2GP commissioner appears to tell Council the outcome before hearings commence #hazardzones

David Benson-Pope [dunedintv.co.nz] 1.jpgCr David Benson-Pope is the chairman of the council’s Planning and Regulatory Committee.

This week Benson-Pope has been named as one of the councillor hearing commissioners for the Proposed 2GP.

At the full Council meeting held on Monday, 30 November last year, this report was tabled:

Report – Council – 30/11/2015 (PDF, 553.9 KB)
Infrastructure Performance During June 2015 Flood Event

In discussion of the item, Councillors provided individual views on low-lying land, flood conditions and future assistance for affected property owners.

Cr Benson-Pope was observed to say:
(confirmed by today’s YouTube release of the video record of the meeting)

2:54:38
“It is this Council’s policy that sea level rise and global warming exist, and I don’t think it’s useful for Councillors to keep propagating the myth that it’s all someone’s fantasy.”

Cr Benson-Pope continued:

2:58:47
“The other issue around this, of course …. is the fact that a lot of these issues are already being addressed in an incremental way over a longer term by the discussions that are happening now as part of the second generation plan, and I am hopeful as we all should be that the regulations and suggestions that are incorporated in that document will hold through the public process, so that management of the issue can be as good as it possibly can.”

Dunedin City Council Published on Dec 7, 2015
Dunedin City Council – Council Meeting – November 30 2015

Cr Benson-Pope appears to be telling the Mayor and Councillors, and the general public, what in his view the outcome of the review of the district plan (2GP) should be.

Like the seasoned politician he is I expect the Councillor will look to the symantics and tell us that was not at all the impression he intended to give in the heat of the moment.

But, People, he said it. Let’s think about that. Predetermined.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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16 Comments

Filed under Business, Climate change, Construction, DCC, Democracy, District Plan, Dunedin, Economics, Geography, Heritage, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, People, Politics, Property, Proposed 2GP, Resource management, Site, Town planning, Urban design, What stadium

16 responses to “2GP commissioner appears to tell Council the outcome before hearings commence #hazardzones

  1. Hype O'Thermia

    He’s a bit of a dag though eh Calvin!
    “It is this Council’s policy that sea level rise and global warming exist….”

    Evidence be buggered, it’s our POLICY! Now sit down and shut up while I bestow upon you the rest of my wisdom. First, eating carrots will give you night vision……..
    WRITE IT DOWN, Oaten. Any more arguing from you and you know what will happen.

  2. Anonymous

    Grounds for immediate disqualification as a Commissioner.
    Any elected or appointed public official who makes public comments in their capacity PRIOR to a hearing, cannot be said to be impartial.

  3. Diane Yeldon

    Interesting legal issues with planning, many of which DCC councillors, even when acting as planning commisioners may not be aware of. I have attended only a couple of planning hearings in Dunedin and was interested to learn that, while a planning hearing is public, there were restrictions on my being permitted to record the proceedings. So i asked the DCC in-house lawyer who was advising me whether such restriction didn’t limit public scrutiny. She said that the planning decision always included full reasons as to why the commissioners had decided on that particular outcome.
    I suppose if DCC planning decisions are archived, it would be possible to go back and critique how well the various planning commisioners had been doing their job. Also look at how often they are subject to appeals to the Environment Court. When i look at ODT comments, it often seems to me that people think planning commisioners can refuse a resource consent just because they don’t like the look of something, on a whim or a fancy. But really they have to be deciding whether an application complies with the Dunedin District Plan – which raises the question of why not leave these decisions to properly qualified professionals since it can all be so complicated. But then people would be being controlled by nanagerialism not governed by democracy. I don’t know. Both options can look just as bad as the other!

    • Diane Yeldon

      Actually I wonder whether it is legal or appropriate for the DCC to have a policy on climate change at all. They could hardly contradict any central government policy on it. So since their policy would have to be consistent with that of central government to the point of being identical, having the policy at all seems superfluous.

      • Hype O'Thermia

        Isn’t it a bit like having a policy on gravity? The climate has always changed, there is indisputable evidence in written records, fossils, pollens, sea shells and so on, the geological record of what’s been going down on this planet isn’t fiction.
        Anthropogenic (human-induced) climate change – that’s not a matter of fact, it’s a matter of faith. I suspect DB-P may be saying this is what is council policy, like Church of England is the, uhh, church of England. Except that other religions are also recognised and respected in England, not everyone has to believe in the CofE version of god nor practice its associated rituals.

        • Don’t fossils show that waters receded? I’m not sure how the shells of North Canterbury are connected to climate change. Anyhow, fundamentalists say fossils were laid down at Creation just 6,000 years ago, as a frippery. Like your comments on Anglo faiths. ‘Merrie England’ was in the time of the ‘Old Faith’. Dont mention the (30 Years) War.

    • Elizabeth

      Diane, you say “But really they [planning commissioners] have to be deciding whether an application complies with the Dunedin District Plan”.

      This is a bit simplistic, to reduce the hearing of a resource consent application to a decision about whether it complies with the (proper name) Dunedin City District Plan.

      Familiarise with the Resource Management Act, the Otago Regional policy statements, and the potential impinging raft of other legislation (acts, statutes, bylaws etc) that may come to bear for the commissioners’ consideration.

      A decision is rather more complex in its distillations and reach. Attend more hearings, read more decisions – rather than merely “record” (what on earth?). Delve into the established body of literature that exists for resource management practice in this country, including Environment Court and High Court rulings and the effects of legal precedent. That will keep you busy a long while before seeking to nail DCC on “process” if that is your want, isolated from any direct participation in the actual hearing processes themselves. Flabbergasted. Maybe I got out of bed on the wrong side today! But please get past the word ‘managerialism’, it’s making you sneeze.

  4. Elizabeth

    SITE NOTICE

    A comment by a contributor to this thread was removed by the Site Owner today. The subject of the comment had requested the removal by a direct approach to the author which included first going onto the author’s suburban property early this morning to deliver, it appears, the resident’s newspaper to their door. This is extremely unconventional.

    If anyone reading this website seeks correction of text or finds themselves offended by strong opinion or assertion, there is a Safer Way to address a request for correction or removal – one that does not risk physical harm or trespass – and that is, to contact the Site Owner directly by email or a direct message via Twitter. Let’s not have a repeat of early morning physical transgressions or over-personalisation in arrival whatever our mental states.
    For all our sakes.

    Cheers

    Elizabeth
    Site Owner

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Uninvited person, not a relative or friend, turns up at private home early in the morning … I would if it happened to me feel bullied and intimidated, and wonder if that is the effect intended. It works for some “debt collectors” (not meaning Baycorp). Large man with or without tattoos… no, definitely not appropriate, though in the case of the “collectors” if you incur drug debts you’re in no position to dispute what’s appropriate. In the case of other people who are peeved with one, they are best advised to stay clear of one’s private dwelling lest their behaviour receive unwanted attention including attention being drawn to the reason for their peevishness.

  5. pb

    I’d like a dollar for every commission where the councillor nods off.

    What went wrong that we allowed these clowns to turn an ordinary old hot day into climate change?

    Who is John Galt.

  6. Anonymous

    Someone went and doorstepped the commenter?
    That’s so provincial.

    Dunedin Online.

  7. Hype O'Thermia

    Anyone for tennis?

    Looks like the day’s clearing up.

  8. Calvin Oaten

    Cr David Benson-Pope in his capacity as chair of the council’s Planning and Regulatory Committee exceeds his brief when he did say, and I quote: “It is this Council’s policy that sea level rise and global warming exist, and I don’t think it’s useful for Councillors to keep propagating the myth that it’s all someone’s fantasy.”

    Further, “The other issue around this, of course …. is the fact that a lot of these issues are already being addressed in an incremental way over a longer term by the discussions that are happening now as part of the second generation plan, and I am hopeful as we all should be that the regulations and suggestions that are incorporated in that document will hold through the public process, so that management of the issue can be as good as it possibility can.”

    Now, there are a number of seriously fraught claims and observations here, which can and will, if carried through, hugely affect the welfare of many of our citizens. I would therefore challenge Cr Benson-Pope to justify those comments and opinions, by producing empirical facts and data in support. It is not sufficient to influence judgements on the people by force of position and assumed superior knowledge when it is patently unsupported by confirmed evidence. This is an example of the worst in local government when one person can seek uncontested, to make policies of preference regardless of the greater good. This is how so many of these recent trimesters’ decisions have landed the city in such financially hazardous territory.

    I await with interest for the Councillor’s response.

    • Elizabeth

      Calvin, naturally I don’t expect the Councillor to appear here in reply – I suggest you take time to address any concerns you have to the Dunedin City Council in a formal communication.

      For your and others’ information from the Proposed 2GP webpages:

      Go to https://2gp.dunedin.govt.nz/2gp/hearings.html

      Who is at a hearing?
      A hearing committee is made up of councillors and/or independent commissioners, one of whom may act as a chairperson. Their role is to listen to information from submitters in support or opposition of a proposal that they have submitted on. Hearings committees are authorised to make decisions on a proposal.

      The hearing committee may be made up of any number of people, and may include elected members (councillors), independent commissioners, or a mix of the two.

      A commissioner is a person appointed by a council to carry out statutory decision-making duties on the council’s behalf, or to serve as an independent adviser to the council in the making of those statutory decisions.

      Commissioners can be delegated powers in respect of making decisions on proposed policy statements, proposed plans, variations or plan changes (however, only Council can approve a proposed plan change, this is not until much later, after the appeals process in the Environment Court have finished).

      Councils have the discretion to decide on who they employ as an independent commissioner, provided they meet the accreditation requirements of section 39A of the Resource Management Act and are not a member (elected representative or staff) of the council.

      A council planner will generally be there to present the council’s report (see section 42A reports) on the proposed plan change. Other council officers, such as urban designers or traffic engineers, might also be there to give technical advice.

      Other submitters submitting on the same aspect of the proposed plan change will probably be there as well. They may have brought an advocate, a lawyer or an expert witness (such as a professional with expertise on a matter which the submitter submitted on).

      A council hearing is usually open to all, so there may be members of the public and media representatives at the hearing. Unless people have made a submission and have asked to be heard, they will not be invited to speak at the hearing.

      Continues….

      From the Quality Planning (NZ) website:

      Go to http://www.qualityplanning.org.nz/index.php/plan-development-components/use-of-commissioners/what-is-a-commissioner

      What is a commissioner?
      A commissioner is a person appointed by a council to carry out statutory decision-making duties on the council’s behalf, or to serve as an independent adviser to the council in the making of those statutory decisions.

      Commissioners may be generally classified as:
      ◾internal commissioners – who are appointed from within a council
      ◾independent commissioners – who are not a member of the council ie appointed from outside the elected members or staff of a council.

      Section 100A of the RMA makes a distinction between elected members and non-elected members, setting out that elected members of the council cannot be independent commissioners.

      Section 100A(4) requires councils to delegate its functions, duties and powers to hear and decide on an application to one or more hearing commissioners who are not members of the council when requested by an applicant, submitter or both. The intent is that this would be an exclusive delegation to independent commissioners only (ie not a mixed panel also containing elected members or staff of council).

      Internal commissioners may either be appointed to act alone, or with other commissioners or elected members of the council (councillors and community board members).

      A council can appoint anyone to be an independent commissioner, but typically those appointed will have relevant skills and experience for the issue being decided (such as in planning, law, surveying, engineering or science). They may also be former councillors who are appointed for their chairing or hearing experience and expertise.

      What decisions can a commissioner make?
      Section 34A of the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) specifies the functions and powers that can be delegated to council employees or other persons such as commissioners. This section leaves the potential powers of commissioners open, referring instead to those powers and functions not able to be delegated.

      Commissioners cannot:
      ◾approve a proposed policy statement or plan; or
      ◾delegate any powers or functions delegated to them.

      These powers are given to a council only.

      Commissioners can be delegated powers in respect of:
      ◾making decisions on proposed policy statements, proposed plans, variations or plan changes (other than approval)
      ◾making decisions on resource consent applications and recommendations on notices of requirement
      ◾making decisions on the notification or non-notification of resource consents
      ◾making decisions in regard to the service of an application
      ◾making decisions on plan changes or variations and on submissions to plan changes (other than declaring a plan change operative)
      ◾reviewing resource consent conditions
      ◾providing advice on technical or procedural matters in assisting councils to make decisions on particular applications.

      Commissioners are able to have any of the powers delegated to them that are delegated to council staff. The following list outlines which delegations can be held by council staff.

