by Christopher Ruthe

Council failures to comply with MacLean Park Management Plan 2017 and Reserves Act

Mayor Gurunathan’s vanity Gateway project continues to proceed in defiance of all legal restraints. The worst legal infraction is the Council breaking the requirements set out in the MacLean Park Management Plan 2017. This is agreement required by the Reserves Act. It is not simply a KCDC Plan that KCDC can ignore. It is binding in terms of MacLean Park uses. The Council knows the law as it sets it out in the Plan: 

The Management Plan for Maclean Park Beach Reserve (the Management Plan) is the result of reviewing the operative Management Plan prepared in 1993 and has been prepared as a requirement of the Reserves Act 1977″.(p6) 

Problem 1: The Management Plan for Maclean Park Beach Reserve 

Council can do nothing on that land that does not comply with the Plan. The Plan does not allow any building of any sort where the Gateway is being erected. These images from the Management Plan make this explicit.                      

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A1 is the site of potential Gateway; A2 is a new bridge; A3 is the restored Titoki stream

The carpark shown here with 22 car parks is being taken over by the Gateway. 

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This plan clearly show that up until the blue line (the stream) all the land was for family and open recreation — not for a building left of the blue line.

Mayor Gurunathan has frequently said that the Plan allowed a Gateway to be built where it is going to be. He wrote columns. The Provincial Growth fund was told the MacLean Park plan showing a gateway on the carpark site had strong approval. This is factually incorrect. The Plan states that public feedback was based on these plans:

“Throughout the management plan process Council sought feedback on a range of key structuring ideas at the scale of the whole park. During the development concept design phase … concepts were created for community feedback.”

Neither the draft or final Plan show Uruhi where it now is going to be, raising the first serious legal issue.

The second is is the removal of car parks. The plan requires KCDC to first put in more car parks:6.4 Parking. The current parking areas are insufficient to cope with the demand for parking. The development plan includes improved parking areas…”

To that KCDC has thumbed its nose, says it has no need to comply with a legally binding Plan and has removed 14 car parks.

To proceed legally in compliance with the Management Plan, new plans will need to be publicly notified, hearings take place, then a new Plan promulgated.

Problem 2: The Reserves Act 1977

The provisions of the Reserves Act have been treated with equal distain on three matters.

1. The Reserves Act requires the KCDC to act in compliance with its management plan. It refuses to, as discussed.

2. Buildings on reserve land are not to exceed 2% of the reserve and it will be exceeded by 35% (there is already a large building being the Boating Club).

3. No buildings on this reserve land unless the express purpose is physical recreation (Schedule 1).  KCDC and ferry owners are going to be leasing space. Section 54 of the Reserves Act says any lease requires prior approval by Minister “provided that a lease granted by the administering body may be given on the ground that he or she considers it to be in the public interest, permit the erection of buildings and structures for sports, games, or public recreation”. 

The new main purpose of Uruhi is stated to be cultural and educational. KCDC has just announced revised plans trebling the education centre. It does not comply. Also if the use is non-recreational, there cannot be buildings if nearby building can perform non-recreational functions, e.g. provide Maori cultural history. Conveniently, KCDC bought such a building along the road proudly announced in the Guru Pictorial Times a.k.a. Kapiti News:

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