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Articles - LandCo Proposal
Written by Gary Taylor, The New Zealand Herald   
Tuesday, 16 January 2007

Gary Taylor - chairman of the Environmental Defence Society

New Zealanders love the beach. Thousands of us have been there over the summer holidays, relaxing and recharging our systems for the year ahead.

The beach is a big part of who we are. We are really privileged to have such a long and abundant coastline with outstanding landscape and natural values.

A combination of coastal development and conservation management enable us to access the beach. Some areas have been developed with coastal residential living ranging from high urban densities to low impact, larger lifestyle blocks.

Other areas have been set aside for casual camping and even lower impact uses such as Department of Conservation reserves. We can see quite clearly from the plethora of promotions of subdivisions that the coast is under huge development pressure.

Many councils are struggling to deal with coastal management. The Far North Council, for example, was taken to court last year by oyster farmers concerned at the pollution levels of coastal waters.

The Government is reviewing the Coastal Policy Statement which sets national priorities and there will be a close focus on the coast this year as we attempt to redefine our objectives.

Apart from the Government's role in managing conservation land, almost all other decisions relating to the nature and scale of development permitted on the coast are made under the provisions of the Resource Management Act.

Is the act delivering good quality outcomes on the coast?

In short, there are good developments to be found. But every now and then a project comes along that just simply should not be allowed. Ngunguru is one of them. It is a very badly conceived development.

Some developers argue that it creates too high a hurdle and impedes worthwhile development, while many conservation groups argue that it is too easy for second-rate development to get through the hoops.

A good test case for the act is Landco's proposed subdivision of the Ngunguru Spit in Northland near Whangarei. This is a 350-residential lot development on a low-lying sandspit.

Full story at the New Zealand Herald or Environmental Defence Society (PDF, 35kb)
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Last Updated ( Sunday, 22 April 2007 )
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