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Decision for Harbourview-Orangihina deferred


2 February 2006

Appeal decision for Harbourview-Orangihina deferred

It could be a year before the Environment Court makes a decision on whether a marae can be built at Harbourview-Orangihina Park (the People's Park) at Te Atatu.,

The delay will also affect a decision on whether large amounts of the park land at Harbourview-Orangihina can be re-zoned as an Open Space Environment which is the zoning that applies to all parks and reserves across the city.

The issues arose because Waitakere City Council is proposing a change to the District Plan (Plan Change 2) that will allow re-zoning at Harbourview-Orangihina. The Te Atatu Residents and Ratepayers Association (TARRA) have appealed the proposed change.

The Environment Court, however, has decided that a separate proposed plan change (Plan Change 12) needs to be decided before it can rule on either the Councils proposal to re-zone areas of Harbourview-Orangihina or TARRA's appeal.

The Council's proposed Plan Change 2 would allow 2.5 hectares of the Harbourview-Orangihina Park to be zoned as the Harbourview South Special Area. It would also allow areas currently zoned Living Environment and Harbourview South Special Area to become Open Space Environment.
TARRA, however, have lodged an appeal with the Environment Court claiming that the proposed marae is an inappropriate and unsuitable use of the land. TARRA believes the Open Space zoning will not lead to sustainable management of the 80 hectares of park land.

The Court has now decided that it cannot make a decision on this matter until it knows the outcome of Plan Change 12. This would see tighter controls on activities in the City's 565 parks and reserves under which resource consent could be needed for some activities in parks and reserves.

Under the current District Plan, activities that are included in a reserve management plan for a park or reserve do not need resource consent. Under the proposed Plan Change 12 resource consent will be required if the proposed activities do not meet requirements in the District Plan.

If there are no appeals against Plan Change 12, the Court may fast-track the decision on the marae via a priority hearing.

If the marae project does go ahead, the land is to be transferred to a trust under the Te Ture Whenua Maori Act 1993.

The Council has set a timeframe of three years from the date that the land is formally vested in the trust, for the development of the project, with provision for extending the date.

Mayor Bob Harvey says he sees the Te Atatu Marae development process as "similar to that of the Trusts Stadium. There was very little they could do until they got the land. Once that happened, fundraising began to happen. I see the same thing happening with the marae," he says.

The Te Atatu Marae Development Group presented the Council with a preliminary design concept for a marae. Te Puni Kokiri has provided initial funding for the project's planning and design phases.

ENDS

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