Hearing – Plan Change 2: Intensification
A public hearing is legally required as part of the Proposed Plan Change 2: Intensification (PC2). The hearing is held by Kāpiti Coast District Council, where an independent hearings panel (IHP) considers the proposed plan change. Anyone who ticked that they wished to be heard on their submission, or further submission, can speak directly to the IHP at the hearing.
See Part 6 of Schedule 1 to the Resource Management Act to read all the legal process requirements for this plan change.
Once the hearing has closed, the IHP will write their PC2 recommendations report. This report will be presented to Council (the Mayor and councillors), who’ll decide to accept or reject the IHP’s PC2 recommendations.
See the timeline for PC2. The hearing is scheduled for 20–24 and 27–31 March 2023.
Watch the hearing on our livestream.
The hearing will be held at the following times and locations:
9am–5pm each day, Monday 20 March–Wednesday 29 March 2023
Kāpiti Sports Turf Pavilion
10 Scaife Drive, Paraparaumu
9am–5pm each day, Thursday 30 March–Friday 31 March 2023
90 Mill Road, Ōtaki
See the Notice of hearing for further details.
Independent hearings panel
An IHP is made up of commissioners who are both:
- independent of Council
- accredited under the Making Good Decisions programme.
Find out who the PC2 Independent Hearing Panel are.
The IHP makes decisions about how the hearing will be run. It issues its directions through ‘minutes’. Minute No 1 from the PC2 IHP outlines procedural matters for the hearing, including:
- the commissioners for the plan change
- important timing deadlines
- hearing dates
- the Council hearing administrator’s contact details.
See all the PC2 Minutes issued by the IHP.
The hearing administrator:
- helps the IHP with administration
- arranges the hearing schedule
- provides updates about the hearing
- helps with any questions submitters have about the hearing process
- often takes minutes during the hearing.
The hearing administrator can be contacted by emailing [email protected].
At the hearing
Who can attend
People you might expect to attend the hearing include:
- the Independent Hearing Panel
- Council officer (either Council staff or consultant), to present the Council’s report
- other Council officers or consultants, to give technical advice on behalf of Council
- Council’s legal counsel
- hearing administrator (there may be one or two)
- submitters, including any of their support people, lawyers, and technical experts.
The PC2 hearing will be public, unless the IHP indicate otherwise, so members of the public or media may be present. Unless people have made a submission and asked in that submission to be heard, they won’t be invited to speak.
Standard hearing procedure for PC2
Hearings for plan changes follow the same basic structure:
- The IHP Chair welcomes everyone and the hearing is opened with a karakia.
- The IHP introduce themselves first, followed by Council officers, and submitters. Often everyone present (including observers) introduces themselves too, giving their name and reason for being at the hearing.
- The Chair outlines how the hearing will run; this might include the order of business, who may speak, and at what time.
- Council reporting staff and consultants speak to their reports and evidence. They will also have the opportunity to reply to matters raised during the hearing.
- Submitters speak to their submissions.
- Hearing is closed or adjourned, often finishing with a karakia. The IHP issue their recommendations report to Council.
Note: Hearings that go for a number of days will often open and close each day with a karakia. Introductions may also be done daily, or a list of submitters run through to see who is present.
Council must give at least 10 working days’ notice of the dates, times, and places of the hearing to every person who made a submission or further submissions, and who requested to be heard and who has not since within drawn such request. This is outlined in clause 8B, Schedule 1 of the RMA.
You might find the following helpful to prepare for the hearing:
- Prepare a written statement or notes to refer to while you speak. If you prepare a written statement or notes, the Hearings Administrator may ask for a copy of this at the hearing, to help prepare accurate minutes.
- Expand on your submission, but do not introduce new issues or subject matter.
- Keep your statement simple, with key points. This can be more effective than a long-winded statement. Remember you only have a certain amount of allocated speaking time – this is often outlined in a minute issued by the IHP before the hearing, or at the start of the hearing.
Speaking at the hearing
This is your opportunity to speak to the panel on your submission. The IHP will have already read your submission, and as outlined in Minute No 1, the IHP have asked for submissions not to be read. Instead, an executive summary could be read out or key points highlighted.
Who can speak
To speak at the hearing, you must have selected “to be heard” as part of your submission or further submission on PC2.
What you might speak about
This is your opportunity to expand on the points in your submission, or to present and talk to the evidence supporting your submission. Your statement might include:
- examples of the points in your submission
- comments on recommendations in the Council officer’s report
- points raised in other submissions – this is usually done if you’ve made a further submission.
Speak slowly and clearly, so you can be easily understood.
Once you’ve finished, the IHP will often ask you questions about your submission, statement, or presented evidence. Any information you share during the hearing will be on the public record, and often hearings are video recorded with written minutes taken.
As outlined in Minute No 1 (paragraph 29), the hearing administrator will prepare a schedule of submitters’ speaking times.
Evidence is anything that backs up your statement. This can be oral, written, or visual – you can use photographs or drawings as evidence. Speaking to your experience or situation can also be evidence. You’re also welcome to have your own legal or technical experts present evidence; these experts will need to be appointed at your own cost. If you do choose to have legal or technical experts present evidence, they’ll need to provide their evidence to the panel before the hearing. Minute No 1 shows the timeframe for pre-circulating expert evidence to the panel.
Speaking as a group
You can choose to speak as a group, or as ‘presenting a joint case’. This is an opportunity to band together with likeminded submitters and can be an option if you’re not comfortable speaking in public.
You’re welcome to bring your friend, family, or support person with you to a hearing. If you prefer, you can have someone else speak on your behalf or read your written statement during your allocated speaking time. You’ll need to confirm this with the hearing administrator ahead of time.
At the start of the hearing, the IHP Chair will outline who can speak and when. Generally only members of the IHP can ask questions of people presenting, and they’ll usually allow for questions or clarifications during your submitter speaking time.
For the PC2 hearing the panel may, at their discretion, allow someone (such as a submitter, the Council, or experts) to question another party or witness. The IHP may also allow cross-examination if requested, but only if the IHP is satisfied it’s in the interests of justice. If this is allowed, the IHP can regulate how the cross-examination is done.
Cost to speak at the hearing
Submitters are not charged or paid to speak at or attend a hearing. If a submitter wishes to have their own lawyers or technical experts, they must cover this cost themselves.
Presenting statements in te reo Māori
Council recognises tikanga Māori and allows submissions and evidence to be presented in te reo Māori. If you would like to do this, you’ll need to contact the hearing administrator ahead of time, so Council has reasonable time to appoint an interpreter.
The hearing will be held in person, but you can speak virtually if you have a good reason, or to meet COVID-19 needs.