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Coastal Ratepayers’ United reminds council about its statutory obligations

Mike Weir, CRU, Kapiti Coast District Council
LEGAL BID: Kapiti Coast resident Mike Weir, who is leading a High Court challenge to a Kapiti Coast District Council coastal erosion assessment, holds a council map that shows some of the affected areas subject to the challenge.

At Kāpiti Coast District Council’s meeting on 10 December to consider recommendations from its officers on the proposed Community Assessment Panel (CAP), Coastal Ratepayers’ United (CRU) reminded Councillors about Council’s statutory obligations to complete the coastal hazards provisions for the District Plan.

In 2016, KCDC had assured the environment Court that the plan changes associated with coastal hazard provisions in the District Plan would require a further 4 years to complete – yet to date, a plan change is nowhere in sight.

CRU chair, Salima Padamsey, says CRU continues to have misgivings regarding the credibility of Council to deliver its legislative obligations as promised.

“While CRU endorses planning for climate change adaptation, it needs to be based on clear objectives, good science and technical detail – in other words, coastal hazard assessment for our district. This was the purpose of the Coastal Advisory Group (CAG), endorsed by Council Resolutions on 24 July 2014, only to be abandoned by Council.

“Instead, after six years, CAG has morphed into CAP, whose purpose seemingly is to develop a coastal adaptation plan which doesn’t meet the Council’s statutory obligations. The focus of CAG was on coastal hazard risk assessment and district plan rules as required under the New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement and the RMA, whereas CAP is developing a coastal adaptation plan, a non-statutory plan.

It is now up to Council to ensure that the political optics will not be the determinant of community representation on CAP and that it is working towards a CAP which has a genuine community mandate.

The risk that KCDC takes is that it will not have learned the lessons of similar community panel processes in Hawke’s Bay and Makara where there was an unwillingness to fund the recommended actions, and at the same time it does not fulfil its statutory obligations.


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