LAKE STRUCTURE CONSENTS UPDATE 11 MARCH 2022
Regional Council has now completed the ‘Notification determinisation’ for Rotoiti. What does this mean?
1. ‘Less than minor adverse cultural effects’ existing lake structures will be ‘non-notified’. Council will work progressively through sending draft conditions to applicants, and if accepted, a 30 year Consent will be issued. See the Note below explaining a change to the Review Condition compared to Rotoma’s Consents (they were the first Lake processed). However, even with this change, we anticipate most applicants will be happy with a 30 year consent, and will agree to the conditions. The new consent will be effective from the date issued, not the expiry date of the previous consent, another good outcome. Applicants will be billed for any balance of fees owing.
2. ‘Minor/more than minor adverse cultural effects’ structures will be ‘limited-notified’ to TALT and local Iwi, commencing very soon. They have 20 working days to make submissions about the application. We are advised that applicants are informed when notification is made. Council will consider any submission received, and prepare draft Conditions for consideration by TALT. Depending on the issues raised and decisions sought (such as mitigations) in the submissions, Council may facilitate discussions between applicants and submitters and/or progress to a hearing if submissions are received and submitters wish to be heard.
3. Non-notified Conditions - Rotoma Consents had a Review clause allowing Council to review consent conditions every 5 years if they consider the structure has any adverse effect on the environment, but Council have changed this to allow a review to be considered annually. LRCA has advised Council that this is a significant change, but they advise this is now their standard approach. We understand reviews are very rare.
4. Lake ownership acknowledgement - Since commencing this update, LRCA has been informed by Council that during discussions with TALT in respect of remaining Tarawera consents, the following draft condition has been developed for all remaining consents.
“To acknowledge tangata whenua’s relationship with the lake and Te Arawa Lakes Trust’s ownership of the lakebed the consent holder is required to provide within 1 year of this consent being granted, written evidence of their attempt at engagement with Te Arawa Lakes Trust to obtain written acknowledgement that the structure is located on lakebed owned by Te Arawa and existed prior to the 2006 Te Arawa Lakebed Settlement”.
Having been informed of this new draft condition, and given TALT’s lakebed ownership is enshrined in both the Treaty Settlement deed, and Settlement Act, LRCA has suggested to Council that we draft a standard acknowledgement letter in consultation with Council, that is sent to all applicants which they can then use after consent is granted to complete and send to TALT and forward a copy to Council. We believe this may simplify the process for all parties and we will update you if this approach is adopted.
* non-notified applications for Tarawera are being issued 30 year Consents as in 1 above.
* limited-notified applications are awaiting TALT’s response to the draft conditions sent to them, after Council consideration of the submissions received.
* A Hearing was scheduled for the applications with ‘significant adverse cultural effects’ at Kariri Point/Boat Shed bay, but was delayed due to Covid.
6 UNCONSENTED STRUCTURES Some owners applied to have unconsented existing structures (like retaining walls) included in their new consent. We understand that Council is seeking proof that these structures existed before the Settlement. If requested, dated photographs, may be sufficient, or perhaps a signed statement from a long-standing neighbour attesting to its existence.
* We will continue to monitor progress with the Consent Applications, and to liaise with Council as appropriate.
* We have requested that LRCA be included in any pre-hearing discussions with TALT, in an endeavour to assist resolution of any hurdles for the Rotoiti limited-notified applications.
* Of course, applicants will be free to deal directly with any specific issues that may arise for their structure/s.
* We will keep our membership appropriately informed
* Please contact us if you have any queries.