WHAT APPROVALS MUST PITA STREET DEVELOPMENTS OBTAIN FOR THE NEW FACILITY?
Pita Street Development (PSD) must obtain a number of approvals to construct, operate and maintain the facility and related infrastructure. The main law governing the approvals process for the proposed facility is the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA).
Resource consents will be required from the regional council, under the RMA.
WHAT APPROVALS MUST PITA STREET DEVELOPMENT OBTAIN UNDER OTHER LAWS?
PSD must obtain a variety of approvals under laws other than the RMA. Examples include of the types of approvals are as follows:
Coastal permits - for dredging and excavation of material from the foreshore and seabed, deposition of dredging material, construction of wharfs, piers, and associated haul-out facilities.
Land use consents - for earthworks and other land disturbance on land above Mean High Water Springs (MHWS), deposition of dredging material, construction and operation of the parts of the overall development that are located above MHWS e.g. formation of car parking areas, construction of residential housing etc.
Other approvals will include approvals for the construction and use of facility access roads from Pita Street and Strongman Road), along with roading improvement works as required.
WHAT IS A RESOURCE CONSENT?
A resource consent is an approval for an activity that is regulated by a district or regional plan. Resource consents are granted by local or unitary authorities which, when carrying out this function, are known as consenting authorities.
There are different types of resource consent; for example, land-use consents and water permits. The type of resource consent required depends on the activity and its classification in the applicable district or regional plan(s).
More information about resource consents can be found online at the Ministry for the Environment website (http://www.mfe.govt.nz/publications/rma/everyday/overview/).
WHAT WILL HAPPEN WHEN PITA STREET DEVELOPMENT LODGES ITS NOTICES AND APPLICATIONS?
When PSD lodges its applications with the territorial authorities (district council’s) the authorities will first review the documents to ensure that they contain adequate information on the project. If the notices are accepted as complete by the council’s they will then publicly notify the project.
At this stage everybody in the community will have the opportunity to lodge a submission on the project outlining their views.
Submissions on the project will be heard in a council hearing and then the council’s will make a recommendation to PSD as to whether they consider PSD should confirm, withdraw or modify the application. PSD will then lodge their decision with the authority. PSD’s decision can be appealed to the Environment Court.
WHAT ARE THE ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS OF A NEW MARINE FACILITY?
Environmental effects are likely to occur as a result of the construction, operation and maintenance of the facility. PSD must detail any adverse or positive environmental effects that will be caused by the proposed facility in its resource consent applications.
WHAT APPROVALS PROCESSES ARE AVAILABLE UNDER THE RMA?
After lodgement of resource consent applications with the relevant consenting authorities, these may be processed in any one of the following ways:
- The application is processed under the traditional ‘two tier’ approach, whereby the consenting authorities are responsible for processing the documents and holding any public hearings. The notices or applications can be appealed to the Environment Court by the applicant, local authorities or submitters.
- The notice and application are ‘called-in’ by the Minister for the Environment, and then are heard by a Board of Inquiry (BOI) or the Environment Court.
- A consenting authority requests the Minister for the Environment to call-in the notices and applications to be heard by a Board of Inquiry or the Environment Court.
- PSD requests the Minster to call-in the notices and applications to be heard by a Board of Inquiry or the Environment Court.
- The application is directly referred to be heard by the Environment Court.
- PSD lodges the application directly with the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA).
More information on these processes can be found online at the Ministry for the Environment website, www.mfe.govt.nz.
HOW WILL STAKEHOLDERS AND THE PUBLIC HAVE THEIR SAY?
PSD’s preferred approached is the normal two tier approach but regardless of which of the above processes is used, following the lodgement of the application, the relevant authority will publicly advertise the notice and call for submissions from the public. If publically notified, any person or group can make a submission and present their views at a hearing, which is held by the processing authority as part of the decision-making process.
Although there is no obligation to consult under the RMA, PSD is undertaking extensive consultation with the individuals and groups that are likely to be affected by, or interested in, the project.
WILL ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS CAUSED BY THE NEW FACILITY BE ADDRESSED UNDER THE RMA PROCESS?
Yes. The RMA specifically seeks to avoid, mitigate and remedy effects on the environment that are caused by new activities. PSD is committed to meeting the requirements of the RMA and where practicable will implement measures to avoid, mitigate and remedy any significant environmental effects that are caused by facility.
HOW WILL PSD ENSURE THAT ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS ARE MINIMISED?
PSD will engage environmental experts to identify sensitive environments, special interest areas and the like in the planning and early design stages of the project. As a result, it was possible to develop a facility that minimises the effect on the environment.
PSD must demonstrate to the consent authorities how it proposes to avoid, remedy and mitigate any environmental effects that may occur, as part of the RMA process. Environmental experts will be engaged to identify measures that PSD can pursue to avoid, mitigate and remedy any significant effects.
If approvals are given, conditions will be placed on the resource consents to avoid, remedy and mitigate any environmental effects that may occur.