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Ed Sheeran

Plan overlay better than court action

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The Minister for Maori Development is warning the Auckland Council may have created ongoing problems for itself by dropping an overlay of sites of value to Maori from the Unitary Plan.

The overlay had been subject to a concerted attack by opponents who dubbed it the taniwha tax, even though a tiny minority of developments had required customary impact assessments because they impinged on sites.

Te Ururoa Flavell says the requirement to protect Maori heritage doesn’t go away but the council has abandoned a mechanism to make it relatively straightforward.

"If you have our people involved at the beginning you get away from the whole notion of litigation. Nobody wants to go to litigation. It just costs money. There is a winner and a loser. If you are able to engage with our people, I think our people are pretty fair and are willing to work through issues when they know it is in the public good or the good of the country, but they don't like individual people profiting off the back of losses that may be incurred by Maori," he says.

Mr Flavell says changes to the Resource Management Act could create a window for better consultation with Maori.

TE URUROA FLAVELL INTERVIEW

Copyright © 2016, UMA Broadcasting Ltd: www.waateanews.com

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