Archive | North-west

Cornerstone adds regional consent applications to Waimauku project

Published 17 September 2006

Jurisdiction: Auckland Regional Council

Neighbourhood: Waimauku, Rodney

Applicant: Cornerstone Group Ltd (Rick Martin)

Application detail: Rewiti, 1080 State Highway 16, Cornerstone applied to the Rodney District Council to develop a railway station café/restaurant & carpark, and has now applied to the regional council for a stormwater discharge consent from 9000m² of new impervious area, 2.84ha of earthworks and wastewater discharge consent.

The proposal is to establish & operate a railway station café & restaurant function centre on the southern side of the North Auckland railway line, 7 days/week between 7am-11pm and catering for weddings, product launches, corporate & conferences as well as performing as a restaurant.

The station would have 100 parking spaces, accessed from State Highway 16. Resource consent is required to establish a railway station, place of assembly & restaurant with access from the highway.

Submissions closing date: Submissions on the original application to the district council closes on 28 July. Submissions on the regional council application close on Tuesday 10 October.

Earlier story:

18 June 2006: Cornerstone wants to build a functions railway station out west


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Attribution: Public notice, story written by Bob Dey for this website.

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Update on Waitakere growth strategy

Published 6 August 2006

The item below is derived from Waitakere City Council’s latest report to the Regional Growth Forum.

Councils around the Auckland region report into the forum periodically on what’s happening in their neighbourhood – plans, strategies, sometimes proposals for zone changes or shifts of the urban limit.

Check the links at the foot of the page for details from other reports to the forum’s last meeting, on 5 July.

Intensification of existing urban areas:

Henderson town centre:

The council has an ongoing streetscape renewal project under construction, with the first precinct started in March. Completion was due in July. A template of new street furnishings has been developed, providing a range of paving, seating & general amenity items. The council wants to encourage private redevelopment to also incorporate this range so the end result will be the provision of a high standard of co-ordinated street amenity.

The council will give consideration to public transport access and improved walking & cycling linkages and intends working alongside owners of adjacent buildings and business owners to encourage them to join into the process. Options will be viewed that maximise the ability for natural surveillance & social interaction.

The objective is to link the economic sectors, improve the visual & usable amenity and improve the business opportunities along the way. This sector will also become a strong pedestrian link between all major facilities, Waitakere Central (the new council offices) and the transport interchange.

The concept planning for the rest of the Henderson town centre – Great North Rd from Edsel/Edmonton Rds to Henderson Valley/Alderman Drive, is well under way for construction to start in 2007.

Henderson town centre parking review:

Numerous council units are responsible for managing parking issues either through regulation, asset implementation or planning. Henderson is in a transition period preparing for the development of a central business district. Initially, until the public transport system is fully operative, any additional highrise development in the cbd & its related parking requirements will place parking pressure on the existing public & private parking spaces in the centre.

A number of initiatives are under way to alleviate parking pressures, such as:

business travel management plans
paid long-term parking
new development parking rules
development of new parking buildings, and
safe cycling & walking routes and improved infrastructure to encourage walking.

Business & economic development:

The northern & western sector councils – Waitakere, North Shore & Rodney – held a series of joint business forums in October, November & December 2005. The 3 council have agreed the following principles as providing the policy guidance for planning the location of business development within their territories over the next 20 years, and also to be incorporated into the regional growth strategy review & regional business location strategy workstreams:

Shared opportunity & sufficient land supply, planning for future business location will aim to provide a balance between population growth & employment opportunities such that the northern & western sectors, and their councils, are able to provide local employment for the majority of their populations and economic growth for the region & the country
Balance, increasing the supply of new business land will be achieved through a balance of intensification of existing business land, development of greenfield land, and brownfield development to provide for the operation of the business land demand cycle
Equity, planning for future business location will aim to maintain an equitable ratio of employment land & opportunities within other councils & sectors within the region, and to respond to the demands of the business sector for locational choices in a timely way
Efficiency, future business locations in the northern & western sectors will be planned to maximise the potential for economic development of the region with regard to the location of ferry, rail, bus & roading infrastructure, business demands, supply infrastructure, ports & airports
Intensification, business location planning with the northern & western sectors will aim to encourage intensification of appropriate business land use by adopting policies & strategies to support business intensification while allowing for the dynamics of the business land demand cycle
Innovation, the councils undertake to keep informed about, and to plan for, changes in technology infrastructure, energy supplies & wider macro-economic environment, so future business locations are provided that meet the needs of business and provide for changes in the business environment in a sustainable way
Location & protection, business land should be secured from other uses, affordable, encourage clusters, be well located in relation to residential populations & infrastructure with moderate topography, and be accessible
Strategic infrastructure, the councils will work together to ensure that strategic infrastructure assets are in place & protected for the future (eg, airports, energy supply & generation, education facilities & transport infrastructure)
Leadership, the councils of the northern & western sectors will continue to show strong leadership and will continue to work with economic development agencies, businesses & other agencies (eg, Transit NZ, Ministry of Education, health service providers, Government).

