Archive | Coast

Propbd on Q Th4Jun15 – Licensing, empowering communities, erosion; Restaurant Brands sales up; building stats; panel change

3 units sell at Ray White auction
A productive forward-looking day at the council
Restaurant Brands lifts quarterly sales 14.7%
Stories online – building completions, hearing panel change

5.03pm:
3 units sell at Ray White auction

3 of the 5 apartments taken to auction at Ray White City Apartments today were sold under the hammer. Auction results:

Alpha, 17 Vogel Lane, unit 1104, sold for $419,000, sales agent Krister Samuel
Madison, 145 Symonds St, unit 207, sold for $287,000, Mitch Agnew & Damian Piggin
Portland Tower, 62 Queen St, unit 7B, no bid, Mitch Agnew & Damian Piggin
City Zone, 11 Liverpool St, unit 1308, sold for $330,000, Damian Piggin & Daniel Horrobin
Emily Apartments (ex-Four Seasons), 22 Emily Place, unit 4F, passed in at $370,000, Gillian Gibson

A productive forward-looking day at the council

Auckland Council had a productive day on 3 issues at its regional strategy & policy committee – licensing, the new empowered communities approach to providing community services and coastal erosion.

I’ll have more on these topics tomorrow, but the basics are outlined below.

When you look at the outline on these topics below, you’d most likely think it wasn’t at all productive, more like a sea of reports & plans to work out what action to take.

The productive element is that here was a council committee thinking forwards, focused (most of the time) on what needed to be done, becoming aware of how communities could be harmed when change was badly handled, looking for positive outcomes.

Licensing

The committee had 3 options before it on the structure for the district licensing committee, in a review agreed when the present structure was chosen in August 2013:

  • Retain the existing structure
  • Retain the existing structure but reduce the number of commissioners & members from October 2016, when the present committee contracts expire, and
  • Reorganise into a locally based model aligned with local board boundaries, similar to the 9 clustered committees model proposed in 2013.

Although a number of committee members still voted for option 3 and others supported the sentiment, it was seen as impractical if some committees were inundated with applications and others had little to do.

2 local board representatives, Otara-Papatoetoe chair Fa’anana Eleso Collins and Mangere-Otahuhu member Nick Bakulich, spoke in favour of less intimidating formality and a need for localised panels & police involvement.

Cllr Alf Filipaina said when option 3 was rejected: “What we’re saying is, let the problems in the south continue. We’re now getting feedback from our local boards saying it is not working for us, our communities are hurting. I understand about the quasi-judicial format we have, but it’s about our communities.”

The majority agreed to retain the existing structure and the whole committee supported more work being done on how to capture improvements outlined in the review. The committee will get another report on that in August.

Empowering communities

The council’s budget committee approved the empowered communities approach on 7 May as part of the long-term plan, but local boards were concerned the new model would be introduced with no funding for boards in the first year to make it work.

The regional strategy & policy committee endorsed implementing the new model with a couple of additions. One was that progress against outcomes, structures & operation of the model would be reviewed & reported back to the committee in February & July 2016. The other was to support more funding to deliver locally driven initiatives being considered as part of the 2016-17 annual plan.

Erosion

Coastal erosion sprang to prominence last month when the council looked at what to do at Orewa Beach, where erosion has been a frequent problem and recently carved away long stretches of sand & bank.

Council chief engineer Sarah Sinclair gave the regional strategy & policy committee an update today on a multi-pronged approach – climatic impacts, managing the coastline, prioritised asset management, development controls, coastal compartment plans, a citizen science initiative, exemplar projects and budget planning.

She said a political workshop on work plans would be held in August, and the committee would get a report in October on workshop outcomes.

Restaurant Brands lifts quarterly sales 14.7%

Restaurant Brands NZ Ltd increased total sales by 14.7% ($11.4 million) to $89.1 million in the first quarter (the 12 weeks to 25 May).

KFC contributed $7.5 million. Carl’s Jr contributed $4.4 million, mostly from higher store numbers after the company acquired 7 Auckland-based Carl’s Jr stores.

