Tag Archives: RMA

DCC: Natural Hazards

Abbotsford landslide 1979 (GNS Science, Dunedin) via ORCMass movement (landslide) hazard, Abbotsford 1979 (GNS Science, Dunedin)

Dunedin City Council – Media Release
Natural Hazards Approach Being Revised

This item was published on 10 Apr 2015

The Dunedin City Council is responding to community concerns and revising its planned approach to managing natural hazards such as landslides, flooding and sea level rise.

Following public feedback from consultation carried out from June to September last year, the planned approach now has greater provision for flexible case-by-case assessment. This would apply where the level of risk is more uncertain or variable. In areas where risk is lower, there would also be opportunities to manage risk through measures such as minimum floor levels.

A technical assessment of the risks posed by natural hazards was prepared by the Otago Regional Council. DCC staff used this to develop a proposed approach for managing land use and development in at-risk areas. This approach, or preferred option, sees natural hazards managed through a set of hazard overlay zones.

Rules attached to the hazard overlays set out what activities and development would be permitted, the standards for some types of development and what may be assessed on a case-by-case basis through resource consent. Under the original proposal, approximately 8600 of Dunedin’s about 46,600 houses in residential zones were affected in one way or another by the proposed overlay zones.

DCC City Development Policy Planner Sally Dicey says the preferred option is still to manage natural hazards through hazard overlay zones. However, following submissions from 184 individuals and organisations, a peer review of a flood risk assessment and discussions with experts in the natural hazards and risk management fields, a revised approach is being developed.

Feedback highlighted the difficulties in limiting development where there was uncertainty around assessments of natural hazard risk, due to limited data, variations in and changes to topography, and site specific factors.

“Allowing for more case-by-case assessment provides greater opportunities to take site specific factors into account. Where the risk from a natural hazard is lower, mitigation measures will be required. These are likely to include higher floor levels for houses or requiring homes to be relocatable.”
–Sally Dicey, City Development Policy Planner

Developed areas within dune systems have been removed from what was originally proposed to be the extreme hazard overlay. This is because there is a lack of information about how erosion might occur over the next 100 years along our coastline. These areas are likely to be the subject of future studies and may be included in mapped hazard areas in the future. A strict management approach has been limited to areas where there is a high degree of certainty about the risk from natural hazards. Prohibited areas are no longer proposed.

“This is a sensible and practical response to balancing the known risks we all face and the concerns of the community. Staff should be congratulated both for the thorough way they have researched and prepared these documents and for responding in this way to the matters raised at public meetings and in submissions.”
–Cr David Benson-Pope, Planning and Regulatory Committee

Ms Dicey says it’s important to remember the proposed changes mainly affect new development. In general, existing activities will carry on as usual.

Hazard overlay zones are proposed for floodplains, low-lying coastal communities and hills prone to landslides. This includes areas such as Brighton, Karitane, Macandrew Bay, Waikouaiti, Waitati and parts of the Taieri Plain.

The Dunedin City Council is preparing a new District Plan, the second generation District Plan (2GP). The ultimate goal of the Plan is the sustainable management of Dunedin’s natural and physical resources. Under the Resource Management Act, the DCC is responsible for managing land use to avoid or mitigate the effects of natural hazards. The DCC is also required to consider the effects of climate change and keep a record of natural hazards. The District Plan is scheduled to be publicly notified in September. The revised approach to natural hazards will be released as part of that consultation process. That will give people an opportunity to raise any remaining issues or concerns on the revised approach.

█ A report summarising the feedback received last year on the preferred approach to natural hazards is available at http://www.dunedin.govt.nz/2gp

Contact Sally Dicey, Policy Planner on 03 477 4000. DCC Link

Related Post and Comments:
10.12.13 ORC restructures directorates
30.7.12 ORC on hazard risks and land use controls
24.8.09 1. STS response – appeal. 2. Coastal protection – comments

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

14 Comments

Filed under #eqnz, Architecture, Business, Construction, DCC, Design, Economics, Geography, New Zealand, ORC, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Town planning, Urban design, What stadium

Hotel MOU: DCC #fail

dcc-betterways-mou-detail1

Hotel Memorandum of Understanding (PDF, 297 KB)