Rural areas:

Swanson structure plan, the Environment Court heard appeals in November 2005 and the decision was still awaited. The structure plan provides for rural subdivision which seeks to achieve environmental enhancement within the Swanson catchment, while being cognisant of future urban development proposed for the adjacent Penihana land (rail station & surrounding area)
Waitakere Ranges Heritage Area Bill, the bill was notified in 2005, has just been through hearings and the Local Government & Environment Select Committee is due to report by 21 August
Whenuapai airport special area, a draft plan change was made publicly available, seeking comment until 28 June. This draft seeks to include new policies & a special area rule in the district plan to enable the development, via a comprehensive development plan consent, of a commercial airport in the existing military airbase. It’s expected that the formal plan change will be publicly notified in late August.



The Waitakere council has prepared & submitted a draft response to Arta (the Auckland Regional Transport Authority)’s transport audit criteria, required as supporting information for the council’s applications to shift the MUL (metropolitan urban limit) at Hobsonville Airbase, Hobsonville Corridor & Massey North.

The council sent its response to the audit criteria to Arta, Transit NZ, the regional council & Land Transport NZ in March 2005 and a working group of officials from each agency will consider a number of subsequent issues. The transport audit outlines the following criteria to be addressed or responded to:

an overall transport assessment of land use options
demonstrate how transport investment fits in with the programmed release of land for development
demonstrate the relationship between higher-density development & the provision of public transport
demonstrate the range & quality of choices that will be made available for residents, employees & visitors to, from & within the development
demonstrate how traffic is to be managed in a sustainable manner
demonstrate how the provision for parking will be managed sustainably
demonstrate how travel management plans for new or redeveloping areas will be implemented
demonstrate how any proposed transport infrastructure contributes to a vibrant, liveable & attractive environment with a sense of place.

3 waters

The council has been working closely with regional council staff in developing integrated catchment

management plans for future urban areas in Waitakere City’s northern strategic growth area with plans developed for Hobsonville Peninsula, Waiarohia & Totara catchments. An integrated plan has also been developed for the existing urban area of New Lynn (New Lynn East catchment) to support the council’s Local Government Auckland Amendment Act package of district plan changes. The revised integrated plans were resubmitted to the regional council in April. The council is still awaiting confirmation that the revised plans can be publicly notified.

Social infrastructure

A 2-part project has been developed to help co-ordinate the delivery of social infrastructure into the growth planning for the city’s centres & changing urban form. The first part of the project is to develop a draft social infrastructure planning framework that sets out a range of principles, processes & tools to help plan for the social infrastructure needs of the city.

It’s designed to help identify the typical social infrastructure that might be found in the varying levels of centres, set up processes that will matches these to specific locations and identify how these will be delivered on the ground through such mechanisms as investment plans.

Workshops have been undertaken with government & community agencies to forward the work. The second part of the project is to apply the draft framework to the northern growth area & potentially New Lynn. A workshop is being organised for late September involving government & community agencies & the council to look at social infrastructure needs & location options in these growth areas.

Growth strategy links:


Update on growth strategies around the Auckland region

Update on Auckland City growth strategy

Update on Franklin growth strategy

Update on Manukau growth strategy

Update on North Shore City growth strategy

Update on Papakura growth strategy

Update on Rodney growth strategy

Update on Waitakere growth strategy


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Attribution: Growth forum, story written by Bob Dey for this website.

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Cornerstone wants to build a functions railway station out west

Published 18 June 2006

Jurisdiction: Rodney District

Neighbourhood: Waimauku

Applicant: Cornerstone Group Ltd (Rick Martin)

Application detail: 1080 State Highway 16, proposal to establish & operate a railway station café & restaurant function centre on the southern side of the North Auckland railway line, 7 days/week between 7am-11pm and catering for weddings, product launches, corporate & conferences as well as performing as a restaurant.

The station would have 100 parking spaces, accessed from State Highway 16. Resource consent is required to establish a railway station, place of assembly & restaurant with access from the highway.

Submissions closing date: Friday 14 July

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Attribution: Public notice, story written by Bob Dey for this website.

