Su­per­mar­ket con­sent

Taranaki Daily News - - Opinion -

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

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