Comment received from Rob Hamlin
Submitted on 2014/03/11 at 10:54 am

Perhaps the most unfortunate thing about this is the precedent that it sets. The MOU essentially commits the Council to make it happen by whatever means and by whatever council costs are necessary. The ludicrous conflict of interest that this sets up between the Council as developer regulator and Council as developer agent is breezily dismissed early on. If the DCC fails to deliver what the developer wants, then they (we) get to pay all the developer’s costs too. Thereby setting up a situation with considerable motive for the developer to increase the toxicity of this regulatory ‘poison pill’ by inflating these costs a la Carisbrook Stadium Charitable Trust.

There is nothing in this document that indicates why it is a special case or anything that defines it as a ‘one off’. This means that the next time a large developer wants to carve up rural zoned land on the Taieri or build an exclusive shooting resort next to the Albatross Colony all they have to do is download the .pdf of this MOU from McPravda’s website, replace Jing Song’s name with their own and present it to Cull and Bidrose with a request to ‘please sign this forthwith’. I can see no legal grounds on the basis of equity of treatment of development proposals by the territorial authority upon which Cull and Bidrose could reasonably refuse to do so. Refusal would therefore promptly lead to court action.

[ends]

Related Posts and Comments:
10.3.14 Hotel: DCC and COC sell out Dunedin community to Chinese trojans
26.2.14 Hotel: Rosemary McQueen on consent decision LUC 2012-212
14.2.14 Hotel: The height of arrogance
25.6.13 Hotel/Apartment Tower decision to be appealed

█ For more, enter *hotel* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

16 Comments

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Hotel: DCC and COC sell out Dunedin community to Chinese trojans

‘Perceived’ Conflict of Interest:
Dave Cull (also Mayor of Dunedin) has used Steve Rodgers (partner in Rodgers Law; also a director of Betterways Advisory Ltd) as his personal solicitor in recent times. The mayor is welcome to confirm or deny this in order to set the record straight.

Dunedin Hotel proposed [via newstalkzb.co.nz]Dunedin’s Old-Boy CARGO CULT is disabling your City

ODT 21-12-12 screenshotODT Online 21.12.12 (screenshot)

DCC Betterways MOU (detail)

Dunedin City Council – Media Release
Next Step for Waterfront Hotel Proposal

This item was published on 10 Mar 2014

Mayor of Dunedin Dave Cull and Betterways Advisory Limited have today announced the signing of an agreement to work together to try to achieve the construction of a five-star hotel for Dunedin.

The parties have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that establishes a framework and a process to address issues raised by an earlier resource consent application.

Betterways’ application to build a 27-storey, five-star hotel at 41 Wharf Street was declined resource consent in June last year.

Mr Cull says, “Since that time, the DCC has worked extensively with Betterways to find whether a hotel can be constructed on this site that both realises Betterways’ investment ambitions and benefits the city.”

The DCC and Betterways agree that connectivity issues are a major focus going forward and have committed to work together to seek solutions.

If solutions can be found, the DCC will set up an urban design panel to provide independent design review and subsequent advice. Their focus will be on sustainable development and the creation of a design that contributes to a safe, healthy and attractive urban environment.

The panel will encourage best practice approaches to development, specific to the hotel’s site. This process provides an independent peer review from leaders in a variety of relevant professional institutes, including the development sector, practitioners and academics.

“Urban design panels are widely used in other centres. We’re really delighted to have an opportunity to use this successful formula here in Dunedin, and on such an important project for the city,” Mr Cull says.

Once the design panel and DCC staff members were satisfied the new hotel proposal had resolved the issues, the DCC would initiate a District Plan Change process to change the zoning of the Wharf Street site from industrial so a panel-approved design could be built on the site.

Any development proposal would still be subject to the Resource Management Act.

One of Betterways’ owners, Jing Song, says, “After a very challenging two years, we are delighted that the Council has shown a commitment to our investment in this beautiful city. We know our hotel plans are exciting for Dunedin and we are very pleased to have established a framework to deliver a hotel that meets the desires of the local community.”

The Council agreed to sign the MoU during the non-public part of its meeting on 24 February.

