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BLACKJACK PROTECTION SOCIETY
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Exclusionary Decision Cannot Go Unchecked
March 20, 2008
The Blackjack Protection Society has this week issued High Court proceedings challenging a notification decision by the Thames-Coromandel District Council.
In January, the council decided to proceed with an application for a 79-lot subdivision at Opito Bay on a limited notification basis.
Blackjack believes treating the application in this way is exclusionary.
"The council," says Blackjack chairman Pat O'Brien, "has led the community to believe it doesn't have a right to have a say in how this development proceeds.
"We have taken advice from the Environmental Defence Society (EDS) and think we have a good case to argue.
"We did not take this decision lightly, but the public interest in this matter is at stake."
Gary Taylor, chairman of EDS, says his group is concerned generally at the way councils exclude public interest groups from participation under the Resource Management Act.
"We believe that councils err too far towards excluding people and groups from involvement in decisions that affect communities.
"It is appropriate to take a narrower view when say it is a very local matter just affecting the direct neighbour.
"But here we have a 79-lot subdivision with issues of public open space inextricably linked with the resource consent.
"We think council has made an error in law and are pleased to be assisting the Blackjack group to test that in the High Court," Mr Taylor said.