There’s a bit of a Draft in here!
The Board of Inquiry has delivered their draft decision and report. The decision is not the one we were hoping for, but isn’t too surprising. We thought at the end of the Hearing it could go either way.
You can find the report on the EPA website – the decision and report are 326 pages long, and the associated conditions are in a separate 96 page document. It’s worth reading through that, especially if you presented a particular situation in your submission, to see whether your needs have been adequately covered.
Obviously, we’re disappointed. 3 years of hard yakka to get to this point and we deserved something better than this. However, the game’s not over till the Minister sings, as it were, and this is only the draft report. Our job now is to go through it and the conditions and advise where errors of fact have been made. Under the RMA, we’re unable to comment on the decision itself to the Board.
The conditions may produce a situation where it is too expensive for the project to continue, which would be great for us. That’s why we have to read them carefully to understand the project implications.
The Board will produce the final edited version on 12 April and it’s only at that point we can really sit down and review our options. Because it went through a BoI, we can’t appeal the decision except on points of law, and we have to wait for the final report before we can tie any of those down. There are other avenues to explore, but I’m not going to discuss those until we’re ready to initiate – no point in letting NZTA know our plans in advance!
I want to reiterate to you that we haven’t given up. We’re short on resources (when haven’t we been?) but this is our home and our community and we’ll fight to the end. As I said at the Hearing end, I am very proud of the work we did, in the face of enormous odds, and very proud to be associated with the people of Kāpiti who submitted. I honestly thought we had done enough – now, I have to read the report to find out why the Board didn’t think so.
Secretary, Save Kapiti Inc.