December 08, 2020
Coromandel council in hot water over climate declaration
The High Court has rebuked Thames-Coromandel District Council for its decision not to approve the Mayor signing the Local Government Leaders' Climate Change Declaration.
The decision was made after Mayor Sandra Goudie told councillors it was a potentially binding document, but obtaining a legal opinion on its implications was an unnecessary expense because the council was working in accord with the objective of the declaration.
The refusal to sign was challenged by Hauraki Coromandel Climate Action, which gave evidence on the likely effect of climate change and sea level rise on the district.
Justice Matthew Palmer says the council's decision was not unreasonable because it is possible the Declaration could create a legally enforceable legitimate expectation in some circumstances.
But he says the Council did not do the analysis or consider consultation with the District, as required by the Local Government Act 2002 and its own Significance and Engagement Policy.
He therefore quashed the decision and directed the Council to reconsider it.
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