Collaboration hastens consent applications
The relatively speedy granting of a resource consent for a planned milk drying plant in Tokoroa is a great example of what can be achieved when companies work pro-actively with the regional council, says Waikato Regional Council regulatory committee chairwoman Lois Livingston.
Dairyland Products was granted a consent under the Resource Management Act within 15 working days of application.
‘‘This shows that quicker decision making is available under the act for well-organised companies who engage with us before they apply, to see what they may need to do to get consent,’’ said Cr Livingston.
Two key features of the Dairylands’ application was that the company would offset the plant’s effects on air quality by helping to replace home heating wood burners in Tokoroa with cleaner heat sources.
Another environmental mitigation measure in its proposal is that the company will use wastewater from the plant to irrigate farmland.
‘‘It’s great to see companies like Dairylands making the effort to get their ducks in a row before they make a consent application. Talking to us first means we all save time and that projects aren’t held up unnecessarily,’’ she said.
‘‘The council is keen to promote economic development in our region and we want to take a partnership approach with industry on this,’’ Cr Livingston said.
The Waikato Regional Council’s area extends from the Bombay Hills in the north to Mt Ruapehu in the south and from the mouth of the Waikato River to Mokau on the west coast, across to the Coromandel Peninsula’s east coast.
The council has three key strategic goals:
The values of land and water resources are sustained across the region;
The people of the region collaborate to achieve a shared vision of the Waikato competing globally, caring locally; and
The Waikato Regional Council meets its legislative cogovernance requirements by working together in good faith and a spirit of co-operation Responsibilities include: Sustainable management of natural and physical resources, including pest control;
Planning regional growth and transport, and providing bus services; and
Civil defence, emergency response, navigation safety, dam safety, flood management, erosion control and road safety.