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Important victory for Whangamata Marina Society

18 September 2006

Important victory for Whangamata Marina Society

The High Court has set aside Conservation Minister Chris Carter’s veto of the Whangamata marina development and has ordered him to reconsider.

“This is an important victory for the Whangamata Marina Society and for procedural fairness,” Society President Mick Kelly said today.

The Court found that the Minister had exceeded his powers by reconsidering the evidence before the Environment Court and has awarded costs to the Society and adjourned for later consideration the Society’s application for Bill of Rights compensation.

The Minister has 15 working days to seek any elucidation he may need from the Environment Court and a further 20 working days after that to complete his deliberations. He must take into account the Environment Court’s findings.

“That would seem to us to point to a “yes” decision but obviously we cannot prejudge the outcome,” Mr Kelly said.

“This is a fantastic result for us and one we and our lawyers have fought very hard to achieve.

“The Court found that if public confidence is to be maintained in the process, justice must not only be done but be seen to be done. Justice Foggarty expresses this in his judgement by stating: A decision maker must not only endeavour to be fair, and be satisfied personally in that regard, his or her processes must also appear to be fair to reasonable observers.

“The Society considers this an extremely important principle and is delighted that the Court has chosen to reaffirm it so emphatically in this case,” Mr Kelly said.

He thanked the Society’s members and supporters for remaining loyal and strong through what had been a lengthy, tiring and demanding ordeal.

ENDS

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