The Te Arai hearings at Orewa for the Rodney District Plan change began on Monday 2nd March 2009 with the applicants getting the week to present their case. Surfbreak presented it’s evidence on Wednesday afternoon of week 2 among others who oppose the change.
Among those presenting were Auckland Regional Council, DoC, Forest & Bird, Te Arai Preservation Society, a number of residents, Surfbreak Protection Society, Grant Lahood (Save Te Arai campaign) and other surfers – all in opposition to the proposed change.
We hope that some compelling evidence by Chris Wild in support of the fragile coastal bird situation at Te Arai and the marine life in the stream and lakes will not be ignored.
Sadly there seemed not to be any great recognition by the Commissioners of the amenity value placed on the area for surfing. A private observation was made by a local that surfers made up the vast majority of people who regularly visit Te Arai – not a surprise to us.
We do not believe that the applicant has provided demonstrable evidence that there will not be any serious environmental risks to the surfbreaks, particularly water quality issues, as a result of their development proposal requiring this plan change. Some evidence presented supporting the plan change argued that Te Arai was not a wilderness or remote experience. Te Arai is in fact arguably the last long stretch of beach in the Auckland region to be unspoilt by sub division.
Mark Perry, long time local, local Radio Station owner and of Radio Hauraki fame, presented evidence including the fact that the Managawhai Golf Club desperately needs new members. How is another golf course at Te Arai going to survive in a proposed sub division of only 180 dwellings where it is expected that holiday homes will account for nearly 70% of the dwellings?
The hearings continue and we’ll keep you updated as further news comes to hand.