1. The Whangamata Marina Society: they first met fourteen years ago to nut out the project. They got DoC permission for their marina plans eight years ago, Environment Court approval three years ago, a ministerial veto a few months ago and a High Court veto of that veto two days ago.Thank the property-rights-destroying RMA and its two chief architects Geoffrey Palmer and Simon Upton that things in New Zealand have come to this. As I've said before, it's time to drive a stake through the heart of this monster, and stop it sucking the lifeblood out of innovation and enterprise.
The marina is already a million dollar, fourteen-year-old project, and not a sod has been turned (not of dirt anyway) -- and the latest veto only means that the ministerial veto needs to be reconsidered.
2. Here's the story of another million-dollar project: Wellington's 'Wharf Hilton' has finally got resource consent. Two years to build. Thirteen years to get consent. George Middleditch, the developer died a few months ago waiting for this - and it's still not a full green light: the consent decision is "subject to a fifteen-day appeal period," and the project's opponents have already signalled they're appealing.
3. I watched a film recently at the Auckland Architecture Film Festival in which a London architect explained to a Swiss banker that he wouldn't be moving in to his new building quite as soon as he thought he might. "In London," explained the architect patiently, "the building is the easy part." The cinema audience roared with laughter. In New Zealand now too, as everyone in that audience knew, the building is the easy part. I don't say that like it's a good thing.
UPDATE: As I expected, blogger Well Urban has an analysis of the Wharf Hilton project, the resource consent decision, and a round-up of the reaction, giving you an idea of the sort of stuff that's considered in these consent hearings (and how much our buildings today are designed by committee), only for the application to then go on to another, higher, more expensive court when or if an objector appeals. No wonder building costs are rising.
LINKS: Court limits Government RMA action - Not PC (Peter Cresswell)
Wharf Hilton gets go-ahead in Wellington - Stuff
It's time to drive a stake through the heart of the RMA - Peter Cresswell, Free Radical (PDF)
RELATED: Politics-NZ, RMA, Building