Thursday, February 6, 2014

Michael Coote: Unitary Plan deadline fast approaching

Just weeks remain before submissions on the proposed Auckland unitary plan close on Friday, February 28, 2014. After that, those who have failed to get their word in edgeways and asked for the right to speak at subsequent Resource Management Act (RMA) hearings will be shut out of direct input into the process.

The deadline is salient not least because Auckland Council under mayor Len Brown is attempting to use the unitary plan to foist a race-based constitution upon Auckland that will permanently elevate its part-Maori inhabitants to legal and public policy supremacy over all other residents and ratepayers.
The only way to stop or at least stall the neo-apartheid juggernaut set in motion by the Brown council is to lodge opposing submissions.

Even in its revised version of the unitary plan, the council still concedes it’s going way beyond the letter and even the spirit of the RMA to create new and changed relationships with Maori tribes.

What the council shies from admitting, but’s transparent in the wording of the proposed plan, is the undemocratic establishment of a de facto “Treaty partnership” co-governance regime involving 19 commercially-orientated iwi authorities representing a racially-defined minority of Aucklanders.

Most residents and ratepayers of Auckland wouldn’t vote in favour of this discriminatory co-governance rort were it put to them honestly.

Instead the scam’s been deviously contrived by councillors allied with Mr Brown, the planning and Maori departments of the council’s bureaucracy, and the Independent Maori Statutory Board.

To get a quick overview of where the unitary plan is headed on matters Maori, have a read of four of the council’s own fact sheets published on its website:  Te Tiriti o Waitangi/Treaty of Waitangi provisions Reference Guide, Mana Whenua Cultural Heritage, Mana Whenua Cultural Impact Assessments, and Proposed Unitary Plan Legal effect.

Within these summary documents is laid out the destruction of egalitarian democracy in Auckland.

For example, following public notification of the proposed unitary plan on September 30, 2013, Maori cultural impact assessments (CIAs) are now required for myriad applications for resource consents.

This is because section 86(3) of the RMA states:

“A rule in a proposed plan has immediate legal effect if the rule:

• protects or relates to water, air, or soil (for soil conservation); or
• protects areas of significant indigenous vegetation; or
• protects areas of significant habitats of indigenous fauna; or
• protects historic heritage; or
• provides for or relates to aquaculture activities.”

Miraculously it turns out that CIAs apply to all of the items listed under s. 86(3) within the unitary plan.

CIAs - instruments of legalised corruption and imposition of a “Maori tax” - have vast potential scope and consequences only belatedly being realised by Aucklanders.

Grounds for needing a CIA are listed in the Mana Whenua Cultural Impact Assessments fact sheet, running across two pages and seven detailed categories, all with immediate s. 86(3) legal effect.

Auckland Council’s advising those seeking RMA permits that might have CIA implications to enquire first with its resource consents staff.

These council employees dictate which iwi authorities RMA applicants should purchase reports, instructions and appeasement from before the council will issue a permit.

Already there’s an anecdote circulating about an Auckland businessman aiming to renew an existing discharge permit being ordered by council staff to consult with over half a dozen iwi authorities for their agreement.

So far as s. 86(3)’s historic heritage category goes, Maori tribes have identified literally thousands of real and imagined sites to Auckland Council, most of them middens (rubbish dumps).

The Mana Whenua Cultural Heritage fact sheet states, “Further sites and places nominated by mana whenua [Auckland’s Maori tribes] will be incorporated in the unitary plan through future plan changes.”

Not slow to compete with Auckland Council, the Independent Maori Statutory Board advised iwi authorities of the following in its newsletter Panui No. 7 of November 2013, entitled “Heads UP: What’s happening with the Unitary Plan?”:

“From 1 October 2013, private and public applicants and resource consent planners will be contacting you for your involvement in planning applications.
 “The greatest demand will be on your input into resource consent applications and the preparation of CIAs. Expect enquiries (phone calls, emails) about:
 ·         Your values and associations with a particular site, area or resource and your expectations regarding planning applications;
 ·         Requests for meetings;
 ·         Information about your charge out rates and how you record your time to enable applicants to budget for projects;
 ·         Estimations for your involvement in projects and your timeframes for attending meetings, providing information etc.”

Ruinous implications for Auckland’s businesses are clear enough – what’s required now is for these businesses and their representatives like the Employers and Manufacturers Association and the Auckland Chamber of Commerce to have the courage to lodge opposing submissions by deadline.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

It is easier to go to the following Auckland Council “key topics” page and then scroll down to the various ACC publications as given by Michael

Please note There is a public meeting about the Unitary Plan at 12:30 on this Saturday and Michael is the primary speaker, at the Epsom Community Centre, 202 Gillies Avenue, Epsom, Auckland

When: 12:30pm on Saturday 15th February,

Where: the Epsom Community Centre, 202 Gillies Ave, Epsom

If you want to hear how the UP will affect you and how and what to put in a submission,
come along.

Bill Mockridge