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Ottow Burke seeks consent for St Clair Park stage 3

Published 18 June 2006

Jurisdiction: Waitakere City

Neighbourhood: Te Atatu

Applicant: West Auckland Residential Developments Ltd (Leon Burke, Hans Ottow & Joanna Pidgeon)

Application detail: 164-178 McLeod Rd, application to erect 132 units as stage 3 of the St Clair Park development.

Submissions: Submissions close on Monday 17 July

Details: The proposal infringes various district plan rules, including height:boundary, building location, parking, landscape and residential activity not meeting rules standards by not being subsidiary to a non-residential use or located within the Lincoln working environment.

The development was begun by John Ede, who was bankrupted in June 2004. Mr Ede’s companies included the Dimension Group & St Clair Park Ltd.

Mr Burke & Mr Ottow own Ottow Burke Holdings Ltd & associated property & construction companies. Ms Pidgeon is a lawyer at Hesketh Henry and a director of numerous Ottow Burke companies.

Earlier story, 25 June 2004: Ede fails in 30c/$ bid, bankrupted


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Attribution: Public notice, own files, story written by Bob Dey for this website.

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Council launches Whenuapai Airport plan change

Published 4 June 2006

Jurisdiction: Waitakere City

Neighbourhood: Whenuapai

Applicant: Waitakere City Council

Submissions closing date: Wednesday 28 June

Application detail: Whenuapai airbase, plan change to enable airbase to be a commercial airport by creation of Whenuapai Airport special area.

“This does not mean that Whenuapai will become an airport, but it creates the planning structure that specifically permits an airport to be operated there, if that is what is finally agreed,” planning & regulatory chairman Vanessa Neeson said.

“There are existing-use rights and it is possible that the airport could be operated under the general rules of the plan and the Resource Management Act, but this change specifies that an airport at Whenuapai will conform with the district plan.”

Cllr Neeson said the council had a clear policy position on Whenuapai which it had been pursuing for a number of years: “We believe the region needs a second airport now and the need is primarily in the north-west sector, which is made up of Waitakere, North Shore & Rodney. It will contribute to economic growth & jobs and it will contribute to reducing regional traffic congestion.

“Whenuapai airbase is a fully functioning airport in the right place and the only sensible thing is to keep our options open. It would be difficult, if not impossible, to replicate this resource elsewhere in the Auckland region.”

She said the council was seeking comment on the draft plan change from the public, the Minister for the Environment, the Ministry of Defence, the Department of Conservation, the Auckland Regional Council, the North Shore City Council, the Rodney District Council, Te Kawerau a Maki, Ngati Whatua & local groups within the Whenuapai area.

Website: Whenuapai Airport special area draft rules


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Attribution: Council release, documents, story written by Bob Dey for this website.

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Waitakere releases draft brothels strategy

Published 4 June 2006

Jurisdiction: Waitakere City

Neighbourhood: Citywide

Applicant: Waitakere City Council

Application detail: Draft commercial sex strategy, to provide a framework for managing prostitution in the city.

Released for public consultation: Submissions open on Tuesday 6 June

Submissions closing date: Friday 7 July

Details: The council’s planning & regulatory committee approved the draft strategy for public consultation on 14 March. Submission documents will be available on the council website from Tuesday 6 June.

The council says in its outline: “The draft commercial sex strategy adopts a minimalist approach and has been developed in a holistic & collaborative way. The intention of the strategy is to enable the council to respond to complaints made by the public about adverse environmental effects arising from alleged & actual brothels.

“Another aspiration of the strategy is to reduce social impacts, including negative perceptions about safety & well-being, by directing large brothels towards industrial & commercial areas and away from residential areas.”Proposals to regulate the location of brothels constitute the core of the strategy: “Any limitations on the location of brothels would be covered by the provisions of the district plan. Essentially, small brothels (4 or less sex workers with no manager) will be permitted to operate in residential areas (termed living environments in the district plan), and managed brothels (those run by an operator regardless of size) will be confined to industrial areas (termed working environments’) & commercial areas (termed community environments).

“This approach was considered preferable to prohibiting or restricting the establishment of brothels in certain areas, due to perceived problems of enforcement and questions about ‘reasonableness’ given the intention of the Prostitution Reform Act.”

Website: Waitakere draft commercial sex strategy


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Attribution: Company statement, story written by Bob Dey for this website.

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Switch from trains to buses to help double-tracking

Published 4 May 2006

Buses take over from trains between Henderson & Waitakere on Saturdays this month to enable double-tracking construction to continue.

Foundations for the second track were built over Easter along sections of rail corridor from Sunnyvale to Henderson and about 250m of track was replaced.

Work will continue to be focused around Henderson this month, from Bruce McLaren Rd to Mt Lebanon Lane, where retaining walls & track foundations will be built.

