City Vision Media Release
29 July, 2011
At the Auckland Council meeting yesterday City Vision Local Board Chairs Shale Chambers and Dr Peter Haynes delivered a firm message to the Governing Body of Council by saying “please allow Local Boards to be the eyes and ears of the local community in regulatory matters.”
The Governing Body deliberated on a report to Council on the powers of delegation to Local Boards on regulatory matters, and Board Chairs from across the region addressed the Council.
Waitemata Local Board Chair Shale Chambers sadly lamented the non- notified decision made under officer delegations in 2009 on a discretionary resource consent that permitted the demolition of one of the oldest buildings in Ponsonby Road at number 81, and the substantial modification of the fairy shop at number 79 Ponsonby Road.
Says Mr Chambers “Our character and heritage buildings were protected by being in a Conservation Area and this fact was totally ignored in the Council process. The regulatory system that will forever spoil these cherished character and heritage buildings in Ponsonby Road, is the very same system that Council officers recommended Council cement into law”.
He added ‘”My contention is that the only arm of council best placed as the eyes and ears of the Community are the Local Boards under the new structure. To carry out that role requires both access to information, and an input into Council processes. That is currently missing from the proposals before you at below the plan input point, and above the significant notified resource consent point.
The Council debate was over 3 hours long, and after the meeting Albert Eden Local Board Chair Dr Haynes said “We’re pleased to have some meaningful input into the resource consenting process. We’re grateful to Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse for proposing this. But we still won’t be able to make submissions, as the former community boards could. So we won’t be celebrating with champagne.” Continued Dr Haynes “I know many of the people in our area will want us to represent them by making submissions, but we won’t be able to. In our area, we’re still seeing officials taking a narrow approach to the criteria around notifyingconsents, even under the new Council. I still have concerns about who will be holding officials to account. Local boards are best placed to do this, and we need to be involved in that process.
Shale Chambers, Chair, Waitemata Local Board, 027 476 5284
Peter Haynes, Chair, Albert Eden Local Board, 021 072