Plans, policies and reports
Hauraki Gulf Islands review
Issues and options papers
The regional policy statement is the primary instrument by which the integrated management of a region's significant resources is to be achieved. Therefore, both regional plans and District Plans must comply with it. Non-statutory documents such as The Rakino Way and Essentially Waiheke are adopted Council policy and have widespread support amongst the community. However, while desirable, there is no requirement for territorial authorities to have regard to non-statutory documents when preparing a District Plan.
Section 104(1)(c) of the Resource Management Act allows consideration of any other matter the consent authority considers relevant and reasonably necessary to determine the application. While it may be appropriate to consider non-statutory documents when assessing a resource consent application, there is no requirement for the consent authority to do so.
The main purpose of 'Essentially Waiheke - A Village and Rural Communities Strategy' is to establish a community-approved framework for Waiheke's development and to signpost directions towards a sustainable future, where opportunities for development are facilitated and the Island's community values and outstanding natural environment are respected and nurtured.
Concerned residents have queried some planning decisions they considered contrary to Essentially Waiheke. Questions have been asked about whether it would be possible to include reference to Essentially Waiheke or The Rakino Way in the Hauraki Gulf Islands District Plan through a plan change or the review process.
However, the recent Environment Court decision No. A054/2004 notes that extreme caution must be taken in referring to documents in a District Plan that have not been through the processes of the First Schedule of the RMA, and which could at any time be changed without any reference to those processes.
Furthermore, given the broad nature and wording of documents such as Essentially Waiheke, if they were to be included or referenced in the District Plan it is unlikely that they would restrict some of the developments that have caused concern to residents.
The Local Government Act (LGA) provides an alternative statutory process that the Council can use to control various matters. For example, signs are controlled through the Part 27 - Signs of the Consolidated Bylaw, which is managed through the LGA. Is the LGA an appropriate vehicle for dealing with non-Resource Management Act documents such as those identified above?
You may have a better or alternative approach to those outlined below. If so, we would like to hear from you.
While this issue paper can be read in isolation, it is best read in association with the issue papers relating to: