Auckland Council’s hastily put together draft Unitary Plan was notified on 30 September. With this notification, certain parts of the plan have become operational. Anecdotal evidence suggests this has resulted in significant problems and costs for ratepayers needing Resource Consents.

Layers and Layers of Controls

Restrictions have been placed on people’s private property without any certainty as to the basis or the consequences of these.  These restrictions cover extensive pockets of residential, commercial and public land in Auckland. These are depicted in the following overlays contained within the AUP:

  • Sites and Places of Significance to Mana Whenua (i.e. “traditional authority over an area”).
  • Sites and Places of Value to Mana Whenua.*
  • Significant Ecological Areas (SEAs)
  • Outstanding Natural Features
  • Outstanding Natural Landscapes
  • Outstanding and High Natural Character and Coastal Areas

Many of these sites have been farmed, subdivided, built on and planted by their owners for generations. The features suddenly needing new levels of protection are often not explained in any way.
* Note: 3,600 of the above sites of value/significance have appeared, with more to come.

Iwi Approvals Required

Should landowners want to do anything on such a site and thus need a Resource Consent, they are first obliged to engage with Iwi to see if they consider there’s a need for a Cultural Impact Assessment (CIA) or an Archaeological Assessment (AA). Iwi approval may be required for any removal of native vegetation, even if it is only a tiny plant.

The Council will give the landowner the Iwi Authority contacts to engage with. There could be any number of these. Six is not unheard of and 12 are possible in some areas. This is on the basis that the Resource Consent process can’t start until landowners have obtained CIAs or alternatively, written confirmation that none was necessary from each of the nominated Iwi Authorities.

Anecdotal evidence is that the process is messy, undefined and dodgy – For example:

  • This takes considerable time. Reportedly it is taking several weeks or months for Iwi Authorities to reply to a landowner’s initial approach. In some cases, they do not reply at all.
  • Some Iwi Authorities will want all the Resource Consent documentation. They may also ask for an Archaeological Assessment costing thousands of dollars for a site that isn’t even considered a Significant Heritage Area. Even if the Council advises that this is not required, Iwi still have the authority to insist.
  • Each Iwi Authority comes up with its own costs for these services. Some figures quoted by individual Iwi have been $nil, $450, $1,500 + GST or from $1,500 +GST upwards. One couple found they could be spending up to $10,000 among several Iwi Authorities when it was still unclear whether any assessment was necessary at all. This even before paying for the official Resource Consent.
  • In one case a representative of an Iwi Authority asked that the payment be made into a personal bank account, with no invoice nor mention of documentation.
  • The number of Iwi Authorities with actual historic links to the site can be questionable. There have been reports that some Iwi are displeased that other tribes are involved.
  • While an ‘engagement’ may be all about one issue (trees, for instance), Iwi can still take the opportunity to examine the site for any evidence of a Maori presence, e.g. middens, terraces, etc. Any such discovery would, of course, expand the whole process.

Where Does Council Stand on This?

Nobody in the Auckland Council seems to know what is involved or how much the process should cost.

  • Council staff don’t even know which are the relevant Iwi Authorities to approach for a CIA, nor if they have the correct contact details, let alone whether the contacts are qualified to perform assessments.
  • The tribes have no regulations or guidelines to follow, or limits on the fees they can charge.
  • It is reported that some Council staff are concerned, and feel the process is unreasonable. They recommend Aucklanders make a submission on the Unitary Plan (by 28th February) in an effort to get some improvement to this process.

Call This a Democracy?

These layers of private property restrictions have been slipped into Auckland’s bylaws without any explanation of what they are, and what they are protecting. There has been no community education and discussion about them, let alone any mandate given to impose them.  Most Aucklanders wouldn’t have a clue whether their properties are affected.

These restrictions give Iwi Authorities undefined, unspecified rights to come onto private properties, search around for something/anything, make recommendations about what can or can’t happen there, and charge as they see fit.  This situation affects well-established residential properties as well as new ones.

Please Help!

There’s a last opportunity to prevent this flawed plan being set in stone – submissions close 28 February 2014.

The Plan is on the Auckland Council website and in hard copy at some Auckland libraries and Council offices. Unfortunately, the Plan is not clear, nor easy to navigate or understand.

A sample submission form will be available for downloading from soon.

16 thoughts on “What’s Actually Going On in Auckland Council?

