Auckland Council/Waitematā Local Board's decision making in relation to the National Erebus Memorial
- I have found that Auckland Council (the Council) did not act unreasonably in not recommending to the Independent Hearing Commissioner notification of the Ministry of Culture and Heritage/Manatu Taonga’s (the Ministry) application for a resource consent.
- I do not consider that the Council acted unreasonably in failing to insist that the Ministry seek notification of the application. In particular, the Heritage Policy said to require this did not apply.
- I consider that Council officers’ involvement and assistance to the Ministry in its search for a suitable Auckland location for the Erebus memorial in 2018 was appropriate.
- I do not consider that there was predetermination or bias on the part of Council officers in the role that they played prior to the Waitematā Local Board’s (the Local Board) in-principle support for landowner approval being granted to the Ministry. Nor do I consider that the Council was remiss in not following up its suggestion of a meeting with an appropriate iwi forum.
- I do consider that the Council acted unreasonably in failing to inform the Local Board, before it expressed in-principle support for landowner approval, of an environmental consultant’s report that was unfavourable to establishing a memorial in Dove-Myer Robinson Park (the Boffa Miskell report).
- I consider that the Council was wrong to recommend to the Local Board approval of the landowner approval application in September and December 2019 before all the conditions set out in the Board’s in-principle resolution had been fulfilled. But as approval was not granted at either of these meetings, there were no adverse consequences.
- I do not consider that the Council acted unreasonably in recommending a grant of landowner approval by the Local Board at its November 2020 meeting.
- I consider that the consultation process carried out by the Council in September/October 2019 was adequate. While I think that remarks of a Council officer at the time urging the Ministry to counteract views opposed to landowner approval in the Park were unwise, they were not a material factor.
- I consider that the results of the consultation were reported accurately and adequately to the Local Board.
- I consider that the Council was justified in granting a building consent exemption in respect of the memorial.
- I have concluded that no recommendation is appropriate or necessary in this case.