Bay of Plenty Regional Council Releases Resource Consent Numbers
Friday, 8 August 2014 5:00 p.m.
The Chairman of the Bay of Plenty Regional Council, Douglas Leeder, announced today that the Council had received in excess of 150 submissions from the public on the Application made by the Astrolabe Community Trust to leave the remains of the MV Rena wreck in situ on Otaiti (Astrolabe Reef). Submissions closed today at 5 pm and the Council said it would make all submissions public once each of them had been checked.
“We hope to have all submissions received loaded onto www.renaresourceconsent.org.nz by Monday of next week,” Mr Leeder said.
The Council also released its own submission which had been lodged by 5 pm today.
“It is likely that the Applicants intend to seek a direct referral to the Environment Court and they have until Friday 15 August to request that referral. Our submission preserves our rights to be an active participant should the Application be referred. That way we can also advocate on behalf of our residents, separately from our statutory responsibility to prepare our technical report advising the Court,” Mr Leeder said.
In its submission the Council has focused on seeking stringent consent conditions should the consent be eventually granted by the Consenting Authority, but has not taken a stand in favour of or against the Application for Resource Consent.
“We want to ensure that any consent conditions imposed are robust and that we carry out our statutory obligations under the Local Government Act 2002 and the Maritime Transport Act 1994.”
Mr Leeder also noted that the ongoing programme of work to clean up the debris field would take a considerable period of time, regardless of the outcome of and time taken by the consenting process.
“This work will continue as we move to the next stage of the resource consent process, which is the compilation and summary of the submissions received. If the Application becomes a matter for the Environment Court, then the role of our Council as regulatory authority is to be an adviser to that Court.”
Mr Leeder said that following any Application received to refer to the Environment Court, the Council would have 15 days to consider the referral and a further 20 days to get its technical report finalised.
“This is a lengthy process but it is necessary to ensure that all submissions receive careful consideration and attention, “ he said.
Further information is available on renaresourceconsent.org.nz.