      RMA Summary of function delegated:

      Section 10 Power to determine that existing use rights apply to a proposal
      Section 36 (4) Require additional charges
      Section 36 (5) Remission of charges on application
      Section 36AA Discount on an administrative charge
      Section 37 Power to waive or extend time periods
      Section 38 Authorisation of enforcement officers
      Section 87CA Decisions in respect of direct referral
      Section 88 Power to determine on initial receipt of an application, the adequacy of an application and whether or not it should be accepted for further processing as a complete and valid application
      Section 91 Deferral of application pending additional applications
      Section 92 Request further information
      Section 95A Power to decide to notify an application for resource consent. Power to decide not to notify or limited notify an application.
      Section 95B Decisions in respect of the limited notification process
      Section 95C
      Section 95D Notification of consent application after request for further information or reportPower to decide if adverse effects are more than minor
      Section 95E Power to decide who is an affected person
      Section 98 To provide applicants for resource consents with a list of submissions received
      Section 99 Power to initiate pre-hearing meetings
      Section 100 Power to determine that a formal hearing is not needed
      Section 101 Power to fix hearing dates
      Section 102 Power to make a decision to establish a joint hearing provided that prior consultation takes place with the chairperson
      Section 103 Power to decide and arrange the holding of combined hearings where two or more applications are made to the council
      Section 104
      Section 105
      Section 107
      Section 108 To make decisions on applications for resource consents, including determining consent conditions.
      Section 109 Power to decide whether any work the subject of a bond or covenant is completed satisfactorily
      Section 113
      Section 114 To serve on parties copies of decisions on applications for resource consents and arrange public notification of such decisions where appropriate
      Section 125 Power to extend the period in which a resource consent lapses
      Section 126 Power to cancel un-exercised consents
      Section 127 (1) Power to change or cancel a consent condition
      Section 127 (3) Power to decide the circumstances when it will be unreasonable to seek written approval of other persons to the variation or cancellation of conditions
      Section 128-132 Power to review consent conditions
      Section 139 Power to issue certificates of compliance
      Section 221 Power to issue a consent notice
      Section 222 Power to issue a completion certificate

      Go to http://www.qualityplanning.org.nz/index.php/plan-development-components/use-of-commissioners/guidance-on-the-use-of-independent-commissioners

      Circumstances when an independent commissioner must be used

      Section 100A allows an applicant, and/or a submitter to a notified resource consent application, to request that the council appoints at least one independent commissioner to hear and decide on the application. This also applies to notified notices of requirement for a designation and heritage orders, but excludes applications for restricted coastal activities.

      The request for an independent commissioner must be made in writing anytime up to five working days after submissions close.

      If such a request is received, then the council must delegate its functions, powers and duties to hear and decide the application to one or more independent commissioners. The council has the discretion to decide on the number of commissioners appointed. This will largely depend on the complexity of the application and the required expertise.

      Councils also have the discretion to decide on who they employ as an independent commissioner, provided they meet the accreditation requirements of s39A of the RMA and are not a member (elected representative or staff) of the council. The intent of s100A is that the council delegation would be exclusive to independent commissioners.

      Parties who request a commissioner have no right of objection to another party’s request for a commissioner or to the council’s choice of commissioner.

      There are particular requirements for the costs of independent commissioners.

      Other circumstances where an independent commissioner may be used

      The decision to use internal commissioners or independent commissioners (or a combination) will often involve the following considerations:
      ◾perceived or actual conflicts of interest or perceptions of bias
      ◾the need for specialist expertise not available within a council in cases where issues surrounding an application are complex or of a highly technical nature
      ◾whether the application has substantive implications for the policy of a council such that elected representative input may be considered necessary or desirable
      ◾the likely expense of using independent commissioners compared to the scale of the issue (particularly where an independent commissioner would have to be brought in from outside the district or region)
      ◾the availability of independent commissioners at the time a hearing is required
      ◾the willingness of elected members to delegate decision-making powers and functions to independent commissioners, when not already requested by the applicant and/or submitter(s) under s100A.

      While consideration must be given to all these factors, it is generally accepted to be good practice to use independent commissioners in place of internal commissioners when:
      ◾the council, or an individual elected representative, may otherwise be perceived to have an actual or perceived conflict of interest (refer to Guidance for members of local authorities about the local authorities (Members’ Interests) Act 1968)
      ◾determining objections under s357 relating to council charges
      ◾matters are outside the technical knowledge or experience of elected members or the council’s own staff
      ◾one or more committee members may have, or may be perceived to have, a closed mind on the proposal (such as when publicly stating opinions on the merits of a proposal in the media or at public meetings before it is heard)
      ◾combined or joint hearings under s102 where a neutral chairperson or adviser is considered desirable.