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Attribution: ARTA release, story written by Bob Dey for this website.

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High natural character beats economic benefit as Kaipara mussel farm consent overturned

Published 19 April 2006

The Environment Court has found “high natural character” outweighed economic benefits from mussel farming at a Kaipara Harbour site and overturned an Auckland Regional Council consent granted 5 years ago.

The regional council had granted Biomarine Ltd consent to construct & operate a 30ha mussel farm 4km south-east of South Head in the Kaipara Harbour, beside a line of cliffs 30-50m high at Te Kawau Pt.

Environment Judge Laurie Newhook & 2 commissioners heard the appeal last September & in January, and issued their decision on 7 April. The appellants were the South Kaipara Harbour Environment Trust, Britta Hietz, the Royal Forest & Bird Protection Society, Te Runanga o Ngati Whatua & the Kakanui Marae Trust Board.

There are no marine farms in the South Kaipara. The appellants said this one would have significant adverse effects on natural character & landscape values, and adverse visual & amenity effects.

One early sentence in the 42-page judgment probably needed to be said, preferably in a more comprehensible & straightforward form: “The basis for the council’s consent having been forthcoming was that the proposal was said to be broadly consistent with the relevant planning instruments and would result in generally minor adverse effects on the environment.” I think it means the council gave consent because the proposal broadly stuck to the rules and wouldn’t cause too much harm.

The application was made – and the appeal had to be considered – according to the Resource Management Act before it was amended in August 2003.

Biomarine co-founder Jonathan Nicholson said if all went according to plan, the marine farm could earn $4.5 million (timeframe unstated in the judgment). Ngati Whatua, one of the appellants, now supported the project, with agreement on a commitment to tangata whenua values, a cadetship programme & scholarship fund.

Judge Newhook said evidence from a number of Biomarine’s expert witnesses was unchallenged in their assessment of adverse effects. The appellants adopted that evidence, relying on it to support their own case: “The appellants submitted that the Kaipara Harbour cannot accommodate change of even relatively modest proportion without its integrity & intrinsic values as a whole being damaged and its wild, scenic & remote qualities being compromised.”

Biomarine said the marine farm wouldn’t dominate or be an obtrusive feature in an open & extensive harbour.

The court agreed with landscape architect Melean Absolum, called by the appellants, “that the adjacent shoreline has a high level of natural character”, from which navigation markers & the remains of the old wharf didn’t detract…..

“We concur with Ms Absolum that the proposed mussel farm would have a significant adverse visual impact on natural character values, and indeed would be intrusive from the adjacent shoreline & clifftops and from the bay& coastline areas to the north & south……

“The adverse visual impact would be jarring, and in the terminology of the subsection, inappropriate.”

I have trouble with the term “high level of natural character”: Something is natural and pretty, or outstanding, or unusual, maybe enchanting, maybe pristine. The judge turned to the applicant’s landscape architect, Gavin Lister: “…..the harbour as a whole has high natural science  values; it is recognised as an important feeding area for wading birds and has a range of other recognised ecological values, although such values are somewhat diminished by the modified nature of the landscape surrounding most of the harbour.

“The harbour has high aesthetic values, although the qualities are subtle rather than strikingly distinctive, and include the expansiveness & wildness of the open harbour and the intimate & secretive character of many of the tributaries.”

Mr Lister went on to describe the harbour’s value to wading birds, the number of pre-European Maori settlements & early European milling & trading. He said the cliffline was probably “attractive but not distinctive,” while Ms Absolum thought the coastal management area where the mussel farm was proposed “probably is not an outstanding landscape”. Both experts gave the area 5 out of 7 for landscape value, 7 out of 7 for landscape sensitivity.

Judge Newhook said the mussel farm would affect the panoramic views & sense of remoteness walkers on the beach at Mosquito Bay & on the clifftop could currently experience.

The appellants said introducing the large human element of the mussel farm into the coastal environment would significantly degrade its natural character, and limiting the consent term to 10 years wouldn’t mitigate this effect. The court therefore found the proposal was not consistent with the NZ coastal policy statement, which says it’s a national priority to protect the natural character of the coastal environment.

The judgment may affect regional council consideration of marine farming in the western Firth of Thames, which was discussed by the council’s regional strategy & planning committee yesterday.

Decision may affect Firth of Thames mussel farming

The committee wants a report for its May meeting on the implications of the Kaipara decision, and also agreed:

that ARC staff undertake a scoping investigation into alternative options to enable aquaculture in the Auckland region, other than those covered in the current variations and the work completed in the western Firth of Thames
that no further investigation be carried out in terms of the potential aquaculture marine area in the western Firth of Thames until that scoping investigation is completed, and
it should all be reported to the committee’s May meeting.

