Extra time for input on Kapiti coastal hazards? “We are listening,” says mayor

Press Release – Kapiti Coast District Council
Kāpiti Coast District Council is to consider extending the date for submissions on the coastal hazards section of the proposed District Plan and using independent commissioners during the hearings process.

“The community has spoken and we are listening,” said Mayor Jenny Rowan.

“This is one of the most challenging and unsettling issues to face this District for some time. We want to make sure the process is fair and equitable.”

Council will consider a proposal this week to extend the time limit for submissions on Chapter 4, the Coastal Environment section of the proposed District Plan and to appoint independent commissioners to preside over the hearing process.

The Plan was publically notified last November and submissions were to close on 1 March but, if a proposal before Council gets the green light, the deadline will be extended by a month.

Mayor Jenny Rowan says public feedback has sent the clear message “these issues are complex, we need more time.”

Mayor Rowan says the proposal to appoint independent commissioners to hear submissions relating to coastal hazard provisions is also in response to public feedback.

“We have the option to use independent commissioners and commonly do when there is a need for specific technical expertise on the hearing panel. With the complexities of coastal hazard science I believe it is warranted.”

A decision on the proposal is expected to be made at a full council meeting on Thursday.

Meanwhile Mayor Rowan says suggestions that Council may withdraw services, such as water and sewage from coastal properties affected by erosion couldn’t be further from the truth.

“I’d like to scotch this rumour once and for all. Council will in fact be doing the very opposite by looking at moving public infrastructure such as pipelines and pump stations away from high risk areas. In other words we would be relocating them inland to ensure services are maintained.”

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