Same-store sales were up 7.6%, led by 9.8% for KFC and 8.9% for Starbucks Coffee. Pizza Hut was slightly down at 0.5% and Carl’s Jr was down 5.2%.

Stories online – building completions, hearing panel change

Building work up 19% nationally for year, Auckland quieter in March quarter

Update – panel change: Panels appointed to hear Queens Wharf artwork & Takapuna boating hub applications, plus others

Attribution: Company release, Statistics NZ, council.

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Council documents series of unitary plan mediation positions

Auckland Council’s unitary plan committee has publicly documented positions it has taken in mediation on 5 topics at independent hearings panel sessions on its proposed unitary plan.

The council has gone to some trouble to keep its mediation positions confidential before they’re posted on the hearings panel’s website, and sent decisions on urgent mediation positions to a 4-member sub-committee.

Those positions are at a preliminary stage of the hearings process. In interim guidance issued in February, the hearings panel has indicated it will have no qualms about rejecting council positions.

The sub-committee’s decisions over the last 3 months were reported to the unitary plan committee yesterday, and will be revealed again in quarterly reports. Cllr Chris Darby said he dissented on 2 positions – a reduced distance offshore for the prohibition of sewage discharge from vessels, and non-complying activity status for livestock in the coastal marine area, instead of making their presence a prohibited activity.

Devonport-Takapuna Local Board chairman Mike Cohen questioned the council position allowing for up to 35% building coverage on the landward side of the marina zone, when it had been 10% before. Although the local board chairman could ask a question, committee chairman Alf Filipaina made it clear that, for practical reasons, the boards couldn’t have input before these plan position decisions were made.

Below are positions the council declared.

Significant infrastructure located in the mooring zone:

The sub-committee agreed to an amendment that would support a resource consent application for significant infrastructure with a “functional need” that “cannot practicably be located outside the mooring zone”.

Sewage discharge from vessels:

Most submissions opposed the proposed plan’s prohibition of sewage discharge from boats within 2km of mean high water springs, but there were broad submissions in support of keeping sewage out of the coastal marine area. The sub-committee supported amending the proposed plan to:

  1. not allow discharge of sewage from vessels within specific harbours & bays to remove gaps in the 500m regulations, and
  2. revert to the 500m offshore distance for sewage discharge from vessels elsewhere.

Exclusion of livestock from the coastal marine area:

Various submitters opposed the proposed plan’s prohibition of livestock anywhere in the coastal marine area, within specific timeframes, while the Environmental Defence Society and Forest & Bird Society supported the approach. The sub-committee agreed to:

  1. provide for horse-riding in the coastal marine area overlays, subject to permitted activity controls
  2. restrict livestock in areas of the coastal marine area where water quality has been identified as degraded and in overlay areas (noting that this covers much of the coastline), and
  3. allow for resource consent applications through a non-complying activity status instead of making it a prohibited activity.

Marina zone:

The proposed plan includes controls that require a non-complying resource consent to expand existing marinas, which several marina operators opposed. The proposed plan also includes controls on retail, building coverage and the height of buildings & structures within the marina zone. The sub-committee agreed to amend the marina zone to:

  1. allow for an expansion of existing marinas into the general coastal marine zone by up to 15% as a discretionary activity
  2. allow for individual retail outlets of up to 300m² in the marina zone and a total cap of 1000m² (while looking at the possibility of further limits on the type of retail)
  3. allow for up to 35% building coverage on the landward side of the marina zone, and
  4. allow structures for haulage & lifting up to 18m in height above mean high water springs on the seaward side of the marina zone.

The sub-committee noted that these thresholds can be amended for any particular marina through the marina precinct provisions, and asked staff to review the various marinas to determine where different rules might be more appropriate. It also noted that, if there was significant opposition from other parties that couldn’t be addressed through the marina precincts, the case team would bring the issue back to the committee members, but there was no significant opposition that couldn’t be addressed through the marina precincts.

