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Councillor attacks process accepting “ill-conceived development”

11 July, 2022


thumbnail Nictoria del la Varis-Woodcock photo-322A blistering attack over what she termed a “woeful saga relating to PC78 (Mangawhai Central)” was launched by councillor Victoria del la Varis-Woodcock at the recent monthly Kaipara District Council (KDC) meeting.

Ms del la Varis-Woodcock said she was drawing attention to what she called misleading statements in a KDC report that stated that PC78 “was a robust public participatory process.”

“These facts are misleading,” she said.

Earlier mayor Jason Smith had thanked the council staff for “navigating the operations of the council (KDC) through the extraordinary process (of the PC78 Plan Change).”

“I would like to commend the team within the KDC for swallowing a whale of a process of a scale never before seen by little Kaipara District Council.” he said

Asking for further comments, Ms del la Varis-Woodcock said the process of PC78 was not robust nor participatory.

“This was because on March 25, 2020 only three elected members of the council were chosen to accept PC78, a process that was delegated under the auspices of the Covid emergency situation, a decision that was within “mere days” of an ordinary council meeting being held online,” she said.

The three who accepted PC78 in whole were the mayor Jason Smith, deputy-mayor Anna Curnow, and Mangawhai/Kaiwaka ward councillor Peter Wethey.

Ms del la Varis-Woodcock said that the full council as elected members, not just three people, should have had the opportunity to decide whether to accept PC78 or to amend it before it went before Commissioners.

“The first iteration of this development proposal was ill-conceived,” she said.

“This council has been part of a woeful saga, from the original Mangawhai wastewater scheme through to the biggest single development in Kaipara and in Mangawhai. This development was under-supported by capacity in the wastewater scheme and by budgeting and allowance for enough development contributions and also by having sections proposed at 350 square metres that couldn’t accommodate water tanks, no secure water supply All this was quite incredible,“she said.

Ms del la Varis-Woodcock said the truth of the matter was that there were 208 submissions against PC78 and this had never been acknowledged.

“I must point out that on March 25, 2020 we had the opportunity to avert putting this community through the huge effort it went through in fighting this through appeal,” she said.

“It should have been KDC seeking to have much better outcomes for our community right from the start. Private individuals, Mangawhai Matters Society and Clive Boonham, gave up their time and money to appeal the initial decision where the Commissioners rubber stamped a woefully deficient Plan Change,” Ms del la Varis-Woodcock said after the meeting.

At the conclusion of the discussions the council voted unanimously to accept the Environment Court’s amended PC78 decision.

Cr Victoria del la Varis-Woodcock


“Private individuals… gave up their time and money to appeal the initial decision where the Commissioners rubber stamped a woefully deficient Plan Change.”

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