Achieving a successful consenting outcome for a prominent public space through community engagement
Surf life saving at Onemana beach is a much needed service that both locals and holiday goers alike greatly appreciate and need. However, the club building that acts as a headquarters for the lifeguards is aging which inhibits their capacity, efficiency and overall services at the beach.
Some of the key issues the club faces are:
• There’s not enough space for surf life saving training and emergency equipment;
• There’s no specialised first aid room;
• The surge in junior membership has meant the club has outgrown the current facility; and
• There are limited views down the beach for guards on duty.
In response to these issues, the Onemana Surf Life Saving Club proposed to upgrade the building in order to substantially improve its functionality and to better meet the needs of club members and the public. Some of these proposed changes included an internal reconfiguration of the existing building, adding a second level to the building and including accessibility ramps from the surrounding beachfront reserve.
4Sight worked collaboratively with the Onemana Surf Life Saving Club and their architect to develop a design that minimised visual impact and created a great community resource. We also took on the role of working with other supporting specialists to ensure a consistent and coherent approach to the project.
In order for the building changes to be successful, it was crucial to obtain buy in from local residents. We took the lead in this, and we were able to secure overwhelming local support for the proposal and provide a forum for those with objections to work through their concerns. Also, given the presence of Māori archaeological remains at the site, it was critical that Mana Whenua were involved in the design from the beginning and given the opportunity to exercise kaitiakitanga.
Our ‘up-front’ investment with iwi and the tight-knit community meant that we could lodge consents with written support and have the archaeological and resource consent permits granted on a non-notified basis.
Throughout the project we demonstrated our abilities to guide the Client through the RMA process, effectively engage with stakeholders, prepare quality consent applications and to pro-actively correspond with Council representatives, all of which culminated in a successful consenting outcome that was greatly appreciated by the Onemana Surf Life Saving Club.