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Board of Inquiry to consider Basin Bridge proposal

Hon Amy Adams
Minister for the Environment

2 August 2013

Board of Inquiry to consider Basin Bridge proposal

Environment Minister Amy Adams has today announced that an application for the Basin Bridge proposal will be decided by an independent Board of Inquiry.

The application by the New Zealand Transport Agency relates to a two-lane, one-way bridge on the northern side of the Basin Reserve that includes a segregated walking and cycling pathway. The proposal is part of the Wellington Northern Corridor Road of National Significance.

Ms Adams accepted the Environmental Protection Authority’s recommendation that the proposal was of national significance and should be decided by a Board of Inquiry.

“This process means that people directly affected by the proposal can have their say and the independent Board of Inquiry will deliver its decision within nine months,” Ms Adams says.

“This nine month streamlined process provides certainty for all parties. The Environment Court or relevant local authorities are not subject to this same timeframe.”

The application was nationally significant because of the wide public interest in the project, the significant changes to the local environment that will occur and because of its effect on an area of national significance, primarily the Basin Reserve Historic Area.

The Board of Inquiry will be chaired by retired Environment and District Court Judge Gordon Whiting. The other Board members are resource management consultant Christine Foster, social impact consultant James Baines and planning consultant David Collins.

The Board runs its own process and makes its decision independently of the Environmental Protection Authority and the Minister.

About the Board

Retired Environment and District Court Judge Gordon Whiting
Judge Whiting brings extensive judicial expertise and a wide range of experience in resource management law. He has presided over a number of significant and varied resource management cases, with many not only having economic impacts but also involving conflicting uses of public and private interests. He chaired the Boards of Inquiry for the New Zealand King Salmon, the Te Mihi Geothermal Power Station and the Tauhara II Geothermal Power Station applications.

Christine Foster
Christine Foster has been a Senior Resource Management Consultant with Environmental Management Services since 1996. She has more than 25 years’ experience as a practising resource management planner, working in local and central government and as a consultant to a range of private sector clients. She has expertise in environmental impact assessment including social effects, community consultation, RMA processes, providing expert evidence and project management. She has significant hearing and independent commissioner experience and has the Making Good Decisions accreditation.

James Baines
James Baines has 31 years’ experience as a practicing consultant and researcher in the social policy field and is currently the Director of Taylor Baines and Associates. His speciality area is social impact assessment (SIA) on major projects including utility, urban development and planning, rural development, environmental policy and social change projects. Mr Baines was involved in a number of SIA peer reviews relating to previous EPA proposals. He has experience with environmental noise effects, social assessment of central business district development and structure planning. He is a member and previous chair of the International Association for Impact Assessment.

David Collins
David Collins has been Principal of Collins Consulting since 2000 and acted as hearing commissioner for more than 20 years, providing significant experience in making decisions within a RMA framework. He has particular expertise in roading designations and in developing transportation models which have subsequently been used throughout New Zealand and Australia and has been involved in various transportation studies. Mr Collins has undertaken planning analysis work for councils and holds the Making Good Decisions accreditation.

ENDS

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