Community Supports Move Forward on PDP
Council today chose the way forward on the Proposed District Plan (PDP), embracing an option which allows it to engage closely with submitters to resolve issues, while withdrawing contentious coastal hazard provisions.
This is 'Option 4' of those recommended by the Independent Review of the PDP. This option, which allows Council to build on all the previous work done, and also makes full use of important input from submitters, was favoured over Option 3, which would have involved scrapping the Proposed District Plan and starting again. The option of progressing the Plan in partnership with submitters was strongly endorsed by several submitters representing key groups including business, the rural sector and iwi.
- Liz Koh, Chair of the Kapiti Coast Chamber of Commerce, said the business community was pleased Council was taking on board the strong support from business for Option 4. A member survey showed around 69% of responses supported continuing the PDP process with modifications.
- A group of rural submitters has written to the Mayor, giving qualified support for Option 4. The group says it wants to work constructively with Council and is also mindful of the potential cost of starting the process again.
- The three iwi in the Community have also endorsed Option 4. In letters to the Chief Executive they said, "the time and effort invested into the plan will not be wasted", "to begin the process again would burden the ratepayers with unreasonable costs", and "[Option 4] makes best use of the investment to date".
Regulatory Management Committee Chair Diane Ammundsen says Option 4 allows Council to proceed with the PDP on the basis of a six-month period of submitter consultation and workshops, before any formal pre-hearings and hearings begin.
"This is expected to be the most efficient, quickest and most cost-effective option. Most importantly, it is strongly favoured by significant parts of the Community."
The Independent Planning Review prepared by Sylvia Allan and Richard Fowler QC provided further legal advice on how to clarify which rules have immediate legal effect, which results in a substantial reduction in the rules listed as having legal effect. Council staff are now preparing to make those changes.
Council has also chosen to accept the recommendations of the expert coastal panel which recommended further research needed to be done on coastal erosion hazards.
Cr Ammundsen says that Council will now formally withdraw all the coastal hazard provisions of the PDP and will commit to a two-to-three year programme of scientific and engineering research.
"While withdrawing the coastal hazard provisions, we still recognise we have an issue in parts of the Kāpiti coastline. The programme over the next few years will enable us to better understand the risks and develop a full range of management options where necessary, in partnership with key stakeholders."
Council decided to form a Coastal Advisory Group (CAG) comprised of statutory agencies and Community representatives to guide Council's future work programme in consultation with the community.
Mayor Ross Church says this Community support is a vote of confidence that Council is on the right track. "We are moving forward again and are doing so with firm goals in mind."