  1. It would be nice if we had a Council with enough intestinal fortitude to overrule this ridiculous legislation that gives a small minority the right to determine the lives of the vast majority – and charge for that privilege.
    If we had a party at the next election who stood for the status quo on most council matters, but pledged to remove all unreasonable Maori/Treaty nonsense, they would be in with a landslide.
    Unfortunately, it is, as usual, a case of “someone else is sure to do it”……..

  2. How utterly ridiculous and expensive. It sounds a total disaster/nightmare to me. As for Iwi overseeing anything – get real. What on earth do they know and what are they there for apart from going through the motions and holding their hands out. How they must be laughing at us and how weak kneed and condescening we are.

    Equality under the law for all needs to happen quickly and all racist racial legislation deleted forthwith!! We virtually have apartheid in this country. Someone in authority needs to wake up and do something about bringing this country back on an even keel instead of all the fairy tale stuff that is increasingly going on.

    1. Don’t feel too safe just because you are not in Auckland. They are looking at rolling this nonsense out through the rest of the country. In fact I hear the process has already been started in the Bay of Plenty and that Hawke’s Bay’s turn is not far off. We all need to be vigilent and protest this as much as possible!

  3. PC gone mad. I am so glad that I left Auckland decades ago. The worry is that this sort of BS will become S.O.P. for the rest of the country.

  4. As far as I know, only the Conservative Party have a firm policy to remove all such racism from all legislation, and abolition of these unelected Maori bodies such as that attached to the Auckland City Council. This matter is so important that if you intend to vote at the next election only one policy matters,and you must vote Conservative.

  5. Actually you’re right Peter. If they want it all so bad, let them have it.
    I’d give them 20 years at a generous tops, and we will be where we were 200 odd years ago; with them begging another country to look after them.
    “Please colonize us; we want your technology, your knowledge, your money, your food, your clothing, your weapons, your protection, your power . . .”
    Even with billions of tax-payer dollars being channeled into iwi they still can’t provide adequate food, clothing, housing, and education for their own part-Maori community.

  6. I don’t know what you mean by “legislation.
    Who is supposed to have passed all this supposed legislation which gives all these “rights’
    Legislation can only come from Parliament.
    It cannot come about from some unknown self elected source.
    If that were possible I could make up laws or “legislation’
    So could anyone in the street. !!!!!
    There is a bit of real legitimate legislation and that is this.
    I as the owner of a property have the right to ask anyone entering onto my land to leave. If he does not I can call the Police and have him arrested for trespass which is against the law. The real law that is, not some BS that somebody made up.

    1. Wake up – the Council have the right to enter your property any time they like under a number of pretexts, such as ‘inspections’ to see if they are missing out on a bit of revenue for some dreamt-up consent. Local authorities can enact any by laws they wish, and your rights have no weight at all.

  7. The Weasel Len loves this. He is responsible. That’s where his ‘Brown’ vote comes from.
    Get real, people, this is neither circus nor fairy-tale – it is very deliberate, well planned and focused. It has been going on for years, bit by bit and is far from finished.
    We are not ‘kiwi’ We have proved to be what the Aussies have always believed – just a herd of sheep.

  8. You do not need to be a conspiracy nut to see what is happening in NZ.
    First, it was to recognize Maori grievances since 1840. They got their Waitangi Tribunal.
    Then it was claims to share in the frequency spectrum, air space, water rights and naming rights of landmarks.
    With each agreement, more expansive demands were made.
    Now it is co-governance of rivers and apparently even the NZ’s biggest city is not exempt. What is next??

    Remember Germany and the rise of Hitler.The citizens quietly accepted each encroachment on their rights with little or no protest.

  9. It would make the mafia proud! The Government has legalised a corruptible structure and it appears our council/government politicians and employees are too focussed on collecting their generous taxpayer-funded pay packets to make an sort of stand. Pathetic really.

  10. Our democracy is dying and is slowly but surely being usurped by neo-tribalism, run by self appointed, unaccountable nonentities. Who else but apathetic New Zealanders would allow this to happen with little more than a moan in the smoko room after first checking no Maoris are within ear-shot?
    We really deserve everything we get.

  11. Robert said it all…but its not that easy to fight these grops…I venture to do so concerning the coastal grab..I was at the hearings in front of the committee made up of virtually all Maori..I was allowed to speak but there was absolutely no respect given to me and in fact was made to feel like “what has this got to do with you its our land etc etc…in fact most of them were talking to each other whilst I was talking…but it was, as you all well know, to no avail, they got the coastline.for indept info check out the Murial Newman website on all things Maori.its real.

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