Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


TCDC bends over backwards for developer



TCDC bends over backwards for developer

August 12, 2008

The Thames-Coromandel District Council has made a deal with developers to remove its own planning controls from a subdivision.

This comes as the council pushes ahead with a controversial closed planning hearing for the development on Friday.

In doing so, TCDC has pre-empted the outcome of unresolved High Court action by the Blackjack Protection Society challenging TCDC’s non- notification of the development.

Developers Murray and Sue Edens have applied to build a massive, 79-lot subdivision on the edge of the sand dunes at Skippers Rd in Opito Bay, on the eastern Coromandel.

The development is intense, large and will have a drastic effect on the environment of the bay. It is opposed by community groups and the Department of Conservation because it is next to the breeding grounds of the endangered New Zealand dotterel.

More importantly, the proposal does not follow a 1998 structure plan that governs the land and includes a proposed recreation area — the sole benefit to the community.

The council decided two years ago that the size of the reserve would be decided when the land was subdivided — which would require notification.

The Edens applied to remove the structure plan two years ago, but withdrew their High Court appeal last year.

A report from TCDC’s planner now reveals that the council agreed to delete the plan for them.

TCDC now claims the structure plan was inserted in error.

“It seems beyond belief that they can be on their own record as to the importance of the structure plan and now suggest it was all a mistake,” says Blackjack chairman Pat O’Brien.

“We were floored that the council pushed ahead with the hearing,” he said. “But we’re even more shocked now. The council appears to be doing everything it can for the developers and changing the rules to suit.

“The hearing is fundamentally flawed. It's exclusionary, it's wrong in law and there are issues surrounding it that are far from resolved. The council is doing things backwards."

“The subdivision is already patently unsustainable and the council plans to make it more so.”

The Environmental Defence Society is assisting Blackjack with its court action.

“We are concerned that the council appears to be doing everything possible to assist the applicant, even going so far as to change its plan to ease the proposal through the consent process,” said EDS Chairman Gary Taylor.

“We think the council should be looking to achieve a better environmental outcome from a much lower density development but it seems to have its sights set on something that will be very sub-optimal. That is disappointing,” Mr Taylor concluded.

Blackjack filed proceedings to challenge the non-notification of the application in March, but the case has yet to be heard.

Both EDS and Blackjack have urged the council to delay the hearing until the outcome of the High Court challenge is decided, but TCDC has ignored this.



The Blackjack Protection Society includes individuals and families with long- held links to the Kuaotunu Peninsula. It is named after the narrow, winding gravel road that traverses the hills of the area. The society is worried about the rate, pace and style of development at Opito and the other bays, and has formed to advocate for sustainable development.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Life And Times Of Peter Dunne

In the end, Mr Pragmatic calmly read the signs of impending defeat and went out on his own terms. You could use any number of clichés to describe Peter Dunne’s exit from Parliament.

The unkind might talk of sinking ships, others could be more reminded of a loaded revolver left on the desk by his Cabinet colleagues as they closed the door behind them, now that the polls in Ohariu had confirmed he was no longer of much use to National. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Campaign Launch

One of the key motifs of Ardern’s speech was her repeated use of the phrase – “Now, what?” Cleverly, that looks like being Labour’s response to National’s ‘steady as it goes’ warning against not putting the economic ‘gains’ at risk. More>>


Lyndon Hood: Social Welfare, Explained

Speaking as someone who has seen better times and nowadays mostly operates by being really annoying and humiliating to deal with, I have some fellow feeling with the current system, so I’ll take this chance to set a few things straight.. More>>


Deregistered: Independent Board Decision On Family First

The Board considers that Family First has a purpose to promote its own particular views about marriage and the traditional family that cannot be determined to be for the public benefit in a way previously accepted as charitable... More>>


Transport Policies: Nats' New $10.5bn Roads Of National Significance

National is committing to the next generation of Roads of National Significance, National Party Transport Spokesperson Simon Bridges says. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Why Labour Isn’t Responsible For Barnaby Joyce

As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our own government has chosen to further that narrative, and make itself an accomplice. More>>


Rail: Greens Back Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland Service

The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government. More>>


Housing: Voluntary Rental Warrant Of Fitness For Wellington

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election