Confusion at SDC hearing

01:14, Apr 01 2014
Southland Times photo
Jack Murrell makes a submission on behalf of Mervyn Cave, of Manapouri, at the SDC Resourse management hearings on the District Plan at the second day of hearings at Te Anau today.

Confusion at the Southland District Council district plan hearings continues today as submitters are not clear on what they can speak about.

The hearing on the proposed district plan started yesterday with submitters told a controversial sewage scheme was off limits.

Today, many of those who have chosen to speak to the resource management committee did not realise that they could not speak on any other part of the plan.

Southland Times photo
Murray Hagen, of Manapouri, listens intently to a response from the hearings committee after making his submission at the SDC Resource management hearings on the district plan.

Manapouri resident Shirley Mouat said she "shouldn't have bothered to come", after she was told by resource management committee chairman Paul Duffy that she could not submit on the land designation for the proposed sewage scheme.

"It would have been nice If I had been told about this beforehand," she said.

Council staff explained while the designation of land adjacent to Te Anau Airport, near Manapouri, as a wastewater treatment area was included in the proposed plan, it would be discussed at the same time as the proposed sewage scheme, which will be heard by an independent committee through Environment Southland.

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All of that information was included in a letter sent to submitters, staff said.

Te Anau resident and farmer Murray Hagen said if he had not attended yesterday's meeting, his submission today would have been on the wrong topic. 

"I had a lot of homework to do last night."

"I've realised the [written] submissions I made weren't in the right context."

He was frustrated that he was not properly informed of the format of the meetings, and did not realise he would be restricted to only speaking on one section of the proposed plan today, Hagen said.

"I felt inadequate," he said.

Hagen questioned the need for a visual amenities landscape zone.

"The added restraints on farming...it's an imposition on us," he said.

Potential added costs associated with consents and a lack of consultation with individual landowners were his other concerns.

"I've read through all the submissions and recommendations from staff and it's just rejected, rejected, rejected," Hagen said.

 

The Southland Times