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Council to help with assessments

Last updated 05:00 18/03/2014

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Auckland Council is taking new steps to protect the city's valuable cultural heritage.

Under the proposed Auckland Unitary Plan, the council will contact iwi on behalf of landowners who need a cultural impact assessment as part of a resource consent.

It's hoped that will make it easier for applicants and speed up the assessment process.

Council chief planning officer Roger Blakeley says more people will be requiring assessments now that there is a focus on protecting cultural heritage within the city.

"It is important for Auckland to protect its cultural heritage and values - and for the rules to be workable.

"We're working closely with iwi to find ways to get the right balance," Dr Blakeley says.

Applicants must consult iwi if there is going to be any impact on air or water or if changes will be made in areas of cultural significance.

"Providing a facilitator to contact iwi on applicants' behalf is just one of the steps we can take to help make the process more straightforward," he says.

The council is also working on steps to clarify the assessment guidelines.

Meanwhile, iwi are trying to help applicants by finding ways to increase the certainty of the process.

Dr Blakeley says an assessment needs to be done before a final decision is made on a building consent application.

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- Manukau Courier

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