What happens when significant heritage value meets risk to public safety? This was a question the Environment Court was tasked with answering in View West Limited v Auckland Council - an appeal against a decision by Auckland Council refusing consent to demolish the 133 year old St James Sunday School Hall in Mt Eden.
Since coming to power, the Government has announced a series of major resource management legislative and policy reforms, with various timeframes for implementation. With 2019 set to be a very busy year for reform and related consultation, below we have taken stock of progress in several key areas.
Much attention has focused recently on KiwiBuild, in particular the promise to deliver 100,000 ‘affordable’ homes over the next decade. We examine the criticism and consider what KiwiBuild represents in the context of wider Government policy initiatives regarding urban development.
Page v Whanganui District Council is the first decision to determine an application for an order under the newly-introduced section 288C of the RMA to restrict a person from commencing or continuing proceedings without first obtaining the leave of the Court.
The Government has outlined a suite of proposals for freshwater reform over the next two years in a recently-released document called Essential Freshwater: Healthy Water, Fairly Allocated. The proposed reform will have important implications for the full range of fresh water stakeholders.
The Ministry for the Environment has this month released new best practice guidelines for compliance, monitoring and enforcement under the RMA (the “Guidelines”).
The Environment Court recently upheld a decision of independent commissioners to grant resource consents for a 186-berth marina in Kennedy Point Bay, on Waiheke Island.
The High Court has addressed the extent to which causation of alcohol-related harm must be established in the context of granting/ renewing a licence. The Court held it was not necessary to prove that a premises is at the centre of alcohol-related harm only that that is a real risk that a premises contributes to some of alcohol-related harm.
In June 2018 the Ministry for the Environment released the first set of Draft National Planning Standards for public consultation. The aim of the Planning Standards is to improve consistency in plan and policy statement structure, format, and content - to make RMA plans "simpler to prepare, and easier for plan users to understand, compare, and comply with".
ChanceryGreen regularly acts for clients – both applicants and submitters – on projects spanning the length and breadth of the country, but it is not every day that major projects are proposed in our own backyard. With the ChanceryGreen offices being located on Jervois Road (Ponsonby), Auckland Council’s proposed St Mary’s Bay and Masefield Beach Water Quality Improvement Project is just a stone’s throw away.
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff established a 'Housing Taskforce' to identify constraints to building more homes in Auckland at a pace which keeps up with demand and make recommendations to overcome those barriers. The Taskforce released its report in June.
After several years of drafting, consulting and redrafting, the Resource Legislation Amendment Act 2017 received royal assent in April. It makes a number of significant amendments to the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) This includes changes to iwi participation arrangements with the introduction of a new Subpart 2 to Part 5 of the RMA. This subpart allows broad scope for iwi involvement in resource management matters. Sections 58L to 58U deal with iwi participation arrangements under a new name – Mana Whakahono a Rohe.
It appears widely accepted that changes are needed to address housing supply, rising house prices and a growing population. In answer to these concerns, the Government is considering new legislation that would:
- Empower nationally or locally significant urban development projects to access more enabling development powers and land use rules; and
- Establish new urban development authorities to support these projects where required.
The Government has recently added a criterion for accessing the Environmental Legal Assistance Fund, requiring the decision maker to consider the likely impacts on "important needs" such as employment, infrastructure and housing.
Wide-sweeping reforms to the RMA are on the horizon, with the Local Government and Environment Select Committee having recently reported on the Resource Legislation Amendment Bill. Click through to read our summary of the Bill's key provisions.
Finance Minister Steven Joyce recently suggested that “targeted rates” may be imposed on new housing projects in the future, in order to help fund residential infrastructure.
The High Court’s recent decision in R J Davidson Family Trust v Marlborough District Council makes it clear that a key finding of the Supreme Court in King Salmon – that there is generally no ability to consider Part 2 of the RMA and undertake an “overall broad judgment” – also applies to decisions on resource consents.
The Government is seeking feedback on its Clean Water Package 2017, which introduces new "swimmable" water quality targets.
Where (and how prominently) can alcohol be displayed in a supermarket? The Court of Appeal has recently considered the provisions in the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 which require the display of alcohol within a “single area” in supermarkets.
More than three years after the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan was notified, we are now into the business-end of the process, with the Plan now operative in part.