Betterways will make a decision about whether to pursue its appeal when the process agreed through the MoU has advanced enough to show that the proposal will be supported by the Council.

Hotel MOU (PDF, 297 KB)

Contact Mayor of Dunedin on 03 477 4000.

DCC Link

Related Posts and Comments:
26.2.14 Hotel: Rosemary McQueen on consent decision LUC 2012-212
14.2.14 Hotel: The height of arrogance
25.6.13 Hotel/Apartment Tower decision to be appealed

█ For more, enter *hotel* in the search box at right.

ODT 10.3.14: Agreement signed over waterfront hotel

Ch39 Cull Rodgers 10.3.14 (2)

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

48 Comments

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Hotel: Rosemary McQueen on consent decision LUC 2012-212 (41 Wharf St)

41 Wharf Street, Dunedin 1 (DCC WebMap)41 Wharf Street, Dunedin (DCC WebMap)

Copy supplied.
Also published at Otago Daily Times (page 17).

### ODT Online Wed, 26 Feb 2014
Opinion
Hotel decision was legal, not political
By Rosemary McQueen
Two related misapprehensions run through nearly all the comment on the application to build a 27-storey residential building in the industrial zone.

The first is that the reason the development was rejected was that a minority of noisy nay-sayers objected to the proposal. Yet, had 500 supporters put in submissions and only 4 or 5 naysayers, the decision would have been the same. The decision was not made on the basis of counting heads (though no doubt the planners were gratified that the District Plan’s provisions were so whole-heartedly supported by the populace) but on the basis of law. The developers want to build their accommodation block in an industrial area. Residential activity is specifically excluded from this area and only allowed at the discretion of the court hearing the application. Discretionary treatment can only be accorded if the effects of the variation to what is allowed are minor and the general intention accords with the aims and objectives of the district plan. The applicants’ arguments to this effect were rejected at law – not by counting heads. Until that decision is found to be wrong, or those aspects of the proposal change, it can not proceed.

There is also a view that the the city council could and should have found a way of overturning – or at least of getting round – the planning committee’s decision. This is a misapprehension because the decision is a legal one that can only be overturned by a higher court and the council is not a court. The negotiations that have been taking place have been around trying to find a site and design that complies with the city’s district plan and the developers’ needs. By describing the setback to the development as “red tape” the ODT implied that the development’s lack of progress since being rejected by the planning committee is caused by overweening bureaucracy. But Ms Song has made clear that the site and design are not negotiable. How can the lack of progress be the fault of red tape when the impediment is so clearly the developers’ intransigence, despite having had their application for that site and design turned down because it doesn’t meet the law?

By insisting the proposal is non-negotiable during their discussion with the city, the developers appear to believe that overturning the planning decision is on the discussion’s agenda and within the council’s power. Instead of dismissing any such suggestion, the ODT and the Chamber of Commerce have encouraged them in the view that the council can change or flout the law in order to allow the development to go ahead. Fostering these misapprehensions has led to unnecessary division in the city. It’s time to stop accusing bureaucrats and antis of holding up progress and start explaining why changes to our built environment are not effected by political whim, but are, and need to be, conducted by rule of law that has undergone full democratic process.

ODT Link

Related Posts and Comments:
14.2.14 Hotel: The height of arrogance
25.6.13 Hotel/Apartment Tower decision to be appealed

For more, enter *hotel* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

18 Comments

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Draft Dunedin City Transport Strategy

Read the draft strategy here. [DCC webpage and links]

Comment received.

BlueBottle
Submitted on 2013/09/03 at 1:28 pm

Lee Vandervis was very impressive at the transport strategy hearing on Monday. Lee challenged all the ridiculous assumptions that the strategy is based on. He did this using factual well researched arguments. Council staff were forced to back down on many points because there was no factual basis for their conclusions. Lee’s performance was remarkable because there was one of him against 4 Councillors and the Transport Planning/City Development staff who had a whole weekend to find ways to respond to Lee’s challenges. Although Lee helped to make some improvements to the strategy, the thing is still deeply flawed and will be harmful for Dunedin if it is accepted by the whole Council.
The Network Operating Plan (fig. 24) has been kept quiet by the DCC and the ODT. The plan is to make a big chunk of the CBD either car-less or mostly car-less. The methods of hindering motor vehicles haven’t been described but will be achieved with total bans from some streets as well as removing parking and restrictions on turning and entry. Another plan is to fiddle with the timing of traffic lights so as to cause intolerable delays to motorists. Have a look to see which streets are affected. While in their vision they see hoards of cyclists and pedestrians, more likely the CBD will become empty and turned into an economic dead-zone. The Network Operating Plan and the rest of the Transport Strategy are among the biggest threats that Dunedin faces.

Developing a Network Operating Plan [DCC]

Figure 24. Draft Network Operating Plan for the central cityFigure 24. Draft Network Operating Plan for the central city

Email received.
Tuesday, September 03, 2013 11:05 PM

—— Forwarded Message
From: Lee Vandervis
Date: Sun, 01 Sep 2013 09:06:00 +1200
To: Wendy Collard, Sarah Connolly, Emerson Yeoman, Sue Bidrose, Sandy Graham, Paul Orders
Cc: Kate Wilson, Andrew Noone, Jinty MacTavish, Teresa Stevenson
Conversation: Draft Transport Strategy Hearing additional data requested.
Subject: Re: Draft Transport Strategy Hearing additional data requested.

Ta Wendy,

Questions as follows:

Can I see Data to justify claims of:

1 – significant car ownership increase in the last 15 years/many Dunedin households now do not have access to a car. [A graph would be ideal]
2 – reduced fatalities and serious accidents [increasing safety] when transferring from automobile to pedestrian and cycling modes of transport [Elvik’s opinion on safety in numbers is not data and suggests only possibility with very large numbers of transfer not possible in a hilly city]
3 – increasing fossil fuel prices since 1974 “rising fuel costs” “Rising fuel prices are likely to lead to changes not only in travel behaviour and people’s choice of transport mode” “Assumption 1: The cost of fuel will continue to increase”
4 – increasing fuel efficiency of cars since 1974
5 – “much of car travel in Dunedin [or anywhere else] is non-essential”
6 – “other options are available for most trips”
7 – “deaths/serious injury of vulnerable road users [cyclists pedestrians] around schools” and “Safety problems at the school gate” “The research highlights that the transitory nature of traffic around schools has tended to hide the risks this situation presents to all users, but especially to children.”
8 – “poor provision for other modes and little congestion has led to high crash rates”
9 – “In part due to wide, high-speed urban street environments (such as the one-way system, Andersons Bay Road, Princes Street, and Hillside Road) and poor provision for other modes (such as buses, walking and cycling), road safety has suffered in Dunedin”
10 – “provision for private motor vehicles has also meant amenity, pedestrian connectivity and, in some instances, surrounding land use value has suffered”
11 – “Demand for cheap, convenient, and consistent on and off-street parking availability is no longer a realistic expectation with Dunedin’s modern high level of car use”
12 – “despite the fact that many children would prefer to cycle, scooter or walk to school”
13 – “it appears the cost of transport fuel will continue to rise for the foreseeable future. This is already having an effect on the way people are choosing to travel.”?

If reliable supporting data is not available, then these unsubstantiated claims and resultant aim to spend $47 million on cycling infrastructure should be removed from the Draft.

Kind regards,
Lee

——————————–

On 30/08/13 5:44 PM, “Wendy Collard” wrote:

Hi Lee

The deliberations have now finished. Kate has asked if you could please have the questions that you require to be answered be [sic] to staff by 12 noon on Sunday.

The hearing is going to carry on at 1pm on Monday as Public Forum has now been cancelled.

Regards

Wendy Collard
Governance Support Officer
Dunedin City Council
50 The Octagon, Dunedin; PO Box 5045, Moray Place, Dunedin 9058, New Zealand
Telephone: 03 474 3374, Fax: 03 474 3594

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30.8.13 Transport Strategy: Is this responsible local government?
29.8.13 The Don, imagines . . .
4.8.13 World War I memorial project
24.11.11 Dunedin buses: ORC or DCC
8.7.13 Bloody $tupid cycleways and Cull’s electioneering . . .
28.3.13 DCC Draft Annual Plan 2013/14: Portobello Harington Point…
8.3.13 Stupid bid for two-way highway ditched for now #DCC

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

239 Comments

Filed under Business, DCC, Democracy, Design, Economics, Geography, Hot air, Media, Name, New Zealand, ORC, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Stadiums, Tourism, Town planning, University of Otago, Urban design, What stadium

Transport Strategy: Is this responsible local government?

DRAFT Dunedin City Transport Strategy (2013)

The Otago Chamber of Commerce (COC) gets brownie points for taking a stick to Dunedin City Council and the politicised ‘sustainability crew’, this week… A crew primed with council staff, (spuriously-appointed) leadership and steering groups, university academics (with their little students in tow, aww) receiving substantial research funds into energy research, and the like; but let’s not forget the undue influence of Greater Dunedin and its two councillors, MacTavish and Wilson (paid $250 a day, was it?), sitting on the strategy panel – who, having spruced up their images lately (cutesy dyed haircuts, necklaces and dresses in adornment – closely resembling the old ‘pearl and cardy set’), will find the clobber just too awkward for bike riding.

It’s recognised the Chamber can’t hope to represent the wide breadth of Dunedinites – but it’s fair to say the Chamber’s focus and agendas (collectively and personally) are experienced as being unbearably narrow at times and slant at others – for example, its handling of the Dunedin harbourside plan change appeal, and its support for the new stadium (knife to the throat of Dunedin’s economy) and the proposed apartment and hotel development at 41 Wharf Street (cheap bling, with strings). All up, the Chamber is a mysterious if not loose male-order assembly of ‘business minds’.

Nevertheless, DCC, give your dog a bone…
But don’t think the Chamber will accept more stupidity from your transportation planners and general managers controlling the whole (desktop) strategic exercise —or from the ‘mission’ of idealistic ‘non-business’ greenies who lack the commonsense, experience, resilience and determination of Dunedin companies (the ones who actually make the dollars happen!), and which greenies will surely fail if pitted hard against Otago’s most successful export earners!!

The Transport Strategy is not a statutory document – but where it attempts to flow into District Plan changes, well, let’s wait for all the costly appeals to Environment Court. The council can hardly afford more legal battles – it can’t fund the challenges it’s already immured by.

The worst fear with the transport strategy revolves around pending changes to the Resource Management Act (RMA) which could see council-driven and developer-driven projects bulldozed through without public consultation; with few benefits to anyone or the environment, except to the proponents. The new legislation will mean even less accountability and transparency in local government than ever before – thanks to the National-led government. You know who to vote for in 2014.

Do you know who to vote for in 2013?

### ODT Online Fri, 30 Aug 2013
Attack on transport strategy
By Chris Morris
The Otago Chamber of Commerce has launched an attack on Dunedin’s draft transport strategy, saying it pushed a ”questionable agenda” of sustainability while ignoring major transport issues. The strongly-worded rebuke came in the chamber’s submission on the Dunedin City Council’s draft strategy, presented on the first day of a two-day public hearing yesterday.
However, Prof Herbert Harris, a member of the chamber’s logistics committee, also offered an olive branch at the hearing by suggesting a joint working party be formed to fix the document’s flaws.

Prof Harris said the strategy was of ”major concern” because it ignored the inadequate arterial route through the city, a lack of commuter parking and the significance of the road link to Port Otago.

The draft strategy sought to identify and address key transport challenges facing the city over the next 30 years, beginning with improving the city’s poor road safety record. Initiatives proposed included everything from a multimillion-dollar central-city upgrade, to improved cycleways, bus services and a new eastern freight bypass. Prof Harris said the strategy was of ”major concern” because it ignored the inadequate arterial route through the city, a lack of commuter parking and the significance of the road link to Port Otago.
Read more

Draft Dunedin City Transport Strategy 2013 (1)GREY AREAS… If you received this DRAFT Summary by post in late July, look no further than the grey back cover – it’s easier to read than the illegible and contrived contents, having about the same informational content.

