'Don't appeal' call if Lim case lost

There are calls for Kapiti Coast District Council to stop spending ratepayers' money on a High Court challenge to the council's contentious new hazard shore lines.

The council has spent about $250,000 so far on legal costs responding to Waikanae Beach resident Mike Weir seeking a judicial review of its decision to publish predicted 50 and 100-year coastal erosion lines, placing them on the Lim reports of 1800 properties.

The case was heard in the High Court at Wellington this week and the judge reserved his decision.

Councillors K Gurunathan and Mike Cardiff and an affected homeowner say the council should not appeal if it lost the case.

Mr Gurunathan said there would be national ramifications whether the council won or lost.

"The council would be foolhardy to appeal it. Ratepayers would not accept it. The lines should not have gone on to Lims. The council believed they had to put the information on Lims when they received it, it is a national interpretation problem."

Mr Cardiff said the council had to respond to the review challenge but he did not want it to run to an appeal if it lost.

"If the council is found to be wrong I am not in favour of an appeal, because of the cost to the ratepayer. Once the result of the judicial review is out, it is done and dusted. That is that."

Affected homeowner Salima Padamsey said an appeal would be "more wastage of ratepayers' money on legal action which could have been prevented if the council had been responsible and consulted with ratepayers before they put the information on Lims".

Council chief executive Pat Dougherty said the council did not initiate the action but was forced to respond, with all the costs incurred.

"Until the court releases its decision, in fairness to all parties, we won't be commenting . . . It is premature to speculate on a possible appeal before the decision is even out."

The Dominion Post