Auckland Council’s unitary plan, promulgated in 2016, could be fully operational next year.
A report to the council’s planning committee meeting tomorrow says 13 appeals remain out of a total 119 to the Environment & High Courts, plus 8 judicial review proceedings.
The council formulated the unitary plan during its first 3 years, after the Government created a super-city council for the region to replace the former 7 territorial councils & one regional council.
The super-city council completed its proposed unitary plan in September 2013, sent it to an independent hearings panel to consider submissions, and the panel sent its recommendations back to the council in July 2016. The council publicly notified its decisions – some conflicting with panel recommendations – in August 2016, making the bulk of the plan operative and triggering appeals for some of it.
The council was served in September 2016 with 67 Environment Court appeals, 41 High Court appeals & 8 judicial review proceedings.
The Environment Court has issued decisions on 2 significant matters in the last 2 months, on the rural:urban boundary at Okura and rural subdivision provisions. The court decision found in favour of the council’s position on Okura, and Okura Holdings Ltd has been appealed the decision to the High Court.
The rural subdivision provisions decision went in favour of the appellants, and the council has appealed to the High Court.
The Environment Court ended up dealing with 72 appeals, and 6 appeals remain. In the High Court, there were originally 41 appeals, rising to 47 via Environment Court appeals, and 5 remain – plus the 2 new ones.
Of the 8 judicial reviews, 3 have been discontinued and 5 have been the subject of High Court decisions. 2 of those decisions have been appealed to the Appeal Court. Each of these High Court decisions related to a judicial review proceeding and a related High Court appeal. The council was successful in each of the High Court decisions.
Planning team leader Tony Reidy said in his report to tomorrow’s planning committee meeting all appeals were expected to be resolved in early 2019.
Attribution: Council committee agenda.