On 12 June 2009, an appeal was filed against a decision of the New Zealand Historic Places Trust (NZHPT) made pursuant to s14 Historic Places Act 1993 (HPA). NZHPT's decision arose out of an application made by Petrochem Ltd which wished to establish a second pipeline along the southern side of Bertrand Road, Taranaki, adjacent to the existing Maui pipeline. Works associated with the second pipeline had the potential to modify, damage or destroy any archaeological sites in the vicinity and hence an authority was sought pursuant to s14 HPA. Pursuant to s20(1)(c) HPA, persons affected by a decision made pursuant to s14 have a right of appeal to this Court. Section 20(4) HPA provides that this Court may confirm, reverse or modify the decision of NZHPT.
The reasons for the appeal are that: the decision will not achieve the purposes of the Historic Places Act; the Historic Places Trust failed to adequately consider:(a) The purposes and principles of the Historic Places Act in relation to the historical and cultural heritage value of the sites subject to the decision, (b) The interests of the Otaraua Hapu, who are directly affected by the decision; and (c) The relationship of the Otaraua Hapu and their culture and traditions with their ancestral lands, water, sites, wahi tape and other taonga.
As the appellant Hapu failed to attend the reconvened mediation; failed to file evidence in accordance with the Court's direction; failed to attend the pre-hearing conference convened by the Court, the judge considered that the situation constitutes an abuse of the Court's process and accordingly determined to strike out the Hapu's appeal.