Minor ports:

The proposed plan applies the minor port zone to the ports at Gabador Place & Onehunga. Ports of Auckland Ltd submitted that these ports should be zoned light industry with a minor port precinct. The sub-committee agreed to amend the zoning of the port at Gabador Place to light industry with a minor port precinct but, for Onehunga, agreed to allow more flexibility for non-port-related industry, either through the minor port zone or a precinct.

Gabador Place runs down to the Tamaki River from Carbine Rd, Mt Wellington, and the port facility is in a light industrial area. The port is used to shift aggregate & sand.

The council’s plans & places general manager, Penny Pirrit, said the port company wasn’t in a position to move out of Onehunga immediately and needed an underlying zoning until the wider community had an opportunity to discuss what the future of the port was: “Depending on the conversation with a range of parties, there could be a number of futures for that piece of land.”

Link: Unitary plan committee agenda

Earlier story:
26 February 2015: Unitary plan panel at odds with council on boundary

Attribution: Council committee meeting.

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Water monitor adds beaches to weekly checks

Information on the water quality of 350 beaches has been made accessible online through an initiative between regional councils, the Cawthron Institute, the Ministry for the Environment, Massey University’s research-led design studio Open Lab and the Tindall Foundation.

Auckland Regional Council, and then Auckland Council, previously conducted checks, without the national site link.

The national monitoring organisation, LAWA – Land, Air, Water Aotearoa – went online in March, monitoring 1100 river sites. It extended its coverage to coastal waters yesterday.

Environment Minister Nick Smith said 64% of beaches had low water quality risk, 22% were acceptable and 14% were high risk.

LAWA will provide weekly beach monitoring data, previously supplied by Auckland Council.

Ling: LAWA

Attribution: Ministerial release.

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Tsunami evacuation maps for Auckland completed

Auckland now has its first set of comprehensive tsunami evacuation maps for the entire region’s coastline.

Produced by Auckland Civil Defence & Emergency Management, the 233 easy-to-read online maps identify risk areas and explain the ideal evacuation zones in the event of a tsunami.

Civil Defence director Clive Manley said this week the maps would help Aucklanders understand the risk to their local community and help prepare them to react effectively in an emergency.

“While most of Auckland has low tsunami risk, it is still important for the region to be prepared. These maps will assist us in refining emergency response plans for each community, allowing each of them to be better prepared in the case of an incident.”

Links: Tsunami evacuation maps & community response plans
Video explaining Auckland’s tsunami risk

Attribution: Civil Defence release.

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Housing areas, unitary plan commissioners & offshore oil on council agenda

Auckland Council’s governing body will discuss the second tranche of special housing areas and the recommended candidates for the unitary plan hearings panel when it meets on Thursday, but behind closed doors.

Both matters are in the confidential section of the governing body’s agenda.

The council also has a submission to the Government before it recommending that the very small proportion of the total 2014 block offer area in the petroleum exploration permit round that’s between 6-12 nautical miles from Auckland’s west coast be excluded from the offer, and that the block offer area be moved so it’s at least 12 nautical miles from land.

The reasons given for moving the block offer area are to protect the small remaining population of Maui’s dolphins and to protect both environmental & economic features of the west coast.

The report to Thursday’s meeting, written by principal council coastal specialist Kath Coombes, says: “Auckland’s west coast & harbours are a sensitive environment with many environmental values….. Maui’s dolphins are found along the coast. The Kaipara Harbour is nursery to an estimated 95% of west coast snapper stock. The Kaipara & Manukau harbours are important for shellfish gathering and contain habitats for local & international shorebird species. There are outstanding & high natural character values along the west coast & harbours. The west coast beaches are also important recreational assets for our communities and support the tourism industry.”

Ms Coombes has outlined both the large – and potentially very large – economic benefits if oil or gas production wells were developed off the coast and the environmental concerns.

She said the benefit would be from increased jobs and spending on infrastructure, as exploration activity might require new support bases around the Manukau or Kaipara harbours.

