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Auckland Council

Proposal to revoke the reserve status over Saunders Reserve

Public notice date: 08 May 2018

Closing date and time: 15 June 2018, 5 p.m.

​Pursuant to Section 24 (2) (b) of the Reserves Act 1977, Auckland Council hereby notifies its intention to seek the approval of the Department of Conservation to the revocation or uplifting of the reserve status over the two land parcels described in the schedule below and known as Saunders Reserve.

Saunders Reserve lies at 26 Saunders Place in Avondale with its northern and southern boundaries adjoining the Whau River. Sited within the reserve are the clubrooms of the West End Rowing Club along with a car parking area.  The clubrooms and parking area occupy a large portion of the reserve with the balance occupied by a small grassed area and strips of vegetation sited along both the northern and southern boundaries adjoining the Whau River.

The council owns Saunders Reserve under the Reserves Act which protects the conservation values contained within the property and restricts what the council can allow the Club to carry out on the property.  Other than public open space and providing public access to the Whau River from Saunders Place, there are no significant conservation values contained within Saunders Reserve. 

The Club has occupied Saunders Reserve since 2000 and wishes to remain on this site.  The lease to the Club from the council under the Reserves Act will expire in August. The Club has a competitive membership of more than 200 athletes, including members from three affiliate schools.  The clubrooms are available for hire by the public for a wide range of events not associated with Club activities and the funds derived assist with the building's upkeep.  

Lot 26 is held as an esplanade reserve and Lot 27 is held as a recreation reserve.  Under the Reserves Act, buildings are not permitted on esplanade reserves and commercial activities not associated with Club's recreational activities are not permitted on a recreation reserve.  This situation place existing activities on this reserve in breach of the Reserves Act and makes the current lease to the Club invalid in terms of that Act.

Revoking or removing the reserve status from Saunders Reserve is considered by the council as the most practical solution to resolve the non-compliance issues.  Once revoked the property would still remain under the ownership and management  of the council but would be administered by the council under the Local Government Act 2002.

The council could grant a new lease to the Club under the 2002 Act and all the existing activities undertaken within the clubrooms would become compliant under that Act.  Public access through the property from Saunders Place to the Whau River would also be retained and protected under that same Act. 

The council would like to reassure everyone that none of the existing activities undertaken by the Club on Saunders Reserve, or public access through the land to Whau River, will be threatened by the revocation proposal, and that the end result will enable these activities to continue on undeterred and to benefit both the Club, its members, and the public using the property.

Plans showing Saunders Reserve are available for public viewing at the office of the Whau Local Board at 31 Totara Avenue New Lynn.

Any person wishing to object to the proposed reclassification may do so in writing no later than 5pm Friday 15 June:

Chief Executive, Auckland Council

Private Bag 93200, Auckland 1142
Attention: Dave Bayley

Objections may be emailed to:

As a further option, Dave can be contacted by phone should any person wish to discuss the matter with him.

021 973 566  

Objections should state if the objector wishes to be heard.  Any objector's information provided to the Council will become subject to the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1977 and may be released by the Council under that Act. Any objector should state in their objection if the whole or any part of their objection is to be kept confidential.


Lot 26 DP 112772 comprising 5780 square metres and Lot 27 DP 112772 comprising 5008 square metres.