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Hearings not the end, just the beginning

09 November 2007

Hearings not the end, just the beginning

The hearings that start on Monday November 19 on the proposed private plan change for Paraparaumu Airport are not the end of the process, they may well be just the beginning of a whole new set of processes, all of which will enable further public discussion and consultation.

Kapiti Coast District Mayor Jenny Rowan responded to comments in the media from the Airport Coalition saying that, while it was not the Council’s responsibility to take the lead in matters of private plan changes, it is clear the community expects more council involvement in such plan changes and the Council will certainly be more involved in future.

“Basically the responsibility to consult on private plan changes has always been seen as one for the applicant and, arguably, in this case, they have been up front and public in their approach. The whole process is at their cost.

“Consultation is more than just public meetings.

“However, I’m the first to acknowledge that there is a huge level of public concern about the plans for the airport. People are worried about a number of aspects of the proposals and many of them have made submissions and will expect to present those concerns to the hearing commissioners.

“For that reason the hearings must and need to go ahead so the Council, the submitters from the community and the applicants themselves all have their chance to present their side of the case in a public and semi-judicial process.

“I believe most people want to see a working and operational airport that contributes effectively to the economic life and wellbeing of the district and its people.

“If the commissioners recommend acceptance of the proposals, with or without conditions, then, subject to the final zoning, everyone will have a chance to be consulted and to make their views known on what is built on or the activities that may take place on the airport land.

“The hearings aren’t the end, they could well be just the beginning,” Jenny Rowan said.


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