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Friday
Feb012019

Whitianga Waterways Are At It Again!

It only seems like yesterday that our Council was prevailed on to approve the last WW sub-division that stretched the rules regarding sea-level rise to breaking-point, and now they are at it again - this time it is Stage 12 of their development.

Read Denis Tegg's excellent summary right here to see just how complete a victory this would be for the Hopper forces, and which at the same time, if approved, will certainly place our Council, and its rate-payers at substantial risk when the inevitable inundation occurs at some point in te future.

Hopefully, wiser heads will prevail as this application goes in front of a commissioner in due course - it is up to our planners to put the full analysis in front of such a hearing, and they simply cannot ignore the Government advice on the matter - it is directly relevant even if the Hopper forces choose to ignore it, and claim otherwise. 

Some may choose to claim that the advice does not apply to the proposed Thames Sports Complex because the word "Avoid" does mean "Not allow" in the context of "non-habitable " development (yes, that is the argument being used by Council supporters to refute Denis's claim!), it certainly cannot be used in the context of the Whitianga Waterways Stage 12 "residential" development.

Let us see which pocket the ball lands in on this one - whichever, litigation seems likely as Waterways will undoubtedly claim that they have '"prior rights" having already 'paid' devlopment contributions on their entire property through their "permanently confidential" agreement dating back to the Chris Lux 1998/2004 Council.

As we now know, this resulted in an almost redundant 'Sports Complex' in lieu of contributions, that incidentally enabled Waterways to dispose of their dredgings at little or no cost.  Council will need some quick foot-work (and very clever environmental lawyers) to get around this one. And based on  our knowledge to date, we would have to question just how determined it is to restrict development in accordance with the December 2017 Ministry Guidelinesfor Category A projects (which this is!), allowing for 1.88m of sea-level rise.

Waterways claim in their document that "We considere the proposal is consistent with the New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement" could not be further from the truth, but I sense a massive claim for compensation may be in the offing if they cannot get what they want.

 

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