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Letters to the Editor

Council Cove - Part Two

I would like to thank Jamie Boyle, Coastal Scientist, for the prompt reply and reasons why the repairs to the foreshore haven’t started yet. I apologise as I didn’t realise that a 30-metre rock wall extension would take over 9 months just to prepare to lodge a consent.

Jamie points out that this complicated contract must pass the scrutiny of an army of public servants and jump more hurdles than the Grand National. This encompasses the WRC regional policy statement, WRC Coastal Plan, TCDC district plan and the NZ Coastal Policy Statement relevant hazard and management policies. Then there are the Iwi meetings, pre-allocation meetings to determine the direction of the application, ecological and coastal environmental assessments, inter-departmental discussions, and public input to contend with. Naturally there will be a traffic control plan and the inevitable multitude of orange cones.

It is naive to expect this bureaucratic paperchase to take only a year before the work can finally start. It would appear that the bureaucracy and the paper shuffling take considerably longer than the actual job. However, it does explain why New Zealand has 8 paper mills and no oil refinery. Priorities, I guess.

This is approximately a 30m extension of an existing rock retaining wall we are talking about here. It’s not a Rocket Lab space project.

Obviously, there are substantial costs to be paid to all the participants along the way. Would it also be safe to assume that the actual consents and permits will be significantly more expensive than the job itself?

It is a shining example on why construction costs are so high and production figures are declining in New Zealand.

This country used to be a “we can do it” society and we did. Unfortunately we’ve become overwhelmed by draconian government bureaucracy and local officialdom whose first reaction is “Oh no, you can’t” and so we don’t.

Wayne Hill


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