mr Rushbrook said.
Mr Rushbrook had the power to remove the vessel from the harbour, but was reluctant to do so before a solution was found.
“I don’t want to move him from one problem to another problem,” he said.
“From a safety of navigation point of view, he’s safer where he is currently, than he would be outside the harbour or in another location.”
To obtain a legal mooring, Mr Perham was required to obtain a coastal permit through the Resource Management Act, and he confirmed he had recently applied for consent.
Due to the large size of the vessel, it was not a normal recreational mooring scenario for Oamaru Harbour and affected parties would be consulted.
North Otago Yacht and Power Boat Club commodore Kevin Murdoch said the club’s main concern was the impact it might have on its children’s sailing programme.
“As long as it’s not going to affect our kids’ sailing, we don’t really mind, but at the same time we do worry if it happened to come loose it could cause some damage [to boats and Sumpter Wharf],” Mr Murdoch said.
Mr Perham told the Oamaru Mail he had “no major plans” for the boat, other than using it for recreational purposes.
Despite its rusty appearance, it was considered seaworthy, he said.