The economy might be struggling these days, but lawyers for the Hastings Council needn’t worry. Their not-so-little niche in the local economy is booming.
Here are just few examples of how they are earning their keep, at ratepayer expense …
Regional Sports Park – word on the street is that the Plan Change necessary to build the park will be challenged in the Environment Court. Assuming this happens, no further work may proceed until the matter is resolved by mediation or Court decision. This would stop construction of a grandstand to accompany the already in-place track. One might think the Council would have thought about this before building the track. Hastings Council is holding a public briefing on the status of the park on Monday, September 29, 5:30p in Council Chambers. Should be an interesting session if the appeal is filed.
Nelson Park – speaking of parks, the Hastings Council just got blind-sided by notice from mall developer Charter Hall that they propose to change the nature of the shopping complex they will build at the Nelson Park site. Charter Hall is looking to downsize some of the stores they wish to include … good-bye to “big box” and hello to much stiffer competition to CBD retailers. The Council is sputtering mad over this and weighing its options. Look for this one to head into court as well!
Havelock North Apartments – HDC’s crack team lost this one last week. Havelock North Citizens Inc. was forced into High Court to seek an interpretation of the Hastings District Plan that would block two unwanted apartment developments on Te Mata and Napier Roads. All along, HDC staff and lawyers said the citizens were dead wrong, and the apartments had to be allowed under the District Plan. The High Court not only said the citizens were right … it awarded them costs as well. In other words, HDC ratepayers paid for Council lawyers to oppose Havelock North citizens … the citizens prevailed … and now their costs too will be paid by ratepayers.
Ah … to be a lawyer!