****

### ODT Online Fri, 30 Aug 2013
Transport transfer considered
By Chris Morris
The Otago Regional Council says it will consider handing responsibility for public transport to the Dunedin City Council.
Council transportation planning manager Sarah Connolly confirmed a report on the issue was being finalised, and the chief executives of both organisations, Paul Orders and Peter Bodeker, would be briefed within weeks. Councillors from both organisations were yet to see the report, but a decision on how to proceed would be decided after the briefing, she said.
The news came two years after the Otago Daily Times reported the DCC and ORC were in talks about a possible transfer of the public transport network to the city council.
Read more

Related Posts and Comments:
29.8.13 The Don, imagines . . .
4.8.13 World War I memorial project
24.11.11 Dunedin buses: ORC or DCC
8.7.13 Bloody $tupid cycleways and Cull’s electioneering . . .
28.3.13 DCC Draft Annual Plan 2013/14: Portobello Harington Point…
8.3.13 Stupid bid for two-way highway ditched for now #DCC

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

60 Comments

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RMA and Key’s right-wing slashers

BACKWARD STEP: Our environment is at risk if the Resource Management act is watered down.Anton Oliver [stuff.co.nz]

### stuff.co.nz Last updated 05:00 21/07/2013
Gutting the RMA – it’s time to be concerned
By Anton Oliver
Source: Sunday Star-Times
OPINION | The Resource Management Act (RMA) has sadly become a much maligned and misunderstood piece of legislation: a kind of universal public punching bag – if mentioned in conversation, it is almost obligatory to put the slipper in. To most Kiwis it represents bureaucracy and inefficiency – pen-pushing do-gooders and paper shufflers who engage us in excessively long and costly processes that get in the way of us Kiwis doing stuff.
In fact the RMA – passed in 1991 – was a means of rectifying mistakes and providing at least some environmental and social integrity to development and planning process. It was recognised by legal minds to be a world-leading piece of legislation. It protected our environment and our economy based on the premise of sustainable resource management. What’s more, it was politically robust in that it received the blessing of both major parties.
It also gave New Zealanders a chance to be heard and it facilitated local decisions made by local people. While the country’s environmental indicators such as water quality and biodiversity loss have still gone backwards – the RMA has stemmed what would otherwise have been fatal haemorrhaging.
Similarly, the RMA has protected a set of fundamental Kiwi values: the notion of fairness and equity in regard to everyone having a right to their say; industry and other activities being required to take responsibility for avoiding, remedying or mitigating adverse environmental impacts; and developments being required to have regard to effects on such things as recreation, scenic values, private property rights, and the public’s access to rivers, lakes and beaches.
That’s all about to change.
The Government plans to alter the Act to give greater weight to economic development over environmental considerations, granting to itself the right to veto any issue. You don’t have to be legal-minded to see the impact of subtle word changes. While the consideration for the “benefits” of a project remains, gone are any references to the “costs”, making a cost-benefit analysis redundant because environmental “cost” is out of the equation.
Gone, too, are the words: “maintenance and enhancement of amenity values”. That’s basically any recreational activity – walking, running, swimming, fishing, kayaking. Who likes doing that stuff anyway? Thankfully the “importance and value of historic heritage” stays. But its cobber, “protection from inappropriate subdivision and development” gets the boot – making the first clause meaningless. And my personal favourite, “maintenance and enhancement of the quality of the environment” has been politely asked to leave. Clearly such an unruly clause has no place in a legal act that’s trying to protect the environment.

The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Jan Wright, has a different interpretation. She thinks the changes “muddy the overwhelming focus of the RMA, to protect the environment, and risk turning it into an Economic Development Act”. Similarly alarmed, the architect of the RMA, Sir Geoffrey Palmer, concludes: “The [proposed changes] will significantly and seriously weaken the ability of the RMA to protect the natural environment and its recreational enjoyment by all New Zealanders.”

The changes also grant considerable new powers to central government, giving it the ability to take individual consent decisions away from local councils and place them in a new national body. The changes go further still, by allowing government the right to insert provisions in local council plans without any consultation.
Read more

● Former All Black Anton Oliver is an ambassador for Water Conservation Order NZ.

Related Posts and Comments:
21.4.13 *fashionable* Heritage Dunedin and the RMA holocaust
17.3.13 RMA Bill: Public meeting 21 March
6.7.12 Recommended changes to RMA explode environmental protection

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image: stuff.co.nz – Anton Oliver

12 Comments

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