Submitters only have until Monday 24th April to confirm that they wish to speak to the hearing commissioners at the proposed Southland Water and Land Plan hearing.
Submitters are urged to get in touch with our hearing administrators to ensure they are on the list of speakers and find a time that suits.
A timetable will be available online in mid-May.
When the plan was notified in June last year, it attracted 900 submissions. Environment Southland’s planning team is now calling on those submitters that wanted to be heard to get in touch so they can begin the mammoth task of scheduling.
The hearing is due to start on 22 May, and will continue over several months, at three venues. Submitters will begin receiving information from the hearing panel commissioners advising them of the details of the hearing and how they are to be run.
The Section42a report, which is an independent staff report under the Resource Management Act, has also been released. It analyses the 900 submissions, 50 further submissions and five further submissions to the addendum. The report includes recommendations on how the proposed plan could be changed in response to the submissions.
Policy and planning manager Anita Dawe said the report forms one part of the information the commissioners will use to make their final decisions after listening to the submitters, and considering expert evidence. “The Section42a report is simply a professional officer’s opinion and is not binding on the panel at all,” she said.
For those submitters wanting to be heard, now is also the time to prepare and submit any supporting material or evidence you want the commissioners to consider. “No new information is able to be introduced during a hearing,” Anita said. “This will ensure the hearing panel have time to read all documentation prior to the hearing. If you don’t have any supporting information to present, then you just need to schedule a session in the hearing timetable, turn up and answer any questions the panel may have.”
Go to the proposed Southland Water and Land Plan page for more information on the hearings and to access the Section 42a report.