By Paul O’Fagan, Inspector based in Wairau.
What happens when you get a passionate group of like-minded locals together? Well, if you’re the Tennyson Inlet Boat Club, you put talk into action and give an old hut a new lease of life.
The Tennyson Inlet Boat Club recently negotiated with DOC to upgrade Matai Bay Hut. The upgrade was managed and funded by them.
Matai Bay Hut is located only metres from the water’s edge in Marlborough’s stunning Pelorus Sound, and can only be reached by boat.
Flood tides had been causing problems for the hut. Luckily, the Tennyson Inlet Boat Club are an enthusiastic, resourceful and practical group—with many seasoned tradesmen in their ranks, including the Callister family who managed the hut renovation—and they hatched a plan to beat the flood tides.
The club got sponsorship for some materials, and got stuck in. After raising the hut 500 millimetres, onto new piles, they then built a massive timber deck and boardwalk around the hut.
Local Conservation Services Manager, Roy Grose, and the Marlborough Sounds DOC team helped by providing guidelines, sharing knowledge and carrying out inspections.
Leanne Schmidt, the Tennyson Inlet Boat Club’s Secretary said
“Our club has invested time and effort. Conservation is an investment in places we enjoy—where you can find solitude and adventure. Our partnership with DOC has been rewarding. A success that benefits all New Zealanders.”
The club has further plans to improve Matai Bay Hut with a fly screen door, more steps off the deck and are investigating the feasibility of placing a mooring in the Bay.