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Ranges’ submissions reach 3200

Media release
7 February 2005

Ranges’ submissions reach 3200

Over 1000 submissions poured into Waitakere City Council in the last few days before last Friday’s deadline on the long term protection of the Waitakere Ranges and Foothills.

The consultation focused on the possibility of legislation to protect the Waitakere Ranges and Foothills from urban development.

The unofficial total of submissions stands at around 3200.

A range of responses is being analysed and the results will be discussed at a special Council meeting on Wednesday 16 February.

Mayor Bob Harvey says it is too early to comment on trends, apart from what appears to be a number of submissions orchestrated by lobby groups.

“This is quite normal. In many cases, there are clear and reasoned arguments offered,” he says.

The project was initiated in response to concerns expressed by local residents, local Members of Parliament, lobby groups and Parliament Commissioner for the Environment and concerns expressed in the West Coast Plan.

Late last year, the Government invited the Auckland Regional Council and Waitakere City Council to draft legislation for this purpose.

Legislation specific to this area could:

- Provide certainty that councils will be required to protect the ranges and foothills long term (currently, the District Plan, for example, is reviewed every ten years)
- Set specific objectives for managing this area.
- Ensure consistent application of the objectives to resource consent processes
- Provide national recognition of the significance f the area
- Ensure activities of councils and government agencies support protection measures

If legislation is pursued, the earliest timetable would be:

Late February - finalise Bill as a result of community feedback
March 2005 – Bill lodged in District Court for public viewing
Early April 2005 – Local Bill introduced to Parliament and referred to Select Committee for hearings and consideration. A further opportunity for public submissions

ENDS

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