March 24: We are still waiting for the result of the Environment Court Case which is expected later this month at the earliest.
Last week the Auckland Council announced a holistic approach to the issues at Weiti, Long Bay and the Marine Reserve. The announcement states:
“Late last year Auckland Council started to develop a comprehensive whole-of-catchment model to enable the council and the public to understand the effects of development in all catchments feeding into the Long Bay - Okura Marine Reserve.”
This is a great victory for all the people who have contributed to the Society’s activities over the last 30 years.
The council staff have asked for the society’s involvement in the study. Obviously, it is an opportunity that would be hard to ignore so the committee will meet council staff to discuss how to effectively contribute while keeping our objectives in mind.
Click here for the Council’s announcement:
“Interesting” was Justice Dwyer’s description of the hearing that finished just before 1pm on Thursday November 2 in the Auckland Environment Court.
“It’s been,” he said, “a very interesting case.” And a long one – its original allocation of two weeks was extended by a day and a half. How it might compare with other cases Judge Dwyer has heard since he joined the Environment Court in 2006 we don’t know. But his interest and attention during the, at times excruciating, process of cross-examination appeared never to flag.
Several Great Park Society board members attended each day on behalf of you as members. We wanted our presence to be a visible reminder that this small piece of Auckland is loved by so many and that a thousand houses are no substitute for an estuary that is a life-giving reservoir for the Hauraki Gulf.
Attempts were made by the appellants’ witnesses to demonstrate the potential benefits of urbanisation but we felt the Society’s lawyer Martin Williams dealt with each claim more than adequately. The key issue it seems, according to Resource Management Act language, is whether “adverse effects” on the marine reserve, on the Outstanding Natural Landscape and the Significant Ecological Area, can be “avoided” – not just remedied or mitigated.
Judge Dwyer warned that with a busy court work load and the large amount of work needed to finalise their decision, along with Xmas and holidays, it will likely be March before he and Commissioners Bartlett, Dunlop and Bunning release their decision. In the meantime, we continue to hope and to fundraise. We’re confident that, one way or another, our (your!) money will have been well spent.
Click for the details
A Great Opportunity
Appendix F Grannys Bay Photographs 20170806Our Primary Evidence