Submission to commissioners

On 21 November Bob Syron and Frank Newman presented the following submission to the hearings panel.

Our submission will state out our 9 points of general submission, then make 3 points regarding process, and lastly suggest a way forward.

1) That environmental effects should not be defined by race. Effects are effects regardless of the race of the landowner that causes them. If the environment had a persona, it probably would not care who caused it harm – it would simply care that harm was caused.

2) That the underlying Environment provisions shall apply to papakāinga developments.

a. We believe allowing a departure from the underlying Environment provisions would conceivably permit intensive housing and commercial and industrial activities that are unacceptable from an environmental effects perspective.

b. Furthermore, adjoining landowners may find their amenity adversely affected but be denied any opportunity to be treated as an affected party. For example, they would have no opportunity to have a say on the intensity of housing next door. Conceivably any number of dwellings could be built creating what in effect would be a camping ground on their doorstep; or an industrial activity.

3) That many non-Maori also have a strong attachment to the land, and view their land as legacy property to pass onto their future generations. Many people have ancestral links to their land – not only Maori.

4) We accept Maori should be able to develop their land to maximum benefit. We believe this applies to all landowners.

5) We agree with submitters who say compliance costs to Maori land owners is too high. They are too high for all Maori land owners. Many of our members find the costs are actually higher because of the requirement that they have to consult with iwi, sometimes more than one, and pay for the cultural impact assessment reports.

6) We agree that Maori landowners should not have to incur development impact fees. We believe no landowner should have to pay development impact fees.

7) We do not agree that Maori landowners should be exempt from development impact fees or consent fees, as this would simply pass that subsidy cost onto other landowners.

8) We agree with submitters who say the effects of plan change 114 Landscapes will limit their development opportunities. It will limit the development opportunities of all landowners affected. We however do not believe Maori landowners should be exempted from those provisions as we believe effects are effects, regardless of who creates them.

9) We accept Maori do have a special place in society and that is recognised in legislation via the special privileges iwi have with respect to being treated as an affected party in resource consent applications. However, we do not believe that privilege extends to a right to creating environmental effects that others can’t.


PROCESS – 3 points
We believe there are issues of process that are likely to give rise to conflict of issues and bias.

1) We strongly object to the submission that the requirement for commissioners to have knowledge of Maturangi Maori should be widened to include all commissioners.

2) Section 33 transfer of powers
We believe all reference to S33 should be deleted from this plan change. The environmental effects of a Papakainga development are likely to extend well beyond the property boundaries. Therefore all of the parties should permitted to express an opinion about the effects on them, before an independent consenting authority.

3) Appointment of commissioners with TIKANGA MAORI experience

We have no problem with the appointment of a person with TIKANGA MAORI experience to sit with an independent commissioner, but in an advisory capacity, NOT a voting capacity.
We believe the best way forward to marry the objectives of the plan change and the interests of general landowners is via PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT PLANS for the papakainga development in its entirety.

We believe the best way forward to marry the objectives of the plan change and the interests of general landowners is via PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT PLANS for the papakainga development in its entirety.

Obtain a since resource consent, which is considered under the same environment rules as all land.

1) That avoids having to incur costs repeatedly

2) It gives affected parties an opportunity to have a say.

3) It also places on record the intentions for the property so prospective landowners nearby can view the plans to assess future impact.

That these development plans be heard by independent commissioners, with the assistance of a commissioner with TE KUNGA MAORI but in an advisory capacity only.
Frank Newman & Bob Syron
Landowners Coalition Inc.