Oil was New Zealand’s fourth largest merchandise export (after dairy, meat & wood) last year at a value of over $2 billion: “The Government receives around 42% of the profits of the petroleum industry in the form of company tax & royalties. At the current rate of exploration & production, this equates to around $400 million in royalties & $300 million in company tax annually.

“A 2010 study by Woodward Partners assessed the asset value of future petroleum royalties from known petroleum reserves as well as potential production. It found that if recent patterns of exploration & development continue, future royalty income could generate $8.5 billion to New Zealand ($3.2 billion from existing production facilities in Taranaki & $5.3 billion from future discoveries). If current exploration rates increased by 50% over the next 10 years, New Zealand could earn $12.7 billion in royalties.”

On environmental concerns, Ms Coombes noted a Greenpeace-commissioned report released on 23 October, and arguments from the oil industry & Government refuting it.

The Greenpeace-commissioned report gauged the effects if a deepwater exploratory oil well blowout similar to the Deepwater Horizon oil well disaster in the Gulf of Mexico took place off Taranaki & Otago. The modelling used a lower rate of oil loss than the Mexico event. It found about 80% of spills would impact the coastline between the Kaipara Harbour mouth & Raglan, while the entire coastline between Opononi & Cape Egmont would be affected in 50% of spills. It would take less than a week for an oil spill to reach the coastline at Muriwai, Piha or Manukau Harbour in a worst-case scenario.

The oil industry & Government representatives noted that the Gulf of Mexico oil spill scenario “is highly unlikely in New Zealand due to differences in the geology, type & pressure of oil likely to be found, and improvements in drilling processes. They stated that contingency plans are in place to respond to any spills should one occur.”

Attribution: Company release.

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New Chums Beach protection framework proposed

Published 20 December 2010

Environmental Defence Society chairman Gary Taylor said on Friday a framework proposed by the society & the owners of land at New Chums Beach (Wainuiototo) on the Coromandel could protect the beach forever.

The framework would create a significant public reserve on the land adjoining the beach, which includes a regenerating kauri forest. Mr Taylor said the New Zealand Coastal Trust – which the society established to protect special areas of coastline – would facilitate purchase of the land, with a considerable gift from the landowners.

Te Punga Punga Station landowner John Darby said the landowners had always recognised the important natural values of New Chums Beach and had always planned to protect the beach in perpetuity: "We have been in discussions with the Environmental Defence Society for some time on how we can protect special areas of the coastline through the establishment of the NZ Coastal Trust. Such a trust will allow private landowners to work with the Environmental Defence Society to partner with the Government & local government, and communities, to protect iconic, unspoilt areas of coast for the public good."

Mr Darby & Mr Taylor have formally invited the Government to be involved in protecting the beach catchment for the purpose of creating a public reserve. Mr Taylor met Prime Minister John Key last month to discuss the proposal and officials have been asked to report in the new year.

Mr Taylor said New Chums was a special area of the New Zealand coast: "It is a beach of exceptional beauty & conservation values. There has been considerable public debate over how the beach & land behind it can be preserved to maintain its natural, unspoilt feel. Clearly, if established as a public reserve, the area will be protected in perpetuity.

"The landowners are prepared to make a considerable private gift to help to establish this reserve. Given the public benefits which would accrue from the establishment of a reserve, we believe the Government should also make a significant & matching contribution.”

Mr Taylor said the Coastal Trust was an independent charitable conservation trust, chaired by retired High Court judge Peter Salmon QC, which could be the initial purchaser of the land, with contributions from both the landowners & the Government. It could then vest it in the Crown or local or regional government.

"Whichever approach is adopted, we believe this model carries the potential to create a new approach to protecting special areas through public-private conservation partnerships."

Want to comment? Go to the forum.

 

Attribution: Society-Darby release, story written by Bob Dey for the Bob Dey Property Report.

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Regional council buys one more park

Published 29 September 2010

The Auckland Regional Council announced the $15 million purchase of its final regional park, Te Muri, on Monday. It’s next to the first regional park, bought at Wenderholm in 1965.

