Auckland Council ratbags push through wharf extension without notification

Councils all around New Zealand are notorious law breakers and the biggest Council is the worst offender of the lot.

An extension of a wharf is not likely to be a complying activity under the district plan. But be that as it may, Auckland Council has effectively ignored all assessment criteria and sound planning judgement to issue itself a resource consent for a major wharf extension.

The Auckland Council has approved two large wharf extensions into Waitemata Harbour for port use without notifying the public or councillors.

Planning commissioners approved the additions on the grounds they were positive and had no adverse impact.

The applications by Ports of Auckland are for extensions at the end of Bledisloe wharf – 100m beyond the left-hand side and 130m beyond the right-hand side. They are each 33m wide.

The revelation comes as Mayor Len Brown, 20 councillors and two members of the Statutory Maori Board today decide if more seabed should be reclaimed for port use.

One of five councillors opposed to further reclamation, Chris Darby, said the wharf extensions had “cunning” written all over the applications and consent. ??

Mr Darby said it was a sly way of using the more permissive rules for wharf extensions to make the consenting of reclamation more likely.

Planning commissioner Rebecca Macky said the one addition would help free up Captain Cook wharf for greater public use.

Last night, council chief planning officer Dr Roger Blakeley said councillors and the public were not told about the extension applications.

Dr Blakeley said the applications were for wharf extensions, or piled structures, not the sensitive issue of reclamation.

The issue went through the standard practice of the port company applying for resource consent, he said.

The extension isn’t the issue. It’s the sneaky and furtive manner in which Council officials look after themselves and their own kind and do so by blatantly breaking the law. There is absolutely no way that the extension could pass threshold gateway tests under law to be non-notified.

There is an arrogant culture in Auckland Council.

Private applications for resource consents are put through the wringer. But Council and its own subsidiaries get away with doing whatever they want.

Yet another example of how local government is corrupt and needs a drastic overhaul. And certainly a very good justification for outsourcing resource consents through RMA reform. The power must be removed from Local ?Government as soon as possible.

 

– NZ Herald

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