Second Pre Hearing Meeting

Last night the second Pre hearing meeting was held with Port Otago, ORC and a few of the Submitters.
Things are moving again after a break of nine months between pre hearing meetings.

As a quick summary, their application is now being processed as a Restricted Coastal Activity, (An activity can only be identified as a restricted coastal activity if it is likely to have significant or irreversible adverse effects on the coastal marine area or be likely to occur in an area having significant conservation value) The regional council must delegate its role of hearing and deciding the application to a body consisting of one or more council employees and/or hearings commissioners and this must include one person nominated by the Minister of Conservation. The hearing is set for around November this year. 

Discussions last night, along with an informal pre hearing meeting a month ago has resulted in some changes to the consent conditions.
The Port now proposes to reduce the yearly amount to be dumped at The Spit from 200,000 cm3 to 50,000 cm3, the balance of difference will now be placed at Heywards Point, raising the allowable amount there from 200,000 mc3 to 350,000 mc3, this may well have an effect on the surfbreaks at Whareake and Karitane, both protected surfbreaks under NZCPS. However The Port will be adding four new conditions of consent, as follows
1.Volume allocations changes to, as stated above.
2.Port recognition the significance of The Spit, murderers and Karitane all in the Blueskin Bay area as surfbreaks of national significance and the need to protect them.
3.Review term of consent.
4.Peer Review – Get a list together of independent scientists for peer review of data collected over the 3 years. Test the availability of these people, qualifications etc. So submitters can put forward these names (eg Mead ASR etc, as possibilities for peer review( and port will pay for their services)This will be present as a summary of proposal within 2 weeks, and available for comment for 2-3 weeks by submitters. Especially needing certainty over the volume distribution.


Nicola Reeves

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