Wednesday, March 11, 2015

"More than minor"

So, it turns out that the Auckland Council ignored the law in granting consent to fell the Titirangi Kauri:

Despite being advised that cutting down a 500-year-old kauri tree on a Titirangi property would have a "more than minor adverse effect", Auckland Council granted the consent anyway.

Neighbours and protesters opposed to the removal of a stand of old native trees to make way for houses say the council ignored the views of its own landscape planner Gordon Griffin.


In a May 2014 report, Griffin told the council that the development would involve "considerable visual impacts and modification of the highest quality vegetation..."

"I agree that there would be adverse effects that are more than minor..." he wrote.

If the effects on the environment are considered to be more than minor the law says a consent application must be publicly notified, those opposing it say.

However, Griffin said that on balance he supported granting consent for the development at 42 Paturoa Road. It was subsequently granted without being notified.

I'm not an expert on the RMA, so I'm not sure whether this is grounds for the Council to revoke the consent, but it certainly seems to be grounds for a judicial review. Unfortunately, that's a hugely expensive process. we need a much cheaper way of holding public authorities to account where they have apparently behaved unlawfully.

Meanwhile, the Save Our Kauri petition is now over 23,000 signatures. Go ahead and add to the pressure.