Updates on appeals
Appeals against Auckland Council's decisions on the proposed plan closed on Friday 16 September 2016.
Notices of appeals and interested party notices (section 274) served on the council were published on 31 October 2016.
Note: the annotations to the Auckland Unitary Plan Operative in part will be updated to reflect the changes made through the appeal process.
As at 24 April 2017
Status of lodged appeals (PDF 104KB)
Rights of appeal
There are certain limited rights of appeal against Auckland Council's decisions on the recommendations of the Auckland Unitary Plan Independent Hearings Panel (the Panel) available to the Environment Court and the High Court.
See the provisions of the Local Government (Auckland Transitional Provisions) Act 2010 (LGATPA) that apply to appeals in sections 156, 157 and 158 of the Local Government (Auckland Transitional) Provisions Act 2010 (LGATPA) website.
For a summary of the appeal rights relevant to the council's decisions, see Summary of the appeal rights relating to decisions notified on 19 August 2016 (PDF 152KB)
Rights of participation to High Court and Judicial review proceedings
Appeals: Section 301 of the Resource Management Act 1991 (as modified by section 158(5) of the Local Government (Auckland Transitional Provisions Act 2010) provides that any person who appeared before the Auckland Unitary Plan Independent Hearings Panel (i.e. a submitter or further submitter) who wishes to appear in relation to an appeal to the High Court shall give notice of intention to appear. Any such notice must be filed, by hand, with the Registrar of the High Court in Auckland, and be also served at the same time on the council and on the appellant.
Applications for Judicial Review: Any person who is 'directly affected' by an application for judicial review, and who wishes to join that proceeding, can apply for leave to intervene in the proceeding. Any application for leave to intervene must be filed, by hand, with the Registrar of the High Court in Auckland, and be also served at the same time on the council and the applicant for judicial review.
Decisions on 'out of scope' recommendations
The LGATPA process allowed the Panel to make recommendations to the council that are beyond the scope of submissions made on the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan (PAUP) i.e. 'out of scope' recommendations. The council, in making its decisions, has accepted the out of scope recommendations.
There is a specific right of appeal available in relation to decisions made by the council that accept the Panel's out of scope recommendations (see section 156(3), LGATPA). See Rights of appeal.
The Panel's recommendation reports and maps explain how to identify the out of scope recommendations. See Appendix 3 of the Report to Auckland Council overview of recommendations (PDF 1.2KB) and the Panel's GIS viewer, with properties depicted with a bold black outline indicating a change to zoning.
Auckland Council's decisions report and plan also explains how to identify the out of scope recommendations made by the Panel that have been accepted by the council.
All appeals on the council's decisions must be lodged with the Environment Court or the High Court from 19 August 2016.
Anyone considering filing an appeal with either the Environment Court or High Court is encouraged to seek legal advice.
Timeframes to be aware of:
- Appeals lodged with the Environment Court under section 156(1) or (3) of the LGATPA, which concern the council's decisions on provisions or matters appearing in the PAUP, must be filed with the Environment Court no later than 16 September 2016 (being 20 working days after the date of public notification);
- Appeals lodged with the Environment Court under section 157(1) or (4) of the LGATPA, which concern the council’s decisions on Auckland Council designations, must be filed with the Environment Court no later than 30 September 2016 (being 30 working days after the date of public notification); and
- Appeals lodged with the High Court under section 158(1) or (3) of the LGATPA, which relate to questions of law, must be filed with the High Court no later than 16 September 2016 (being 20 working days after the date of public notification).
These timeframes do not apply to non-council designations. The decisions on those designations have not yet been made by the relevant requiring authorities.
Waivers and directions from the Environment Court
Due to the large number of submitters involved in the PAUP process, the Environment Court has made certain waivers and directions.
Those waivers and directions were made under section 281 of the Resource Management Act 1991, and approved special procedural arrangements for appeals lodged in the Environment Court under section 156 of the LGATPA only.
The special procedural arrangements will reduce the burden on everyone involved in the appeals process, particularly the serving of large numbers of paper documents on other persons.
A copy of the courts decision granting the waiver and directions is available on the Environment Court website.
Summary of special procedural arrangements for certain Environment Court appeals
Arrangements relating to Notice of Appeal
- Parties are required to file a hard copy (signed original) of any Notice of Appeal with the court, but the requirement to file a second hard copy is waived.
- The requirement to serve a copy of any Notice of Appeal on every person who made a submission on the provisions or matter to which the appeal relates is waived.
- Any Notice of Appeal may be filed electronically with the Environment Court by emailing email@example.com.
- Any Notice of Appeal may be served on the council electronically by emailing the Unitary Plan team.
Arrangement relating to 274 parties and 274 notices
- Any party seeking to join an appeal as a section 274 party may file an electronic copy of the required 274 notice by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 274 notices that are filed electronically may be signed or unsigned, with no hard copy needed for filing.
- There is no requirement to serve a copy of any 274 notice on “all other parties”. Instead, service of any 274 notice will be effected by the court uploading copies of those notices on the Environment Court website.
- An electronic copy of any 274 notice must be served by email on the Appellant and the council.
Any other appeal documents
- The Environment Court has directed that unless hard copy documents are specifically required, all other documents relating to any appeal may be filed and served electronically.
For a full description of these arrangements, see the Environment Court website.
Specific forms are available for appeals relating to the proposed plan under the LGATPA.
The forms are set out within the Resource Management (Forms, Fees, and Procedure for Auckland Combined Plan) Regulations 2013 (2013 Regulations). The 2013 regulations and forms are available on the Environment Court website and the New Zealand Legislation website.
The council has developed an amended template Notice of Appeal for appeals lodged under sections 156(1) and 156(3) of the LGATPA. To download the amended appeal template form, see the Environment Court website.
Designations and High Court appeals
Any appeals lodged with:
- the Environment Court under section 157 of the LGATPA concerning the Council's decisions on Auckland Council designations, and
- the High Court under section 158 of the LGATPA on questions of law
must be lodged with the relevant court. They must also comply with, as relevant, the requirements of the LGATPA, the 2013 Regulations, the High Court Rules and the Resource Management Act 1991.
No special procedural arrangements are in place for those categories of appeals at this time.
The Environment Court intends to case manage designation appeals separately.
For appeals lodged in the Environment Court, see sections 156 and 157 of the Local Government (Auckland Transitional) Provisions Act 2010 (LGATPA) website.
For appeals lodged in the High Court, see section 158 of the Local Government (Auckland Transitional) Provisions Act 2010 (LGATPA) website.