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Attribution: Judgment, council meeting, story written by Bob Dey for this website.

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Waitakere Ranges bill goes to select committee

Published 25 February 2006

The Waitakere Ranges Heritage Area Bill gained its first reading in Parliament on Wednesday and has been referred to the local government & environment select committee.

Cllr Paul Walbran, Waitakere representative on the Auckland Regional Council & chairman of its regional strategy & planning committee, said it was a significant milestone after decades of debating the merits of new legislation to recognise & protect the ranges and years of consulting extensively with the local & regional community.

“The ranges, which provide a background to urban Auckland, are one of the most defining geographical features of the region and this bill will help ensure that they, inclusive of the foothills & coastal villages which are also covered by the heritage area created by the bill, are protected for future generations to enjoy.

“The closeness of the Waitakeres to New Zealand’s largest urban area contributes to both their unique value & the risk posed to them. They are under intense development pressures of a rapidly growing metropolitan area.”

More than 17,000ha of the 25,000ha proposed heritage area is in the Waitakere Ranges Regional Park. The rest is private land.

The bill was jointly drafted & promoted by the regional council, Waitakere City Council & Rodney District Council. Its introduction to Parliament was sponsored by Waitakere MP Lynne Pillay. 

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Attribution: ARC press release, story written by Bob Dey for this website.

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Osborne found guilty of pool fencing breach

Published 7 February 2006

Waitakere campaigner Gary Osborne & his wife, Leone, face fines of up to $14,000 each after being found guilty on Friday of failing to fence their backyard pool in Te Atatu South to the minimum standard required by the Fencing of Swimming Pools Act.

Judge Heemi Taumaunu found the Osbornes guilty after an 8½ hearing in the Waitakere District Court. The judge ordered their pool to be drained and remanded them for sentencing on Thursday 11 May.

However, there remains a possibility the Osbornes will apply for an exemption, provided they make the changes required.

Waitakere City Council launched a prosecution against the Osbornes in 2002, but on that occasion the charge related to only one day. That prosecution was withdrawn at the end of 2003 but a new one was launched in April 2005. This time the council laid the charge on a continuing basis, which attracts an extra penalty of up to $50 for every day of continuing failure to meet the requirement, on top of a $500 fine.

Mr Osborne has questioned the process undertaken by the council, set up the Pool Owners Action Group and wrote a book, Sitting on the fence, a brief history of the pool-fencing law and the saga as it has been played out in Waitakere.

The prosecution the council started against the Osbornes in 2002 alleged:

the gates to the pool opened inward
they weren’t self-closing or latching
the pool fence didn’t extent 1.2m above ground
the vertical openings on the wrought iron fence “exceeds 100mm as required by the act” and
the lattice blockwork section of fence was climbable.

Mr Osborne spent nearly $3000 upgrading his pool fencing in 2002 and the prosecution notice was withdrawn at the end of 2003.

The Osbornes were caught up in action by the council against numerous pool owners which resulted in a judicial review of some aspects of pool fencing by Justice Tony Randerson in 2004.

The council returned to prosecutions in 2005 but also set up a swimming pool exemption committee, which many pool owners have taken advantage of to escape prosecution.

However Mr Osborne wouldn’t take up the exemption committee option and, after an inspection in April 2005, the council alleged:

the trellis on the timber gate (which makes up part of the pool fence) is a perforated material with gaps greater than 50mm (approximately 80mm) which could provide a climbing step so as not to restrict the access of children under 6 to the pool
the timber gate doesn’t self-close or self-latch from a standing position of 150mm
the lattice blockwall (which makes up part of the pool fence) is a perforated material with gaps greater than 50mm (approximately 100mm) which could provide a climbing step (for children, as above)
the metal gates which provide entry into the pool area from the garage don’t self-close or self-latch from a standing position of 150mm and swing into the immediate pool area, and don’t have a latching device that isn’t readily operated by children at least 1.5m above ground and
the layout of the existing fence & the dwelling means the only practical pedestrian accessway between the dwelling & the backyard area beyond the pool is through the enclosed area containing the pool, and the provision of this accessway is not an activity or purpose carried out in conjunction with the use of the pool.

I haven’t seen the Osbornes’ fencing & gates and wasn’t in court for the hearing, but the last of the allegations above – concerning access through the pool area to the rest of the Osbornes’ back yard – doesn’t seem to be an issue in section 8(1) of the act.

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Attribution: Osborne files & report on proceedings, charge sheets & summaries of facts, story written by Bob Dey for this website.

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