to the Environment Court Interim Decision
In July 2019, the Environment Court heard an appeal from ourselves, Department of Conservation (DOC), Te Korowai Tiaki O Te Hauauru Inc, Poutama Kaitiaki Charitable Trust and D&T Pascoe against the independent Commissioner's Decision and the NOR Decision regarding resource consent for an alteration of the current designation for SH3 (to enable the construction and operation of a new 6km section of highway to bypass the existing 7.4km section).
Our appeal was on the grounds that, while we had
been in discussions with New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) on reaching
agreement on measures to address the adverse cultural effects of the Project,
we had not yet a final agreement, and, in order to preserve our position, we
sought provisions to address the adverse cultural effects. We also opposed the
conditions that provided for the direct involvement of others (in this case Mr
and Mrs Pascoe) in a Kaitiaki Forum Group.
Key points from the Environment Court findings for
us are that:
- ‘Ngāti Tama has mana
whenua over the Project area and it is appropriate that it be the only body
referred to in conditions addressing cultural matters’.
- NZTA ‘has (correctly in
our view) proceeded on the basis that it would be wrong to once again use the Crown's
coercive powers against Ngāti Tama in order to re-acquire their land. It has
instead proceeded on the basis that the Project will only go ahead if it were
able to gain the consent of Te Rūnanga for the Ngāti Tama Land. Extensive
mitigation and compensation proposals have been negotiated, and the iwi will
decide whether or not to accept them’.
- 'Mrs Pascoe is not
kaitiaki in the sense the term 'kaitiakitanga' is used in the Act. The
relationship the Pascoes have with their land is one of stewardship.'
- 'The adverse social impact
of the Project on the Pascoes is severe. We consider, however, that proposed
condition 5A will mitigate those effects to the extent possible if the Project
is approved and proceeds and the Pascoes accept the Agency's offer to buy their
house, the land on which it sits, and the other land that is required for the
- The Court noted
that while there is no statutory obligation on requiring authorities or consent
applicants to consult, the Transport Agency's consultation was ‘extensive and
- ‘Poutama are not tangata
whenua exercising mana whenua over the Project area. It follows, therefore,
that it is not appropriate that it be recognised in any consent conditions
addressing kaitiakitanga that may issue.’
The proceeding is adjourned to 31 March 2020, and
on that date NZTA is to file a memorandum advising the Court of the state of
negotiations with the Rūnanga.
For the complete Summary of findings, refer to
pages 108 – 112.