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EDS Awards Cape Kidnappers Development Cert.

Friday August 6 2004
Media Release

EDS Awards Cape Kidnappers Development Second Ever
'EDS Environmental Tick' Certification

A planned resort and overall development at Cape Kidnappers in Hawkes Bay has been awarded the second ever 'EDS Environmental Tick' for the quality of its environmental development.

The award was given to Cape Kidnappers Station Limited at the New Zealand Coastal Conference in Auckland today.

"The New Zealand Coastal Conference aims to identify what sort of developments are desirable on our coastlines," says Gary Taylor, chair of EDS.

"Although EDS spends a lot of time opposing bad development, there are a number of positive examples of good coastal development, and the 'EDS Environmental Tick' certification recognises those that in our view meet the definition of best practice,"

"The planned lodge at Cape Kidnappers will be well integrated into the landscape notwithstanding the sensitivity of the location. The buildings will use environmentally sensitive materials and will be located and designed so that they cannot be seen from most viewpoints."

The Environmental Defence Society (EDS) certification scheme aims to protect New Zealand's coastline by working closely with responsible developers to ensure better development outcomes.

"We have worked closely with Cape Kidnappers Station and its owner Julian Robertson to assess the proposed development and believe it goes above and beyond the minimum requirements of the Resource Management Act," says Gary Taylor.

"Cape Kidnappers is a very special property and we intend to treat it with utmost respect," says Julian Robertson.

"We are delighted that the EDS team's conclusions support awarding our project the "EDS Environmental Tick". I think together we can create something fantastic that will act as a future model not only for New Zealand but also for the world.

"I think the internationally acclaimed golf course we have built at Cape Kidnappers shows the standard which can be achieved," said Mr Robertson.

Mr Taylor says that crucial in the EDS evaluation was the landowner's agreement to work constructively with EDS to prepare a strategic plan for the entire 2000 hectare property.

"Mr Robertson has agreed to evaluate a number of our recommendations which include retiring large areas from farming, extensive native revegetation and maintaining high standards of environmental outcomes across the property."

EDS expects its Environmental Tick will become a sought-after approval that only those committed to absolute 'best practice' will secure. To gain an EDS Environmental Tick, developments will have to be reviewed by EDS and meet a comprehensive set of guidelines.

The first 'EDS Environmental Tick' was awarded to the Mountain Landing Development in the Bay of Islands.

Attached: EDS Environmental Tick Criteria

About EDS:

EDS is a New Zealand based environmental advocacy organisation. It is a New Zealand Incorporated Society operating primarily as a network of professional people who are prepared to assist the Society undertake its work on a voluntary basis, together with a community of people who support the Society financially through their membership.

The Society pursues issues that are least national scope in their impact, or have the potential to set either precedents or policy.

Our main areas for action are:

* Landscape Protection * Biodiversity * Climate Change

For more information see www.eds.org.nz

EDS Environmental Tick Criteria

The current version of the criteria, that projects are evaluated against, is as follows (EDS reserves the right to amend the criteria as a result of further refinement of the thinking behind the concept):

1. The development should implement the objectives of the New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement (NZCPS), National Biodiversity Strategy and other relevant national conservation directives in a tangible, physical manner (this means more than simply attempting to 'avoid, remedy or mitigate' adverse effects).

2. In principle, the development should not impact areas of Outstanding Landscape, Outstanding Natural Character, Significant Indigenous Vegetation, Significant Habitats or areas of Significant Cultural Value. If it does, then EDS endorsement will only be possible if the developer has gone to exceptional efforts to remedy any such impact and to offer other significant compensating environmental benefits either on or off site (cash payments to councils are not acceptable).

3. Development must avoid prominent ridgelines, headlands, coastal edges and other sensitive areas. High standards of building design must be evident with special effort apparent to blend buildings and structures into the environment.

4. Development should incorporate restoration planting, in eco-sourced stock of indigenous vegetation, in prominent gullies and wetlands. Existing and new vegetation areas should be permanently fenced and kept free from stock. However, maintenance of areas of open space (pasture) is acceptable. An active weed and pest management regime should be provided with secure provision for ongoing management. If there are significant species of fauna on site, the development should be kept free from cats and untrained dogs.

5. The overall design and density of development should ensure that built structures and earthworks do not singly or cumulatively intrude on the natural character of the area and that the built environment is insignificant in the overall landscape.

6. Site earthworks should be minimised and integrated carefully with the landscape to avoid physical and landscape effects to the maximum extent practical. A fully integrated site master plan should be developed through consultation, well in advance of physical works. Special efforts should be made to reduce the physical and landscape effects of necessary roading and other earthworks.

7. Public access to the coast and waterways should be significantly enhanced unless there are special cultural, ecological or heritage reasons for restricting access. Where it is proposed to subdivide or develop without providing generous public access, esplanade reserves or esplanade strips, the development should make a substantial contribution to the conservation or recreation estate in another way (for example by vesting a significant beach or bush area as reserve and / or by providing a range of public amenities).

8. Provision should be made by appropriate legal instruments for protection from future subdivision so that the development is clearly a one-off development.

9. The development should achieve the highest standards of environmental protection and enhancement to the extent that it can become a model for illustrating best practice.

ENDS

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