It is important to clarify a few points for readers following Friday’s article on an independent commissioner’s granting of land use consent for a Countdown supermarket on Hori Street, New Plymouth.
First, in identifying affected parties for this consent application the council has rigorously followed the process required under the Resource Management Act 1991. In consent processes like this it is reasonably common, and indeed understandable, for people to believe they are affected parties when in fact they do not qualify as such under the Act. Our decision on who is affected can be legally challenged, making it doubly important that we follow the Act to the letter and get it right. We are confident our work in this case has been robust and would withstand legal scrutiny.
Second, most subdivision consent applications do not require the approval of neighbours. The need for such approval is usually triggered by small lot size or access issues such as an extra lot using a shared right-of-way.
Third, there is a right of appeal under the Act for all consent decisions. Appeals need to be based on the consenting issues.
Finally, neighbourhood apprehension is common in many cases like this. Once the supermarket is established, council monitoring of the consent conditions imposed by Commissioner Wasley will aim to ensure the activity is a good neighbour and a positive community asset. RALPH BROAD Manager Consents NPDC
GM rules needed
Our farming family enjoyed Rachel Stewart’s withering comments about would-be President of Federated Farmers of NZ Dr William Rolleston ( Taranaki Daily News, June 9).
Rolleston being a climate change denier is no surprise, considering his lack of scientific credentials and extreme views regarding the outdoor use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
Denying the existence of climate change and the risks of outdoor use of GMOs does neither Federated Farmers’ members nor Kiwi farmers in general any favours. It deeply offends existing non-GM primary producers like ourselves, working hard to farm sustainably and deal with other incursions of unwanted new organisms, that Rolleston, former chairman of the pro-GE New Zealand ‘‘Life’’ Sciences Network, has been travelling around NZ, trying to undermine local democratic process and our local councils’ good work to put in place a much needed additional tier of protection against the risks of outdoor use of GMOs.
It is of grave concern that Rolleston is on the science board of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, giving grants to those who wish to undertake risky GE experiments in our fair land, without a truly strict liability regime in place to ensure that they are held liable for unintended or unforeseen adverse impacts of EPA-approved outdoor GE experiments.
It is unacceptable that NZ crown research institutes like Scion, AgResearch and Plant and Food Research continue to appropriate public tax dollars for GE activities the majority of New Zealanders do not support.
Rolleston is not even acting in the interest of the members of Fed Farmers of NZ.
If central government will not properly amend the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (HSNO) Act to ensure a mandatory requirement for the Environ- mental Protection Agency (EPA) to take a precautionary approach to outdoor GE applications and provide a truly strict liability regime to protect farmers, then we back our local councils’ good work to protect us 100 per cent.
Clearly we cannot rely on central government bureaucrats at the EPA to say no to risky GM applications and therefore we must have ‘‘rules with teeth’’ at a local level. LINDA GRAMMER Whangarei