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NZers to have their say on coastal development

Hon Steve Chadwick
Minister of Conservation

10 March 2008 Media Release

NZers to have their say on coastal development

A Board of Inquiry has been appointed to get public feedback on a new national policy statement, which will guide councils on how to manage development along our coastline.

Conservation Minister Steve Chadwick has appointed the board to carry out public consultation on a draft New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement, which will update the 1994 statement.

The document guides the management of the coastal environment under the Resource Management Act. Council planning and resource consent decisions must adhere to the policies in this statement.

Steve Chadwick says coastal development is an issue that most New Zealanders feel very strongly about, and this consultation is about making sure the guidelines reflect what communities want for the coast.

“The Labour-led government believes it’s important to protect New Zealand’s stunning coastline, and make sure that development doesn’t destroy what we love about it. This process allows every New Zealander to have their say about the new Coastal Policy Statement.”

The new Statement aims to be clearer and stronger than the 1994 document, and to address issues that have become more pressing over the past decade, such as coastal subdivision and climate change.

Examples of what the statement requires councils to do include:
- Protecting surf breaks of national importance
- Reducing impacts on endangered species; for example, Maui’s dolphin
- Working closely with local iwi to protect certain aspects of our coastline
- Principles to guide coastal subdivision; for example, to reduce ribbon developments or destruction of natural values.

The draft statement is now available at www.doc.govt.nz. The Board of Inquiry is taking written public submissions until 7 May, and public hearings will be held later this year.

Steve Chadwick says this opportunity comes along only once every 10 years, and urges everyone to have their say in what kind of development should happen along our precious coastline.

“This will make sure that the management of our coast reflects what people in our communities want.”

--

Background information:

What is the NZ Coastal Policy Statement?
The New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement (NZCPS) sets out the policies that guide the work of councils managing activities and development along the New Zealand coastline.

The document states national policy on the management of the coastal environment under the Resource Management Act. Council planning and resource consent decisions must adhere to the policies in this statement.

Who is on the Board of Inquiry?
The Chair of the Board is Alternate Environment Court Judge Shonagh Kenderdine. The other board members are:
- Rikirangi Gage, Executive Director of Te Runanga o te Whanau Tribal Authority, Eastern Bay of Plenty
- David Hill, Director of Hill, Young Cooper Ltd, Auckland
- Philip Woollaston, former Minister of Conservation and MP and Mayor of Nelson.

What has happened so far?
The current New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement (NZCPS) was issued in 1994. An independent review in 2003-04 found that while the statement had been useful, it needed to be updated, strengthened and clarified in some areas.

After a pause for RMA reforms in 2004-05, the Department of Conservation released an issues and options paper for submissions in 2006. In 2007, a draft NZ Coastal Policy Statement was prepared. The Board of Inquiry has now been appointed, and is calling for submissions on the draft statement. The new statement is designed to better address the current issues being faced by coastal communities.

What is the timeframe and what will the Board of Inquiry do?
The draft document is available at www.doc.govt.nz. The Board of Inquiry is taking written public submissions until 7 May. Public hearings will also be held later this year for people or groups that want to speak in support of their submissions.

The Board will consider all submissions and is due to report to the Minister in late 2008. The exact timing depends how many submissions are received and how complex the issues raised are.

What are the issues the new statement will address?
Key issues include:
- Growing demand for coastal space and resources
- Concern about the nature of some coastal subdivision and developments
- Increased awareness and planning for climate change
- Water quality
- Resources of particular interest to Maori
- Public access to the coast
- The need to protect New Zealand’s natural coastal environment and its plant and animal life.

What is the cost of this process?
The Board of Inquiry process is expected to cost between $300,000 - $400,000, depending on how many submissions are received and how many hearings are required.


ENDS

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