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Tuesday
Apr172012

And Te Kouma Residents

Russell de Luca is the one to watch - a well qualified hearings commissioner, long used by our Council to conduct hearings on controversial applications. He is a formidable foe, and has led the charge of this small group of affected residents. 

I include just three paragraphs from his submission that will give some idea of the likely basis for future appeals, and do not under-rate the reference to pre-dermination - it is a surprising trap for young players in the planning game:

ALTERNATIVE  SITES

4.1        As to  the  analysis and  assessment of  the  various  sites,  we  see an  element  of  pre­ determination in the whole exercise which unsurprisingly to us concludes that the site most favourable to  the financial interests of the mussel farmers has been selected, with  that criterion  overriding more relevant  resource management considerations which have been given scant attention.

4.2        As already mentioned,the Sugarloaf is inherently unsuitable as the location for an expanded marine farming servicing facility and if any of the sites assessed has a "fatal flaw" it is thls one. And yet the Council appears to be hell-bent on a course to adopt the Sugarloaf as the preferred  site and embarking on a protracted  and expensive resource consent application process which has every chance of failing and costing its ratepayers hundreds of thousands of dollars (acknowledged in the options report as exceeding $1million).

4.3        We note  that the only document  which constitutes any semblance of an adequate RMA­ based analysis, the KTB Planning Seeping Assessment report, puts the  Puhi Rare (Windy Point) site on a similar footing to the Sugarloaf and recommends further  investigations of these two sites be undertaken before a final decision on the preferred site is made. There appears to be no reference to this recommendation in the main Options report itself,a fact which reinforces our concerns about  predetermination and will clearly count against any objective review of a decision to proceed with the Sugarloaf option.

 


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Reader Comments (1)

Russell knows his stuff, and he could be right with his pre-determination scenario. However, the aim of the game when applying for resource consent is to assess the environmental effects and minimise them appropriately. A good environmental court judge will ignore pre-determination issues such is this, although this could be a very relevant point for a judicial review on process, if the locals go down this avenue. The constant mistake made is the marine farmers continueing failure to start pre-application discussions with locals on the impending application - wherever the facility may end up.

April 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGunna

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