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District Plan Appeals Committee

Council has announced in the last few minutes the appointment of a District Plan Appeals Committee comprising Clrs French and Fox together with Independent Commissioner Ian Munro.

That is interesting - all three were on the actual District Plan Committee, which surely raises ethical questions concerning their presence on the Appeals Committee given that it will be advising staff regarding the handling of appeals as they go to the Environment Court. They will no doubt be anxious to defend the decisions that they made on the DPC, and this could amount to even greater expenditure on Council's legal defence than may have otherwise been then case.

I wonder how well they were advised in regard to these appointments - just because you can does not mean that it is necessarily the best course of action for our Council. It looks a particularly foolish course of action to any outside observer - particularly in the absence of any form of explanation. If I was a an appellant, I would be feeeling somewhat grieved, but not surprised in the light of past actions of this particularly arrogant mob. It also raises the question as to just when these appointemnts were made - presumably in Public Excluded at the 18 May meeting - there is nothing in any minutes to indicate the answer.   

There are 68 Appeals to date - they closed on 13 June, but others may be accepted directly by the Environment Court. Landscape and Coastal Environment Overlays appear to be in the majority, as expected.




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Reader Comments (2)

Given that the Proposed District Plan process is underway, it is usrely now a judicial rather then political process where a judicial application of principle applies.

Nowhere in the world, except perhaps in the worst forms of bananna republics, does the judge who heard the case, then go and hear the appeal! The reasons are so obvious I won't even bother pointing them out.

Some of the submitter's to the District Plan are using professional legal counsel, who I am sure will skip this process which is not a requirement of The Resource management Act, but rather a realisation by the Council that they have 'got it wrong' and want desperately to find a way to rectify some of their decisions before going to the Environment Court.

But then perhaps its worth arguing with people clearly lost in the fog of their own stupidity - you never know what you might get and then still be able to 'have a 'second go' in Court!

But given that an election is not ar away, perhaps the whole thing has been constructed as a means of fobbing off things for a few months.

Yes they are probably cunning enough to work that out!

Not quite - this DP Appeals Committee doe not hear the appeals - it simply advises staff on the manner in which they should handle the appeals from the standpoint of Council. But it is still either naivete or arrogance that has led them into this course of action. After all, they will be anxious to defend their decisions, never mind the cost to rate-payers.

June 18, 2016 | Registered CommenterBill Barclay

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