Let’s Hold Fire While Part II Study Gets Under-way
The Port of Auckland situation is a rapidly evolving one. I have noticed Brewer and Stewart give their reluctance on the Port extension situation. While Brewer is being opportunistic and somewhat tardy with the rules, Councillor Stewart’s concerns I can hear and understand.
From the NZ Herald
Port expansion u-turn by Cameron BrewerUpdated 23 min ago9:31 AM Monday Mar 23, 2015Yachting figures and politicians join opposition to planned extension of Bledisloe Wharf.
Prominent Auckland Councillor Cameron Brewer has done an about-face and wants a rethink on port expansion.
Mr Brewer is calling on the issue to be debated again after about 2000 people and 300 boats attended a protest in Auckland yesterday calling on Ports of Auckland to stop two massive wharf extensions.
“I invite the mayor to bring this back to the council table and give this another go,” Mr Brewer told the Herald this morning.
The Orakei councillor took part in a secret vote last month on the side of mayor Len Brown and his deputy Penny Hulse to ease the rules for port expansion.
“I thought I was doing the right thing by supporting tightening the old reclamation rules, but it’s clear that’s still not going far enough to appease the Auckland community.“If Aucklanders want no reclamation whatsoever, then lets at least have the debate again with the public sentiment now clearly known.
“It is massive public sentiment. Len Brown needs to look it again,” Mr Brewer said.
Another councillor who voted to ease rules for port reclamation, Howick’s Sharon Stewart, has also come out in favour of a rethink on port expansion.
Mrs Stewart said she was never totally happy about voting to ease the rules and wanted an opportunity to revisit the issue “and have more information put toward us”.
“People do understand that the port is very important to Auckland. Whatever we do we have to make sure we do it right,” she said.
Brewer as a Councillor should know the following:
- Consent can not be revoked by the Council which is the consenting authority
- A High Court can review the decision and processes in which the consent was granted to Port of Auckland for the extensions. I have not seen one person yet file or attempt to file such an application to the High Court and probably never will.
- The Wharf extensions of 98m and 93 metres were granted under the now defunct Auckland Regional Council 1999 rules which are operative until the Unitary Plan takes over in 2016
- There was no debate or vote on changing those 1999 rules, the debate was on what set of rules would be taken into mediation around reclamation for the Unitary Plan and the Unitary Plan Panel
- To change those 1999 rules a Private or Council Plan Change would need to occur. While Fletchers did so for the Three Kings residential project Mayor Len Brown is against Plan Changes while the Unitary Plan is being worked through the UP Panel and the UP to go live next year
- Port of Auckland could do a Private Plan Change around the 1999 rules but that be rather ballsy and stupid especially when they have said no to reclamation until the Unitary Plan goes live
- The Decision from the Auckland Development Committee on the Port extensions can not be visited for six months under Standing Orders (check bottom for update)
Now then as I mentioned in my PORT DEBATE LOPSIDED, WORKING GROUP TO BE ESTABLISHED post earlier this morning a working party is to be established to under take Part II of the Port of Auckland Study. That study is meant to be looking at the future of the Port along; human geographic (social, socio-economic, economic) and physical geographic (environment and environmental management) aspects. From there Auckland Council and the people of Auckland with all the information in front of them can make a decision on where next with the Port what ever it may be.
That decision can then be written into a revised Auckland Plan, and revised Unitary Plan.
So until that report is complete in about 12 months time I propose the following
A CEASEFIRE ON ALL ANTI-PORT ACTION
The wharf extensions are going to happen under some pretty crap old rules and we can not do much about it short of a High Court review of the consent process as I mentioned in the seven points above. But for the rest there is something we can do.
Let’s hold off, keep our powder dry, and wait for the full report to come out so we can make a fully informed decision.
To do anything prior would seem ill-advised, half cocked, and have the potential to be a detriment to Auckland in itself.
Standing Orders Update
A debate has broken out on whether the Auckland Development Committee can indeed revisit the decision after the Rescinding Motion against the original motion to support the proposed rules into mediation (Unitary Plan) failed 12-10.
The Standing Orders that apply:
3.12. REPEAT NOTICES OF MOTION
First repeat where notice of motion rejected
When a motion which is the subject of a notice of motion has been considered and rejected by the Governing Body or a committee, no similar notice of motion which, in the opinion of the chairperson is substantially the same in purport and effect may be accepted within the next 6 months unless signed by not less than one third of all members, including vacancies.
Second repeat where notice of motion rejected
If such a repeat notice of motion as provided for in Standing Order 3.12.1 is also rejected by the Governing Body or a committee any further notice prior to the expiration of the original period of 6 months must be signed by a majority of all members, including vacancies.
No repeats where notice of motion agreed or adopted
Where a notice of motion has been considered and adopted by the Governing Body or a committee, no notice of any other motion which is, in the opinion of the chairperson, to the same effect may be put again whilst such original motion stands
On page 35
Now the previous seven points on the wharf pile extensions still stand as is although there is nothing stopping a debate there. Revoking the consent however, still can not be done (lest a legal challenge got under way).
So depending if the Repeat Notice of Motion is at first or second stage is dependent on the stand down. Although a majority can force it back and it seems there is one now.
However, this could be kicked to the superior body which is the Governing Body. That Body has the power to revoke previous decisions from subordinate committees including the Auckland Development Committee.
This keeps changing so fast I can’t keep up.