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Sunday
Oct272013

Chair of Regulatory

As stated in my earlier post - the appointment of Murray McLean to the Chair of Regulatory (Judicial) Committee raises some interesting issues.

First and foremost, his qualifications for the job - it is my understanding that the passing of the Chair exam was a pre-requisite for chairing a judicial hearing - something the the Chair of this Committee will be required to do  right from the outset - I wonder how they intend to get around that?

Secondly, I don't think that many would disagree that having McLean in this job is akin to putting the fox in charge of the chicken-coop. McLean is an unabashed proponent of development at all costs, and is himself a 'developer'. It may even be claimed that in effect he would be in a conflict of interest situation from the outset - being the final gate operator on almost every aspect of development in the District. The Chair traditionally has a far greater say on whether applications are publicly notified than anyone else, though in the past staff advice has generally been followed.

I would have to say on first glance that this appointment reflects Glenn Leach's own attitude to development - he appears determined to remove all possible road-blocks to get the sector moving again. That may require substantial concessions on development contributions, and in particular, the sequence of payments required to be made at various stages of the resource consent process.

It is axiomatic that with the change in balance on this Council, that Glenn's desire to ease the pressure on developers will be supported, and it is incumbent on those who watch and report Council matters (not many, to be sure!) to keep a very close watch on the activities of this Chair and his Committee - Tony Brljevich and Peter French, with Sandra Goudie and Diane Connors as reserves.

The balance has undoubtedly moved  towards the removal of restraints on development on this Peninsula -  Paul Erlich's warnings don't have much currency here!

 

 

 

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