      Some councils also employ independent commissioners to make decisions on applications that are politically contentious. This removes the political pressures that may otherwise be placed on councillors at key times (such as in the lead-up to election).

      Independent commissioners may also be employed to:
      ◾assist council in carrying out their duties during times when councillors are not available due to conflicting meeting times, or heavy workloads (such as during annual plan hearings)
      ◾to assist councils following local body elections, when there has been a considerable turnover of councillors, and hearing committees are perhaps lacking in skills and expertise, or cannot otherwise field a sufficient proportion of accredited hearing panel members [to] hear applications, plan changes or carry out other functions of councillors immediately after local authority elections when committees who may normally hear resource consent applications and plan changes have yet to be appointed
      ◾to cover lengthy hearings which councillors would be unable to attend on a continuous basis due to business, financial, family or other limitations.

      Continues….

      Good practice in the use of independent commissioners

      ◾For the sake of transparency and consistency, councils should have a clear policy or set of guidelines on the use of independent commissioners which clearly states what circumstances are considered to warrant the use of a commissioner, what powers are to be delegated, and what steps are to be followed in the appointment of a commissioner. Such a policy or set of guidelines may form part of a council’s delegations manual or policy, or may constitute a separate policy.
      ◾Councils should have a list of suitable persons from which they can appoint commissioners as back-up for occasions when commissioners who may otherwise have been appointed are not available.
      ◾The skills and experience of independent commissioners employed should match the nature, scale and technical complexity of the issues on which a decision is being made.
      ◾The Ministry for the Environment maintains a list of independent commissioners and councillors (including their fields of expertise and areas of practice) who have achieved certification under the Making Good Decisions programme.
      ◾A check of the past experience of candidates for independent commissioner work can be used to ensure that they have the capability to undertake the task for which they are being considered.
      ◾Ensure the accreditation requirements of the RMA are taken into account.
      ◾Where independent commissioner(s) are appointed for a hearing, the appointing council should confirm the appointment in writing. Such documentation should specify the powers being delegated, whether the independent commissioner(s) will be sitting alone or as part of a panel (and if part of a panel, their role on it) and details of the anticipated time, date and location of the hearing.
      ◾Where a particular commissioner is being used by a council for the first time, the council may outline the style and detail to be contained in the written decision report, and may supplement any such outline with an example that demonstrates the style desired.
      ◾Ensure that all material which a commissioner will need to make a decision on, is given to the commissioner as far ahead of the hearing (or the task they are to perform) as is possible. Such information should include a copy of the application, the council officer’s report, and the plan(s) under which a decision on the application will be made. It is also helpful to provide an indexed copy of any submissions made to the application, and a clear map of the site to which the application relates.
      ◾Where possible, a room separate from where the hearing is to be held, should be made available to commissioners for use in breaks during the hearing. This allows deliberation, avoids unnecessary distractions for the commissioner(s), and removes the ability of a party to try and approach or influence the commissioner(s) during or after the hearing.
      ◾Check with the commissioner(s) if a site visit before or after the hearing is preferred, and if they want staff to assist them in pointing out the relevant features/issues on the site. (Note: some councils ensure that the person accompanying the commissioner is not the reporting officer; this eliminates any possible perception that the reporting officer may take the opportunity to influence the commissioner into favouring the council’s recommendations).

      Appointing independent commissioners: standing orders, codes of conduct and delegated authority

      Elected members or independents appointed as commissioners are not subject to standing orders or other formal committee procedures (because they are not a committee of the council). In any event, the hearing should be conducted without undue formality. From the point of view of applicants or submitters, there should be very little difference between hearings conducted by commissioners and those held by councillors.

      Once the council has settled on the appointment of a commissioner, panel of commissioners or committee, it must ensure that sufficient delegations are given to these people to undertake the hearing and make decisions or recommendations. Appointment and delegation usually occur at the same time, but they are separate steps, and should both be documented.

      Councils should ensure that the appointment and delegation of commissioners clearly sets out:
      ◾the identity of the commissioners
      ◾the identity of the chair, or whether the commissioners may elect a chair
      ◾that the commissioners have the power, under s34A of the RMA, to both hear and make decisions on the relevant application and/or submissions or, where relevant, to hear and make recommendations
      ◾whether the commissioners can continue to hear and make a decision if one or more of the commissioners is unable to continue with the hearing
      ◾where necessary, that commissioners may make decisions in relation to preliminary consent processes, such as extensions of time limits, decisions on pre-hearing meetings, etc (in many cases these will not be relevant, as these steps will occur before the appointment of the commissioners)
      ◾that the commissioners have been delegated the powers to exercise any additional power or function under ss41 to 42A of the RMA
      ◾whether the commissioners are expected to deliberate in public or in private.

