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Commissioners appointed for Rena consent hearing

Friday, 30 January 2015 3:00 p.m.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council has appointed four Commissioners to hear the application from the Rena owners for a resource consent to leave part of the wreck on Astrolabe Reef (Otaiti).

The hearing panel will be chaired by retired Environment Court judge Gordon Whiting, with Cultural Commissioner Rauru Kirikiri, marine engineer John Lumsden and environmental scientist Dr Shane Kelly.

Regional Council Deputy Chief Executive Eddie Grogan said now the Commissioners had been appointed, dates, a venue and requirements for the hearing would be confirmed by the end of February.

Judge Whiting has extensive experience in resource management law. He has presided over a number of significant resource management cases involving conflicting uses of public and private interests. Judge Whiting chaired Boards of Inquiry for New Zealand King Salmon, Te Mihi Geothermal Power Station and Tauhara II Geothermal Power Station applications.

Cultural Commissioner Rauru Kirikiri has extensive experience on a wide range of Māori cultural issues, and is an experienced consent Commissioner. He is of Te Whānau-ā-Apanui descent, and has experience in science research project management and facilitation, as well as undertaking postings for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to Washington, Suva and London.

Marine engineer John Lumsden has extensive dive experience, managing freshwater and marine investigations which include a deep water diving inspection of the Māui gas platform. He is an experienced Hearing Commissioner on a wide range of applications including port development, coastal works, discharges and mining.

Environmental scientist Dr Shane Kelly has a diverse range of experience across applied science, environmental assessment, marine conservation and resource management with extensive experience providing technical advice on the effects of numerous coastal and land use activities to both the public and private sector.

He has managed major research, monitoring and strategic projects that have spanned most of  New Zealand’s coastline and main harbours and is the Honorary Academic Associate of the University of Auckland’s Leigh Marine Laboratory.

Mount Maunganui