Environment Waikato’s Regulatory Committee has dismissed an objection from Raglan station owners to a determination that their application to build a seawall was incomplete due to insufficient information provided.
Paritata Station near Raglan had constructed unauthorised seawalls of 100 metres and 160 metres, and proposed to construct another seawall in Raglan Harbour. The station applied in April for a consent for the both the existing and proposed seawalls.
The Trust said it had not realised consent was required, despite advisors and contractors being involved in the project. Environment Waikato staff had also been on the property assisting with other environmental initiatives the Trust was undertaking.
Environment Waikato staff told the owners their application was incomplete because it lacked enough information to assess its environmental effects. It needed an assessment of effects on coastal processes, ecology, natural character and areas of significance to iwi.
The application also lacked detail on design, dimensions and purpose of the existing and proposed works or possible alternatives.
The Trust objected to the determination, saying the Council and other contractors on site had not previously made them aware that the seawalls needed consents. It said the seawall was an integral part of the environmental improvements and the cost of providing the information put the project and other environmental initiatives on the property in jeopardy.
Station representative Tame Pokaia said the station had about 800 shareholders and most of the area was a coastal island. The farm ran sheep and beef cattle and had undertaken an Environment Waikato Clean Streams Project to fence cattle off the foreshore.
The seawall had stopped stock jumping down onto the beach when shifting paddocks, but it would not have been built if the owners had known consent was required, he said. It had since employed an engineer to help with the application, but sought remittance of some of the application fee. The consent would cost the station thousands, which would have to come out of the fencing budget, he said.
Regulatory Committee Chairman Jim Howland said the Resource Management Act consent requirements were complicated but it was the law.
“We appreciate the work you have done in fencing off the foreshore and congratulate you on that.”