At the request of the Hastings District Council Mayor and Chief Executive, the process by which council staff [under their delegated authority], decided that the Craggy Range track resource consent should proceed on a non–notified basis, has undergone an external expert review. This review specifically relates to the process by which the non-notification decision was made.
The legal review has identified some aspects of the process, which led to the non-notification decision, which could have been more fully assessed. This primarily relates to the recognition of the cultural values associated with the landscape. The report identifies that, in retrospect, if Council had undertaken a better assessment of the application it may have sought wider opinion on the potential for cultural impacts. In turn, this may or may not have led to a different outcome.
Group Manager Planning and Regulatory Services John O’Shaughnessy said “the findings of this report clearly identify that we did not fully consider the cultural values of this landscape which led to the non-notification process for this consent. We fully accept the findings of this report. In particular, we should have given more consideration to the cultural significance of this landscape. The findings from this review will be fully embraced by future consenting processes for similar landscapes and we have already begun scoping possible changes to the District Plan to ensure cultural values are appropriately reflected in outstanding landscape features such as Te Mata Peak.”
Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst says “I have read the independent review and accept the council should have more strongly recognised the significance of Te Mata Peak, in terms of cultural significance and as an outstanding natural landscape. Next week council will consider options to strengthen the District Plan to better recognise the status of Te Mata Peak, to our community.”
31 January 2018
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