      In delegating its procedural powers at the hearing, the council may wish to consider whether decisions on procedure should be delegated to the chair alone, rather than collectively to the panel of commissioners. Especially where an experienced chair has been appointed, it may be administratively convenient to leave decisions on hearing procedure entirely to the chair; this will also enable the other panel members to focus on the merits of the application.

      Independent commissioners are not technically operating under a council’s code of conduct. However, they should bear in mind that they represent the public face of the council in undertaking its RMA function. Commissioners must also be aware that they may only act in accordance with the terms of their delegation. Councils should ensure they clearly set out any procedural expectations for hearings conducted by commissioners at the time the commissioners are appointed.

      Fulfilling the accreditation requirements of the RMA

      There are accreditation requirements that apply when a council gives authority (including under s34A) to one person or a group of persons to conduct a hearing on:
      ◾an application for a resource consent that is notified
      ◾a notice of requirement given under s168 or s189
      ◾a request under clause 21(1) of Schedule 1 for a change to be made to a plan (private plan change).

      These accreditation requirements are set out in s39B. In the circumstances referred to above, the council must ensure that:
      ◾a person is accredited (if it gives authority to one person)
      ◾the chairperson is accredited (if it gives authority to a group of persons that has a chairperson)
      ◾over half of all the persons are accredited (if it wants to give authority to a group of persons, whether or not the group has a chairperson).

      The Minister has approved the successful completion of the Making Good Decisions programme, as a qualification for accreditation. The Minister announced his decision by way of a notice in the New Zealand Gazette in accordance with s39A. All alternate, temporary, current, retired and former judges of the Environment Court, High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court are to be treated as having completed the programme. Automatic accreditation is also [given] to Environment Commissioners and Deputy Environment Commissioners, with five years or more experience in that capacity. To retain accreditation once retired from the Environment Commissioner role, recertification is required within three years of ceasing service and every five years thereafter, in line with recertification requirements for all other certificate holders.

      Councils need to ensure that:
      ◾the people they wish to appoint as sole commissioners or chairpersons hold a current certificate under the Making Good Decisions programme
      ◾independent commissioners they wish to appoint as panel members hold a current certificate
      ◾panels onto which they wish to appoint such people have the necessary majority of members who hold a current certificate.

      From 12 September 2014 all members of hearing panels must be accredited under the Making Good Decision programme unless there are exceptional circumstances. This requirement was introduced by Section 14 of the Resource Management Amendment Bill (No 2) 2011. The section also introduced an extension to the range of hearings for which accreditation is required. Accreditation will also be required for hearings on:
      ◾reviews of resource consents
      ◾applications to change or cancel resource consent conditions
      ◾proposed policy statements and plans
      ◾any hearing of an objection under section 357C of the RMA

      Additional points for councils who regularly use independent commissioners
      ◾Where a council has many hearings that require the use of an independent commissioner over the course of a year, a pool of commissioners should be used; and the people appointed to hearings should be [rotated] to avoid perceptions of favouritism, or compromised commissioner independence.
      ◾Any pool or register of commissioners should have sufficient variety of knowledge and experience to cover the typical range of hearing topics which a council may be expected to encounter during the course of a year.
      ◾Any policy or guidelines used to guide a council in the employment of commissioners should allow for circumstances where none of the registered individuals are available, or a particular body of knowledge and experience is required but not available from those on the register.

      The Ministry maintains a list of independent commissioners and others (including their fields of expertise and areas of practice) who have achieved certification under the Making Good Decisions programme.

  9. Elizabeth

    Long/short (from above)
    IMPORTANT to consider in the context of the DCC’s hearings for the Proposed 2GP:

    Section 100A of the RMA makes a distinction between elected members and non-elected members, setting out that elected members of the council cannot be independent commissioners. QP Link

    For the Proposed 2GP hearings – (4) elected members for the panel, (2) non-elected members. Without doubt the elected members are ‘green-focused’ and may carry the panel’s voting majority. There are perceived conflicts of interest (COI) at the very least in evidence due to the elected members’ voting history on council policy and strategy, and budget matters (LTP/AP).

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