Lawrence Yule: Ocean Beach

Last Thursday the Council decided its position on the Private Plan Change for Ocean Beach. I and by far the majority of Councillors oppose what is being proposed by the landowners. I do not believe the Private Plan Change offers the necessary protection to the northern end of the beach, and I think 1000 houses will destroy the very essence of a much loved piece of our coast line.

The petition mounted by BayBuzz (Editor: among many others) did reinforce the general public sentiment. I congratulate all those involved in getting the signatures together. You believe in what you are promoting and are prepared to do the work to show us.

I want to briefly discuss the message that was delivered on Thursday that simply said “ Just say no.” While this may be appealing, I don’t believe it will stand the scrutiny of the RMA process based on the evidence. I have poured over thousands of pages of evidence during the past two years. I liken the “saying no” argument to a discussion we will probably all have had with children. Simply saying no when they are young may work, but as they get older and become more aware of subject they then question the word no, and it needs to be justified.

So is the case here. I am aware that all sorts of experts will be involved in the Commissioner Hearings. Those that will argue for the landowners, those that will argue the Councils’ positions and those brought in to help other submitters. I have a duty to try and assess all the information I have been given. This includes that from the applicants, the Council and opposition groups such as Future Ocean Beach. I have done exactly that to get to my view.

My position is formed on the following principles.

1. The landowners already have existing rights for 26 lots which could arguably be taken to 52. These extend the complete length of the beach.

2. The northern end of the beach requires permanent protection from development.

3. The public requires a large reserve, which should include a camping ground.

4. The areas that development could occur need to be determined. The scale and timing of this needs to be resolved.

For these reasons I am not persuaded that simply saying no is a valid option. This is a highly complicated issue but I am determined to get it resolved. I don’t have a final view on what the answer will be. That is what the process will determine. What I will say though is I am not interested in delay tactics by any party. Much energy and effort has already gone into this by all sides and the sooner it is resolved the better.

Lawrence Yule

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  1. Mayor Laurence Yule offers interesting views in regard to children and principles. The unfortunate analogy to children he uses to explain the action of protesters campaigning for a simple 'no' to residential and commercial development at Ocean Beach will not be lost on those of us who offer reason and logic to the debate.

    The four 'principles' he outlines are not principles but are possible solutions he happens to favour. Another possible solution, which he appears not to favour, is that existing landowners can apply to subdivide under existing Rural Zone regulations and it is not a forgone conclusion that each subdivided section could be built on in regard to evironmental matters.

    Clearly, the existing landowners as developers, want more.

    The Mayor, as a politician, has, by confusing children, principles and solutions, a hidden agenda. The next round will see a deal with the developers in the form of a new "change of plan". Hands off the northern end of the beach, give me a reserve with camping ground, put in a road, and you can build your town.

    Tim Menzies.

  2. Well well Mayor Yule Your comment"

    I liken the “saying no” argument to a discussion we will probably all have had with children." Was unfortunate and just displays how out of touch [and arrogant] you have become. This is typical of multiple terms mayors who believe to think of themselves as 'god'. Perhaps you would give us some run down on the 'private' or 'informal' if you like, discussions you have had with the 'would be 'developers of Waipuka? What private undertakings [if any?] you have given to them on a private level. Think hard, you may like to think back to Cape Kidnappers and 'discussions' with Julian. {details in HDC records}.

    What's so hard to understand about NO?

    See you in court ????

  3. Simply saying no is only 'a highly complicated issue' for the cognitively challenged. The rest of us don't have any trouble with it at all.

    The patronising and condescending tone adopted by the mayor (including pat on the head for doing something so terribly clever as organising a petition) betrays a dismissive arrogance that is a slap in the face for everyone who sincerely believes there is a better way. Let the landowners build their 52 houses. It's still a lot better than hundreds, regardless of where they are located. Just like the Nelson Park sell-out, Yule is again attempting to obfuscate the real issue by blowing smoke. Soon Hastings will have a shiny new sports complex that isn't even in Hastings while more big-box eyesores destroy a significant strip of land that is. Somehow this is presented as a huge triumph for the city.

    With similar sleight of hand, Ocean Beach will get a reserve (how nice for the people who live there!) and the developers will get their development. Once again this will somehow be presented as a huge triumph. If people really are stupid enough to fall for this, then His Worship truly is justified in regarding them as children.

  4. Rikki: of course, that's the problem – people are, generally, stupid. that's why flash harry's like Yule and Kelt and Lowe can take advantage of them. and why a smart bit of Council spin goes so far toward convincing the average voter they're okay.

    that said, leaving aside the patronising tone, from a Council perspective the mayor is in essence correct: because the RMA is a subjective piece of legislation, a TLA has to winnow out a suitably robust "solution" to any proposal that will stand up to challenge. in this context, simply saying "No" isn't an option – no matter how much you'd like it to be.

    the real fault here is that despite enormous and obvious pressures, HDC blindly didn't consider coastal land was under development threat – and so left the door wide open for Lowetown by not putting suitable rules in place BEFOREHAND. It's that lack of forward planning / foresight they should be shot for; everything since is simply about cleaning up the mess (albeit not very well!).

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