Submission does not mean giving up!
The story so far…
So, two weeks on and we still don’t know the timeframes. What we know is that NZTA lodged their application with the EPA on Friday 20 April. No media release or announcement was seen from NZTA or the EPA and we’re grateful to those individuals who let us know it had happened.
Last week, a document was found on the EPA’s website, which is undated but was created on 30 April according to its system properties, that is the assessment of the application by the EPA that the application does meet the criteria for a project of national significance and their recommendation to the Minister for the Environment that it be called in to a Board of Inquiry. No surprise there, but again, no announcement either. The EPA is to be commended, of course, for turning a 7000 page application around in only 10 physical days. It would be interesting to see their overtime bill for the period.
So, the decision is now with the Minister, Hon. Amy Adams. While we have no doubt she will take the recommendation and call the application in, she is under no statutory timeframe to make this decision. Until she makes the decision, appoints a Board and the application is formally notified, the clock is stopped. Once it is made, all parties wishing to be heard on the proposal have 20 working days to prepare and deliver their submissions.
We just have to wait and see, and check regularly to ensure that we don’t lose a minute of the time limit.
In the meantime
We’re hard at work doing the background reading on the proposal (which we think is full of holes, by the way, and shows major signs of being a rush job with much left undone by NZTA) and lining up our ducks for our own submission, and helping other people and groups prepare theirs. Last weekend, we held a submission workshop at El Rancho (much thanks to Bianca for doing the hard yards organising that event). It was well attended and the speakers were great and answered many questions. I had hoped to put video of the event up, but there were some technical issues with the sound (tea urns make noise, you know, and just on the right frequency to screw up a microphone, although we block the noise out of our own experience. Sorry) so I’m still working on that.
As a result, we’ve put a bunch more resources onto the site (see the links here) that you can make use of, and there will be more to come as we progress. We’re hoping to organise a mini-workshop in the next couple of weeks. I’ll announce that here and on the mailing list. If you want to be on the mailing list, let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org
Keep on keeping on, my friends!
“It ain’t over till it’s over.” -Yogi Berra