Swimming to the Swimming Pool
Recently I made a brief submission to the Thames-Coromandel District Council’s public forum suggesting that the proposed site for the sub-regional aquatic centre at the Thames airfield was unlikely to obtain consent under the Resource Management Act.
I’ve now written a more detailed legal opinion about the aquatic centre proposal and forwarded this to the Mayor and Chief Executive of TCDC.
In the opinion I have carefully considered the objectives and policies in the New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement 2010, the relationship of that statement to the RMA, recent decisions of the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal, and Environment Court, and the 2017 Guidance on Coastal Hazards provided by the Department of Conservation and the Ministry for the Environment.
In my opinion, it is highly improbable that the proposal will be consented under the RMA because of the future risks from coastal and groundwater flooding due to sea level rise.
I have therefore strongly urged the Thames-Coromandel District Council to find another site for the proposed sub-regional aquatic centre.
It’s quite a long read , but if you want the abridged version the opinion considered –
- the King Salmon decision of the Supreme Court confirmed the primacy of the New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement 2010 and provided an authoritative definition of “avoid” and other keywords and phrases
- the RJ Davidson Trust decision of the Court of Appeal confirms that where the NZCPS is invoked the principles in King Salmon apply to resource consents
- Objective 5 and Policy 25 of the New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement (in particular but also other relevant Policies)
- the Environment Court decision in Gallagher v Tasman District Council considered coastal inundation, the efficacy of a seawall, the NZCPS, and the principles in King Salmon
- the 2017 Guidance on Coastal Hazards provided by both the Department of Conservation, and the Ministry for the Environment.
In my opinion, when these strands are drawn together and applied to the proposed Thames airfield aquatic centre site, it is highly improbable that the proposal will be consented under the RMA.
I also wrote a column in the Hauraki Herald.
If you would like to delve further into coastal hazard issues check out the Video page on my blog and the Resources page which contains links to all of the important coastal hazard planning documents.