The 407ha block at Te Muri on the Mahurangi coast has a boundary on the northern side of the Puhoi River. It backs onto Te Muri Beach, a 1km sandy beach already owned by the regional council.

Council parks & heritage committee chairman Sandra Coney said this was “a critical purchase to protect the landscape of the Puhoi River, Wenderholm Regional Park & the wider area.

“The purchase protects the wonderful vista of the estuary and of Wenderholm.  The whole stretch of coast from Mahurangi to Waiwera is now protected in a natural state for all time. Plus Te Muri is stunning land in its own right.”

The council bought the property under the Public Works Act and in agreement with the estate of Peter Schischka. It bought the beachfront from the Schischka family in 1973, but this was only accessible by walking through an estuary at low tide.

The property will provide expanded camping opportunities and there will be a rentable bach. It will continue to be a working farm.

Want to comment? Go to the forum.

 

Attribution: Council release, story written by Bob Dey for the Bob Dey Property Report.

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Peart combines history & campaign future in Castles in the sand

Published 9 August 2009

The Environmental Defence Society campaigns for controls on coastal development, and now its senior policy analyst, Raewyn Peart, has turned the campaign into a highly readable book on New Zealanders’ beachgoing heritage, Castles in the sand.

 

It’s a book that can be read for its history, containing numerous photographs of the changing human occupation of coastal settlements, particularly the 1950s bach-building era and the more recent replacement of those baches with seaside mansions.

 

But throughout, Ms Peart goes beyond merely recounting events to look at the impacts. As she wrote in her introduction: “Environmental management efforts to date have not been up to the job of ensuring that the public interest in the coast is protected when development occurs. Successive governments have adopted a laissez-faire approach to coastal management….

 

“We need to improve our design of coastal housing and locate it more carefully. We need to harness new development so that it restores areas of the coast which are degraded. We need to ensure that there is ample public access to the coast. And we need to safeguard low-cost holiday options such as cabins & campgrounds.

 

“But more importantly & strategically, we need to identify & protect parts of our rural coastline which should never be developed, those areas which should remain wild so that our children & grandchildren can continue to enjoy the open & undeveloped coast.”

 

The book runs to detail on recent developments, including the financially unsuccessful Crystal Waters at Cable Bay in Northland, events surrounding foiled plans for development at Pakiri and development of Omaha, up the east coast from Auckland, and the history of attempts to urbanise Ocean Beach in Hawke’s Bay.

 

Among the lessons from the past, Ms Peart argues that the supply of coastal properties must be linked to the medium-term demand of the next decade, so excess coastal subdivision is not driven by speculation that forecloses alternative development options for future generations.

 

As well as documenting the past, Ms Peart argues the long-term future. Assume global warming results in raised sea levels and you have this scenario: “We are also likely to see increased storms & heavy rain events. The cost of protecting poorly located homes & infrastructure from the sea, and of repairing erosion & flood damage, will be enormous, as will the consequential social & economic costs.”

 

The book documents – with optimism – some recent projects, starting with the salvaging of Tiritiri Matangi Island, off the top of the Whangaparaoa Peninsula, after 130 years of farming; Watercare Services Ltd’s restoration of the coastal edge at Mangere; the coast care initiative, in particular at Papamoa, again a salvage operation after poor or thoughtless management; the path out of financial disaster for the people of Matauri Bay, with bach development that doesn’t result in an expensive wall of housing along the beachfront; and Britomart developer Peter Cooper’s Mountain Landing project on the northern fringe of the Bay of Islands.

 

In her closing chapter, Ms Peart raises the question of how officialdom handles development proposals in New Zealand: The assumption is that development will occur; the only question is density.

 

Ms Peart says the first question, rarely asked, ought to be: Should there be any development on the land at all? The next key question she believes should be put is: What density & type of buildings are appropriate, and where should they be located?

 

The reader who ponders at this point can probably compile a ready list of further questions: Why build ugly? Why build aggressively, out of harmony with the receiving environment?

