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Home arrow Articles by Topic arrow Environmental Planning arrow Drawing a line in the sand
Drawing a line in the sand PDF Print
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Articles - Environmental Planning
Written by Rosemary Neave, Bream Bay - a slice of paradise   
Friday, 31 August 2007

Rosemary Neave

An interesting article in the NZ Herald about Coastal Development issues.

"The RMA makes preservation of the natural character of the coastal environment - and its protection from inappropriate subdivision - a national priority. But it is also permissive, allowing "sustainable development" and treating proposals case-by-case.

The cumulative effects threaten a defining national attribute: baches replaced by mansions, beach settlements becoming suburbs; dunes lined with cul-de-sacs, once green headlands bedecked with houses...

It has been obvious for a decade that the rules for managing coastal development either aren't working or are being ignored, yet moves to fix the problems have proceeded at a snail's pace.

In 2002, incoming Conservation Minister Chris Carter ordered an independent review of the coastal policy statement (CPS), the main mechanism to guide councils under the RMA.

In 2004, the review - by Dr Johanna Rosier of Massey University - found that the CPS was only partially effective in influencing district plans.

Rosier found that a lack of national leadership and direction had created a shroud of confusion at district level. She recommended a formal review but, with the RMA itself then under review, Carter opted to wait." (14 Jul 2007)

The sentence that captivated me was "The CPS spells out that coastal development should be concentrated in already compromised areas."

"The CPS spells out that coastal development should be concentrated in already compromised areas." Despite this huge developments are planned in highly sensitive and 'uncompromised areas' including Ngunguru Sandspit...

Despite this huge developments are planned in highly sensitive and 'uncompromised areas' including Ngunguru Sandspit, Te Arai Point, and now the Waipu estuary - the latter by Hanover Development.

It seems that a well funded applicant can simply mitigate their way to any kind of coastal development under the RMA, and this is not what the RMA of CPS intends. The Herald article says "Councils and judges have been persuaded by developers and planning consultants that their scheme's special characteristics outweigh the cautions in the CPS and regional policy documents."

We must act to save some of these areas of coast for future generations. I am all for development - but in the right place. WDC needs to take a more active role in protecting our coastline.

Full story...


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Last Updated ( Friday, 31 August 2007 )
 
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