December 2015 Media Release

Unitary Plan Fight by Long Bay Okura Great Park Society

The Auckland Unitary Plan (AUP) has put many provisions protecting the waters, ecology and landscape of Long Bay and Okura under threat.

After a 15 year sustained campaign, culminating in Environmental Court decisions to protect the Long Bay-Okura Regional Park and Marine Reserve from impacts of adjacent residential development, the Long Bay Okura Great Park Society is now having to relitigate those decisions in the process of the development of the Unitary Plan. And likewise, it is having to relitigate the decisions made by the Environment Court to protect the waters, ecology and landscape of the Okura Estuary.

The development of the Unitary Plan has required a series of litigation processes, including meetings, mediation and hearings, on a number of inter-related topics across Auckland. Hearings have been been happening over the last year and will continue until the end of April next year. Topics covered so far have been mainly related to more general policy applying across Auckland, but they are now focussing on the more local geographic areas such as at Long Bay and Okura.

Even to this stage, this has been a costly legal process for the Society, requiring engagement of legal counsel and expert witnesses to prepare and present evidence on a number of topics in order to retain provisions already so hard fought for. But our major involvement is still to come, i.e. retaining the Rural Urban Boundary where it is, in order to retain the provisions to protect the Okura Estuary and stand by the Environmental Court proceeding, and retaining specific provisions that apply to the Long Bay development.

It is vital that the Long Bay and Okura coastline is defended in the AUP hearings process, as the policies and procedures that evolve from this will define the direction over the next thirty years. However, for the Society to remain involved, it needs assistance in meeting the necessary costs.

The Society believes the help of supporters that want to protect the area, could make a difference for the fate of Long Bay and Okura and its land and marine reserves. Assistance is required with donations, events and fundraising activities, to enable the LBOGPS to continue to our fight to protect what their supporters have long treasured.

In the Auckland Unitary Plan process we are not entitled to represent ourselves. The process requires us to engage legal counsel and independent expert witnesses to prepare and present evidence, at an average rate of $200/hour. The total cost to be represented at the hearings will be at least $180,000 dollars. So far the Society has raised $60,000 towards this process. We are nearly a third of the way there, but we need help with fundraising and community awareness to raise the remaining money required.

Join us and the people of Auckland who are very concerned about the threat that the Unitary Plan process has posed. Help us take action by volunteering and donating online.

  • Internet banking Long Bay-Okura Great Park Society, bank account number 12 3053 0467134 00. Please supply name and ‘donation’ in reference boxes.
  • Credit card on our website: longbaypark.org.nz. Follow the prompts from the Donate button. You will receive a PayPal receipt immediately, please keep this to claim tax-deduction.

For further information please contact:

Teresa Moore for media and funding liaison: teresamoore@xtra.co.nz Mb: 027 697 5872

Or Chris Bettany LBOGPS Chairperson: info@longbaypark.org.nz Mb: 021 020 40 435

Some recent photos of Long Bay by Kunal Kumar: