Bad to worse for Auckland Council and Len Brown over Ports

It just goes from bad to worse for Auckland Council and Len Brown.

Refusing to listen to public concerns and accept that POAL expansion is unwanted the Council is digging a deeper hole for itself as legal action mounts.

Urban Auckland, a society set up to protect the city’s built environment and waterfront, has taken the first legal steps to stop Ports of Auckland beginning construction on two massive wharf extensions next month.

The group said it had notified Ports of Auckland and Auckland Council late yesterday that it proposes to issue legal proceedings against them in the High Court because it considers the resource consents for the wharf extensions were granted unlawfully.

Legal action will be taken as Judicial Review proceedings at the High Court where the decision making process will be?questioned. ? ?

A Judicial Review?is a difficult test but has a gateway test that a successfulJudicial Review?needs prove – if publicly notified would a different consent outcome would have occurred – such as a decline of the application? Normally that’s a tough task but it might not be in this instance and it looks like they could prove consent was ultra-vires.

Council should have publicly notified the consent because there is no doubt hat the expansion has adverse effects on the environment.

In making a decision on consent notification a Council is determine if ‘special circumstances’ exist under Section 95A(4) of the RMA.

Section 95A(4) sets out that special circumstances are those that are exceptional or unusual.

The reclamation of sea and construction of a wharf are exceptional and unusual. Can anyone else reclaim land or build a wharf out into the sea which is not privately owned? No. National Coastal Policy is clear on that. Will people be affected by it? Yes. Could a party prove that the effects are more than minor – highly probable.

I said the other day that I smelled something bigger than a rat and it is increasingly likely that the ensuing weeks will prove more grisly. There is a sneaky and furtive underworld at Auckland Council in which Council officers and politicians are driving the ship in a direction that suits them, whilst ignoring the law. That’s the beginning of a quick descent into corruption and the most obvious sign that someone may need to step in to sort it all out.

 

– NZ Herald

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