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Association Blind Sided By Court Decision

30 January 2005

Association Blind Sided By Court Decision

Te Atatu Residents' and Ratepayers' Association is gutted by an Environment Court interim decision to defer consideration of their appeal on the zoning of the Harbourview land at Te Atatu Peninsula pending the completion of another district plan change relating to the policies and rules for parks and reserves in Waitakere City.

The appeal opposes zoning that would allow the establishment of buildings and roads on the land, including a marae. The association wants to see the emphasis of land use placed on protecting the numerous heritage resources of the site with park development limited to the provision of basic facilities for visitor access and enjoyment of the open space and views.

Environment Judge C J Thompson says that the Court has "reluctantly come to the view that we should defer giving a decision on this appeal until the content of Plan Change 12 is settled." "The lacuna created by not knowing how all of the controls for the land will fit together, and by not being able to form a view of their legal effectiveness, prevents us forming a final view that is coherent enough to dispose of the appeal."

TARRA President, Bob Stanic, says that the Association is deeply distressed by the deferment because it means that if the Association wants to ensure success in its appeal, it is now forced to lodge another appeal, this time against Plan Change 12. "The Association doesn't have the money to pay for another round of lawyers and expert witnesses for a second Court hearing," he says.

Mr Stanic says "To add salt to our wounds, we did everything we could to persuade Waitakere City Council and the Environment Court to place our appeal on hold until progress was made on Plan Change 12 but the Council told the Court they did not want to wait. Acting on the Council's request, the Court decided to proceed with a hearing. The Association did everything right and it is really unfair that our cause is likely to be lost through no fault of our own."

Donors can contact Bob Stanic by phoning 09 836 4062

"The Association will decide whether it will apeal Plan Change 12 or throw in the towel in two weeks time", Mr Stanic says.


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