Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan
The proposed Auckland Unitary Plan was publicly notified for formal submissions in September 2013, with submissions closing in February 2014. Just over 9,000 submissions were received, covering around 100,000 points.
This was followed by a Further Submission period, which closed in July 2014 with 3,500 further submitters.
The submissions are currently being heard by the Auckland Unitary Plan Independent Hearings Panel (https://hearings.aupihp.govt.nz/hearings), specifically established by Government to hear and recommend decisions on submissions to the Auckland Council. The process is described by the Panel as using pre-hearing meetings, expert conferences and mediation to try and resolve issues before the hearing. The overall goals are to achieve better solutions and for less time to be required for formal hearings. The Panel has to complete this task and report its recommendations by 22 July 2016.
Unlike the usual Resource Management Act procedures, there are very limited opportunities for appeals to the Environment Court arising from the Council’s final decisions on submissions, particularly if the Council accepts the Panel’s recommendations.