Council not one-sided when it comes to Wairoa
Council not one-sided when it comes to Wairoa proposal
A biased, one-sided approach to the proposed plan change to facilitate the Wairoa River Maritime Village is denied by the Manukau City Council.
Manager of City Design and Planning, Brigitte de Ronde, says that the Council has not ‘crossed the line from neutrality to support’ by speaking at a function hosted by Bayleys Real Estate, as claimed by Clevedon Care Group spokesperson Mary Whitehouse (16 May 2006)
“I have been invited to speak for about 10 minutes on what is happening in Clevedon, and will discuss the range of projects that are occurring, or planned, and the planning processes to be followed. I will not be presenting any information that is not already in the public arena.”
Manukau City Chief Executive, Leigh Auton, says Council regularly gets requests to speak at meetings about what is happening in the .
“Speaking to different groups about the various projects is an important part of making sure that the community has a better understanding of the projects and plans within the city,” says Mr Auton.
He says that speaking at a meeting does not signal support or opposition to a proposal.
The Plan Change for the Wairoa River Maritime Village (Plan Change 13) will go through the statutory process as outlined by the Resource Management Act. It is open for further submissions, which close on 24 May.
Clevedon Cares also implies that the Council is funding what is known as a Private Plan Change. While this matter began as a private plan change application, it has since been adopted by council as its own. To the point of the private plan change being adopted all costs for the proposal were borne by the applicant, including processing by council staff. Normally, once the Council has agreed to adopt a proposed plan change as its own, it meets any ongoing processing costs but, in this case, the applicant and the Council have agreed to share costs up to the point of hearings.
It is important to note that – even with some cost-sharing – Council remains independent in terms of the hearing of submissions and any decision it must make on the submissions. Legally, the proponents of the development have the same status as any other submitter.
Council has decided that, in the event of the development going ahead, some small additional road widening will be required beyond the boundary of the Plan Change. If the development does not proceed, it is a simple matter to uplift the designation for the road widening.