CRU fears residents will lose rights to protest
The High Court has released its decision in the case brought by Coastal Ratepayers United Inc (CRU) against Kapiti Coast District Council. But the CRU says residents still deserve a fair say.
Chair Paul Dunmore says the issue was the process that KCDC has been using to develop its new District Plan.
At an earlier stage, the Environment Court had ruled that what KCDC had done was unlawful in part. In response KCDC made last-minute changes to its proposed plan.
The High Court has now declined to go further than the Environment Court had done.
CRU’s view is that this frees KCDC to develop future coastal hazard rules which will be constrained by various policies that have now gone into the new plan.
“We fear that residents will be prevented from challenging those policies or arguing for better coastal protections,” says Mr Dunmore.
“Hundreds of submissions by residents against the original plan were discarded by KCDC. These submitters will have to start again and will not be allowed to challenge any aspects of the plan that KCDC chooses not to reopen, even if they limit the right to protect one’s own property against coastal hazards.”
“The High Court decision is disappointing, because the process remains unfair and the KCDC juggernaut can now proceed as planned. But Courts cannot rule on what is fair, only on what is lawful.
“CRU will participate in the future process for developing coastal hazard rules, as far as we are allowed to.”
(Contact: Paul Dunmore, Chair (04) 902 3126 CRU@dunmore.nz http://cru.org.nz)