Submission Workshop

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Expressway Submission Workshop – Raumati

The Board of Inquiry for the Expressway will be asking for submissions soon. (No, we don’t know when yet. We are still waiting on the Minister to make the official decision.)

Save Kapiti is holding a free workshop at Te Ra School, Poplar Ave Raumati, Wed 27th June, 7.30pm-9.00pm. Anna Carter, Planning Consultant, will explain what needs to go into a good submission. Contact Rachel Mackay wilmac@paradise.net.nz or 04 9701374 for information.

 

Submission does not mean giving up!

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 contact@savekapiti.co.nz

Keep on keeping on, my friends!

“It ain’t over till it’s over.” -Yogi Berra

The Vulture Has Landed!

The application has been lodged!

After a number of rumoured and promised deadlines have come and gone, NZTA has finally lodged their application with the Environmental Protection Agency.  There’s still a set of forms to be uploaded, outlining the actual consents being sought, and I’m not 100% sure that all the other reports have been put on their website either, but there’s plenty to get started with. If you have any expertise in any of the areas in the application, we’d love to hear from you. We have a few experts lined up on key topics, but it would be great to have some analytical backup. Email me at contact@savekapiti.co.nz if you can help.

What happens next?

First it has to be analysed by the EPA so that they can check that all the boxes are ticked correctly. They have up to 20 working days to advise the Minister as to whether it should progress to the Environment Court or be sent back to the applicant for more work (unlikely, but has happened, I’m told). It can’t take more than 20 days, but it can be less. They will want to make sure their analysis is unimpeachable, but we were told by a source last year that Nick Smith was telling EPA staff to cancel holiday leave so they could turn it round in 5 days over Xmas. That was when the expected filing date was 23 December.

They also recommend whether it should go to the Court proper, or be “called in” to a Board of Inquiry. This is pretty much a foregone conclusion – the “call in” process was designed to facilitate “projects of national significance” (so now you know why these are called “roads of national significance”) and Joyce has indicated from the beginning that the government expects that this project would go to a Board of Inquiry.

The Minister then has an unspecified timeframe to make the decision to call it in – we expect sooner than later but all sorts of political things may influence that. When the decision is made, the application is formally notified under the RMA (technical legal term) and a Board is appointed. That is the point at which the great unwashed (i.e. you and me, folks) have 20 working days to create and send in submissions.

So, worst case for us might be 5 working days for the EPA process, 1 day for the Minister and then 20 working days to make our submission. Or it could be a couple of months, while they sort out Transmission Gully and a few other things. Christchurch is heating up and the politics around Sky City and other things might have a bearing on timing.

So let’s get ready to rumble!

We think the reason NZTA went for so much “consultation” in 2009/10/11 was to wear us all down so that we wouldn’t be bothered coming to the table at this time, the only time where your submission is part of a statutory function. If you’ve been playing along at home, you’ll know that very little in the NZTA proposals has been changed because of the “consultation process” we’ve been subjected to. But don’t give up!

There’s an art to writing a good submission and we’d like to show you how it’s done. The main aim is to address flaws in the application, not nut off about why you don’t want the distressway built here. The Board of Inquiry is looking at the evidence under the RMA criteria to determine whether NZTA has met the necessary standard. We know they haven’t – they can’t, with the design and route they’ve chosen – so we have to pick out the points of the application where they are minimizing risk and maximizing theoretical benefits (or telling complete whoppers, in our opinion) and highlight to the Board what the real issue is and why the application should be refused.

To help you get to grips with this process, we’ve set up a workshop on May 6 at El Rancho.

Speaker Sessions:
9:30am – Anna Carter (Environment)
10:30am – Nigel Wilson (GWRC)
11:30am – Marie O’Sullivan (Health Impacts)
12:30pm – K Gurunathan (KCDC)
1:30pm – David Roil (Geology/Water)
2:30pm – Bianca Begovich (SaveKapiti)

Session Format:
Topics covered include environmental, geological, water, economic,
health, noise, light, air quality, cultural and social impacts
Each speaker will talk for 20 minutes followed by 40mins for you to
write your submission using our template, information and assistance.
Choose one or more sessions to attend. The more sessions you
attend, the more information you will have to put in your submission.

See you there!

Save Kapiti

www.SaveKapiti.co.nz

Send an e-mail to us.
We are a group dedicated to preserving our iconic Kapiti landscapes from destruction by an unnecessary and poorly thought out roading option.  We seek to find the solution to the roading problems of Kapiti  that will best serve both the local community and the wider public of New Zealand.

What do we want?

  • We want a local two lane road, as planned, to be built
  • We want to see improvements to SH1 existing route
  • We want reconsideration of the decision to build the Expressway

The Minister, acting on advice of NZTA, has decided that an expressway be built from Wellington to Levin, following the route of Transmission Gulley and then the “Western Link” road through Kapiti  and on to Levin via a road beside the present SH1.

A rushed and confusing consultation process and request for public submissions preceded this decision in which a number of alternative routes were proposed.

We have a series of concerns  about  the proposed expressway through Kapiti.

  • The proposal, as it affects Kapiti, runs counter to the principles concerning the relationship between roads and communities which are expressly stated in NZTA policies.
  • The proposal will destroy the unity of the settlements on the Kapiti Coast by brutally  dividing the community.  It will cut off present access to  kindergartens, schools, swimming pools, parks, the beaches  and, in short, the majority of the public facilities on the Coast.  It will destroy community links as demonstrated by the chasm between Johnsonville and Newlands.
  • The commitment to enhance the environment of the Coast, to preserving its ecology,  to maintaining  its wetlands, and the implementation of the stringent environmental standards already in place for development practices, are all seriously threatened by the Expressway.
  • There is a serious threat to traditional cultural values inherent in the proposed route.
  • The Expressway as proposed runs counter to the established District Plan – a plan endorsed by the people of the Coast after considerable discussion.
  • There has been little or no rationale presented for an Expressway.
  • An Expressway, with its focus on speed and the fewest number of linking roads possible means that it provides little to the local communities affected by it.
  • The cost/benefit analysis for the Expressway through Kapiti is only 0.6 – 40 cents of every dollar spent built and maintaining it will be lost.

In a time of economic constraint, the Government should follow its own advice and seek to provide a workable solution at a minimum  cost to the ratepayers of New Zealand.

We’re fighting the decision through the process. When NZTA propose their application, we expect it to be referred to a Board of Inquiry under the Resource Management Act. We will oppose the application, but this will cost money. You can support us by donating to our Fighting Fund, or to our fund for publicity and community communication. We need to mobilise our communities, to counter the propaganda supplied by NZTA.