These four appeals concerned a proposal for subdivision of land at the mouth of Waikanae River for residential development. Kotoku Parks Ltd bought the land there in the 1970s and had already completed subdivision and development of considerable areas which are now occupied by houses.
The decisions of the Kapiti Coast District Council in relation to Stage IV of the development in granting subdivision consents and for the required earthworks and the conditions imposed gave rise to these appeals.
There was testimony that the Waikanae River is a central feature of the tribal lands with profound landscape and cultural associations which would be adversely affected.
The court held that giving as much weight as possible to the positive benefits, the longstanding residential zoning, and the concept plan approval prior to the present regime, those factors were out weight by the cumulative effects of the damage, of:
- Failing to protect the adjacent significant habitat of indigenous fauna; - The adverse visual effects; - And the impairment to the cultural associations of the tribes of the area.
The proposal was too intensive and would have had too great effects on the environment.
The appeals were allowed, the respondents’ decision cancelled, and the resource consent applications were refused.