Evidence to Unitary Plan Panel Mediation for Port of Auckland

Rules proposed are stringent as is without negating both the environment and economic effects

 

The provisional evidence (dealing with the Port) Auckland Council is sending for mediation as part of the Unitary Plan Hearings processes is available and can be seen at the bottom of this post.

As we are aware there is politicking going on whether port reclamation should remain a discretionary activity or revert back to Non Comply for the Unitary Plan (see: UPDATE: AUCKLAND DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE TO RECONVENE OVER PORT ISSUE ON FEBRUARY 26)

 

I have read through the evidence Council is sending through on the particular matter and discovered this:

Policies
The policies are as listed in the General Coastal Marine zone for the CMA in the precinct in addition to those specified below.
The general policies 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 10 and 11 for the centres and mixed use zones and the General Business and Business Park zone apply to land within the precinct in addition to those specified below.
The City Centre zone policies 5 – 9, 11, 16 – 17, 19, 21 and – 23 apply to land within the precinct in addition to those specified below.

10. Provide for further reclamation to be undertaken, only if:
a. there is no practicable alternative
b. it will provide a significant regional benefit
c. it is the most appropriate form of development
d. potential adverse effects will be avoided, remedied or mitigated.

11. Provide for minor reclamation that is carried out as part of rehabilitation or remedial works of an existing reclamation or CMA structure, while avoiding, remedying or mitigating any adverse effects on the environment.

12. Avoid further reclamation within the precinct until the results of a study on the future operation and development of the port clearly identifies whether and when further reclamation is required to enable that future operation

POAL Reclamation Activity Table (page 4)
POAL Reclamation Activity Table
(page 4)

 

……..

Source: Pages Two and Three of the evidence in the embed below

 

Check Point 10 out and if all square with the Unitary Plan Panel it will be the rule set into the Unitary Plan.

Even though reclamation is proposed to be a Discretionary Activity in the Unitary Plan, the Port must jump over four rather large hurdles before Planning Commissioners were to grant a consent for reclamation.

Sub Point A and B is wide open and can ask the Port on all other steps such as better discharge of cargo methods, better transfer to transportation out of the port, better “storage” handling so the cargo does not sit there for 48 hours, before reclamation was to ever be considered by the Commissioners.

The four sub-points while strict do not harm port operations nor the economic effects to wider Auckland such as car distribution in South Auckland worth $380m annually and increasing. It does in my interpretation though require the port to be very savvy in all its future planning and to get best bang for buck on existing footprints before going for a reclamation consent. Point 10 does not rule out reclamation though it just makes the hoops a tad higher to jump through first.

 

Point 12 is a strike out on the evidence and if those Councillors pushing the Rescind Motion success then that point becomes actual and Point 10 struck out with reclamation going back to Non Complying.

Considering what the Port has to go through in Point 10, Point 12 is actually harmful to the Port, its operations, and those who rely on it like South Auckland. Point 12 is also vulnerable to politicking from politicians as while the Port might give such a clear case, Point 12 does not “force” the politicians to follow through on that case. And with the politicking we are seeing right now I would not trust them as far as I can throw them if Point 12 were to ever be operative through the Unitary Plan.

 

So with Point 10 in place and providing a significant but fair test bed for Port of Auckland to pass in any reclamation once the Unitary Plan goes live, it is time for Councillor Chris Darby and co to stand down from this politicking and let the Panel do its work.

The Panel will check the evidence thoroughly and as they are known to do savage the Council when evidence or arguments are wafer thin. So again stop the politicking and let the Independent Unitary Plan Panel do their work with the evidence presented.

 

Council Evidence submitted for Mediation to the Unitary Plan Hearings Panel