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Mangamaunu Surf Break Saved

NZTA and KiwiRail agree not to proceed with cycle way consents around Mangamaunu Point, which were granted unlawfully and without public input, and which would have significantly impacted the Mangamaunu surf break

In May 2018, SPS filed judicial review proceedings against last-minute consents granted by KDC &Ecan to NZTA & KiwiRail under the Hurunui/Kaikoura Earthquakes Recovery (Coastal Route and OtherMatters) Order 2016 and the Hurunui/Kaikoura Earthquakes Recovery Act 2016 ("RecoveryLegislation"). The OIC and Recovery Act were intended to short-cut consenting processes for urgent and legitimate restoration works, for the purpose of responding to or recovering from the impacts of the Hurunui/Kaikoura earthquakes.

KDC &Ecan should never have granted consents to NZTA & KiwiRail that included, or had acore purpose of, enabling a cycle-way and protective structures to be built around Mangamaunu Bay, and in particular the point. It was unlawful forKDC &Ecan to have granted those consents, and SPS needed to take urgent action to protect the Mangamaunu Surf Break.

After filing its judicial review proceedings, NZTA & KiwiRail agreed to work with SPS to see if a solution could be found. Discussions spanned two mediation events, with the most recent occurring in early November. Clearly, the works did not need to be undertaken urgently or without “undue delay” as required by the Recovery Legislation. NZTA and KiwiRail listened to SPS’s concerns about the potential for impacts on the surf break, and have now acknowledged that their proposal would have effects on the Surfbreak such that they have agreed tonot proceed with the cycleway around the point under their “Recovery Legislation” consents. Any future consents will have to go through the usual RMA process, guaranteeing the community participation that was taken away through the misuse of the Recovery Legislation. SPS has also secured a full year of monitoring of the surf break by NZTA & KiwiRail, to better understand the baseline surf break environment and prevent adverse effects on it.

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With that objective obtained, SPS had to carefully consider whether it still needed to pursue its challenge to the balance of the works proposed by NZTA & KiwiRail under the consents granted under theRecovery Legislation. These are principally works for a cycleway to Fisherman’s Car Park. While SPS remains concerned that those works are also outside the scope of the Recovery Legislation, SPS understands that NZTA & KiwiRail could proceeded with similar works under their notice of requirements – also without any public input. As part of their current agreement with SPS, NZTA & KiwiRail have undertaken to provide a dune impact assessment before finalising the works, and to seek to involve SPS in the Restoration Liaison Group processes as they relate to any works in Mangamaunu Bay.

SPS has not agreed to, and does not support, closure by NZTA of the Surfers’ Car Park. NZTA’s authority to close that car park does not arise under the challenged consents, but in its capacity as road controlling authority, land owner, and the requiring authority in respect of its designation. SPS is hopeful that NZTA will listen to its community and look for solutions that would keep the Surfers’ Car Park open – after all it has been in place for decades, and has never before been considered such a risk to safety to require its closure. Whether the Surfers’ Car Park is closed or remains open, the agreement with SPS ensures that the design and capacity of any upgrade to Fisherman’s Car Park will take into account demand for use by both surfers and those using the cycleway in order to minimise the potential for conflicts, overflow, and safety concerns.

SPS could not have achieved the above certain outcomes without the support of its members and the wider communities, including those who have contributed to its costs in filing the judicial review proceedings, which brought NZTA and KiwiRail to the table. SPS also acknowledges those who remain concerned about the remainder of the NZTA and KiwiRail works proposed in Mangamaunu Bay. SPS is hopeful that the Agencies will listen to them, as they did to SPS in respect of the need to avoid adverse effects on the Mangamaunu Surf Break.


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