In last month’s update we reported on the cost of iwi consent, under the RMA, being taken to a new level with the Lyttelton Port Company’s large payment to Ngai Tahu hapū of $675,000 over 25 years. This has already been topped - the Horowhenua District Council’s Chief Executive has agreed to provide at least $880,500 to Te Runanga o Raukawa provided it did not object to a wastewater scheme. See the Kapiti Independent news report here.
But it’s not just the size of the pay-outs that is growing. The size of the areas designated ‘wahi taonga’ (sites of significance), appear to be growing exponentially too. For instance, one site in the Hawkes bay covers 506ha, and another 70ha.
Unsatisfied with what the council is prepared to allow on these sites, as well as another six designated wahi taonga, a Hawkes Bay iwi group is opposing the proposed district plan of Hastings District Council, claiming that any activity on a wāhi taonga site should require resource consent unless it was specifically exempted. The iwi group also said there was no limit on the size of a wāhi taonga.
For more information on the appeal heard in the Environment Court, see Dominion Post article here