March 09, 2017
IMSB loses mana whenua site challenge
Auckland's Independent Maori Statutory Board has failed in its challenge to the deletion of a list of sites of value for mana whenua from the Auckland unitary Plan.
The board asked the High Court to rule that the independent hearings panel's recommendation to delete the schedule was wrong, and the council was wrong to accept it against the advice of officials.
But Justice Ed Wylie says the panel was entitled to reach the conclusions and make the recommendations it did.
It heard evidence from a large number of parties, both for and against retaining and/or expanding the overlay.
The draft unitary plan included a Maori cultural heritage alert layer of up to 9000 sites, which was later reduced to 3600 and then 2200 sites.
The schedule drew fire from developers and ratepayer groups because of potential costs when properties were sold or developed.
The hearings panel recommended the schedule be deleted in its entity until the evidence for each site's connection to mana whenua had been established.
Judge Wylie said the council didn't need to give reasons for accepting the recommendation.
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