 

The Environmental Defence Society proposed this year that the Government should establish an independent coastal commission to oversee a change in management, which Ms Peart expounds in her 276-page book, but so far it has not won support from the Government.

 

The notion of a commission coming up with a coastal policy statement & coastal design guidelines will be anathema to those who believe you should have the right to build what you want on your property. One answer to that, in this book, is that absence of control will mean there are no open spaces.

 

Castles in the Sand: What’s happening to the New Zealand coast? By Raewyn Peart. Publisher (& supplier of numerous photographs) Craig Potton. Retail price $49.99.

 

Want to comment? Go to the forum.

                                                                                              

Attribution: Book, EDS campaigns, story written by Bob Dey for the Bob Dey Property Report.

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ARC proposal will send marine farmers out to sea

Published 14 April 2008

The Auckland Regional Council has approved preliminary consultation to start on draft principles, directions & concepts for a regional marine farming policy framework, and indicative excluded areas.

 

The council map of indicative excluded areas covers the whole of the region’s coastline – halfway up the Kaipara Harbour, around Waiheke & Great Barrier Islands – leaving open water as the only prospect for aquaculture.

 

Regional strategy & planning committee chairman Paul Walbran said consultation would begin this month and proceed in several stages. He anticipates that formal notification of a proposed variation to the Auckland regional plan: Coastal, and subsequent submissions to it, will follow this process in early 2009.

 

Cllr Walbran said the council would use the new legislative tools provided by the 2005 aquaculture law reforms (invited private plan changes & excluded areas) to best determine where new aquaculture management areas might be established and where they are inappropriate.

 

“This does not affect any existing marine farming operations, the continuation of which is covered by the 2005 law reforms.

 

“We have noted the developing trend for offshore aquaculture elsewhere in the country, and at this early stage consider that large new aquaculture ventures would be best directed away from the shore. We are working on ways to provide flexibility for various smaller-scale aquaculture developments within an otherwise broadly restrictive aquaculture policy framework.

 

“The policies we are developing could have major effects on future generations of Aucklanders and their use & enjoyment of our coastal waters, so it makes complete sense to start cautiously. Our policy framework is a starting point from which discussion can begin.”

 

Cllr Walbran said extensive areas of Auckland’s coast were generally inappropriate for large new aquaculture ventures, but various smaller operations might well be accommodated within this approach.

 

 “The reasons for such a precautionary approach are clear. The Auckland region is the largest population centre in the country and it sits beside some of the most highly valued & used coastal areas in New Zealand. Our coastal waters are already under significant pressure from often mutually exclusive competing uses, and this will only increase as the region’s population grows.

 

“Aucklanders have traditionally made great use of their coastal marine area. Popular recreational pursuits include boating, swimming & fishing, but people also place huge value on being able to get away from it all to undisturbed natural areas. Tangata whenua have very strong connections with the coast and, in addition, many coastal areas have high ecological & conservation value.

 

“Our coast is also important for economic reasons: commercial fishing, shipping, tourism & aquaculture. Let’s also not forget that the Hauraki Gulf is recognised as being of national significance by the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Act 2000.”

 

Earlier stories:

25 March 2008: 2 Coromandel interim aquaculture management areas declared

19 April 2006: High natural character beats economic benefit as Kaipara mussel farm consent overturned

30 January 2002: Environment Court approves Pegasus Bay project

 

Want to comment? Email [email protected].

 

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

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Coastal policy statement review open to submissions

Published 10 March 2008

The submission period has opened on the proposed New Zealand coastal policy statement. Submissions close on Wednesday 7 May.

 

The Minister of Conservation has appointed a board of inquiry headed by Alternative Environment Court Judge Shonagh Kenderdine to inquire into the proposal.

 

Website: Coastal policy statement review

 

Submissions: [email protected]

 

Want to comment? Email [email protected].

 

Attribution: Government notice, story written by Bob Dey for The Bob Dey Property Report.

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