La­goon own­er­ship is­sues ‘un­re­solved’

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

The lease for a cable-ski park at Aotea La­goon was granted with too many is­sues un­re­solved, leav­ing Porirua City Coun­cil ‘‘wide open’’ for a ju­di­cial re­view, says a for­mer city councillor.

In Au­gust the coun­cil voted 6-3, with four mem­bers barred from tak­ing part be­cause they expressed views in pub­lic prior to the de­bate, to grant the lease to ap­pli­cant Paul Marlow.

Since then, Robert Shaw – one of the four coun­cil­lors not per­mit­ted to vote – has been in cor­re­spon­dence with the de­part­ments of con­ser­va­tion and labour, seek­ing clar­i­fi­ca­tion on points around land own­er­ship, health and safety, wa­ter qual­ity and PCC’s process. He has been out­spo­ken against the pro­posal.

He be­lieves Mr Marlow and his back­ers Aqua­com NZ ‘‘haven’t got a hope’’ of get­ting as­sent from the Min­is­ter of Con­ser­va­tion for the park, and even if they did, it faces too many ob­sta­cles at the con­sent stage.

Mr Shaw says in most in­stances, pro­pos­als get rub­ber­stamped when placed be­fore the min­is­ter, with the work car­ried out at lo­cal govern­ment level. But not in this case.

‘‘The own­er­ship is­sues over the land should have been re­solved be­fore get­ting in­volved with ques­tions of use,’’ he says. Kapi-Mana News re­ported in July that PCC has not of­fi­cially gazetted the re­serve man­age­ment plan for the la­goon, mean­ing it had no le­gal ba­sis, and that tracts of the land are owned by DOC and New Zealand Trans­port Agency.

Mr Shaw re­ceived a let­ter from the Di­rec­tor-gen­eral of Con­ser­va­tion on Septem­ber 21, ad­dress­ing some of his con­cerns.

The di­rec­tor-gen­eral says the min­is­ter does not as­sess the mer­its of the pro­posal, but con­sid­ers whether coun­cil has acted within the terms of its ap­point­ment and the ap­pro­pri­ate pro­vi­sions of the Re­serve Act.

‘‘The con­sent role of the min­is­ter un­der the Re­serves Act would not ex­tend to land over which the coun­cil has no le­gal con­trol.’’

Mr Shaw be­lieves pre­vi­ous ad­mis­sions about PCC not hav­ing le­gal rights to the la­goon land make it im­pos­si­ble for the min­is­ter to grant a lease.

‘‘ We have been pushed into a de­ci­sion that could be­come the ba­sis of a ju­di­cial re­view.’’

A re­view is brought about by any­one who feels af­fected by a Govern­ment de­ci­sion and wishes to chal­lenge the way it was made.

PCC act­ing chief ex­ec­u­tive David Rolfe says the land own­er­ship is­sues are close to res­o­lu­tion.

He said re­serve man­age­ment plans are not gazetted, only land clas­si­fi­ca­tions.

DOC has trans­ferred the mar­ginal strips of land to coun­cil and they gazetted the recre­ation re­serve clas­si­fi­ca­tion on Septem­ber 23. The only re­main­ing land sta­tus is­sue is that be­long­ing to NZTA and ‘‘sub­stan­tial progress’’ has been made. An an­nounce­ment is ex­pected soon.

Mr Marlow, mean­while, is adamant the cor­rect process has been fol­lowed by him­self and PCC.

‘‘I have seen all the mat­ters raised by Mr Shaw. None of the pro­fes­sion­ally-qual­i­fied and ex­pe­ri­enced in­de­pen­dent ex­perts I have con­sulted, how­ever, share his con­cerns. I’ve put my best foot for­ward, now I just have to be pa­tient. Should the min­is­ter grant the Re­serves Act ap­proval, I look for­ward to be­ing able to present all that rel­e­vant in­for­ma­tion in the re­source con­sent process.’’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.