Council Confirm Removal of Mana Whenua Overlay

ContactLee Short, Chairman
Democracy Action
09 281 5173
[email protected]

Auckland, Aug 10, 2016 - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

After 18 months of hard work by hundreds of members and supporters, Democracy Action is celebrating Auckland Council’s decision to accept the recommendations of the Independent Hearings Panel to remove all of the Mana Whenua provisions from Auckland’s Unitary Plan.

Democracy Action’s Chairman, Lee Short, who was at today’s Council meeting, says, “The Council has rejected the recommendation from officials to keep the Mana Whenua overlay. That means sites of cultural significance will need to be properly verified before they are included in future overlays.”

“Democracy Action’s volunteers have spent thousands of hours working for this result – including visiting hundreds of the sites the Council had claimed were significant. The Council never bothered to check the sites, and we exposed that the Mana Whenua overlay was protecting sites including an old rubbish dump, an industrial storage site and even a subdivision.”

Earlier this afternoon the Council accepted the recommendation to remove the controversial “Cultural Impact Assessment” requirements, which officials agreed with the Hearings Panel should be removed from the Unitary Plan.

“Common sense has prevailed,” says Mr Short.