Rangiora Racecourse Hearing to Continue with Two Commissioners

The hearing for the Taggart Earthmoving Ltd Rangiora Racecourse resource consent application was adjourned shortly after beginning yesterday as it was discovered there was a conflict of interest with one commissioner.

The commissioners are considering a resource application from Taggart Earthmoving Ltd who has applied to Environment Canterbury (ECan) and Waimakariri District Council (WDC) for consents to establish, maintain and operate an aggregate quarry located at the Rangiora Racecourse, 309 West Belt, Rangiora. Full information can be found on Environment Canterbury’s website.

In March Paul Rogers, Reginald Proffit and John Iseli were appointed as commissioners.

However, this morning at the start of the hearing commissioners Mr Proffit declared a conflict after recognising that one of the experts was engaged by a firm that he is also engaged with.

The panel considered this issue by way of a brief adjournment and ultimately decided that Mr Proffit should step down from decision making. The remaining panel members also determined that they felt that they had sufficient expertise and experience to carry on with the hearing.

The external planning officer for both ECan and WDC applications has recommended the consents are declined. This partly based on a lack of understanding of the effects of the proposal, effects on groundwater and enforceability of conditions. Waimakariri District Council has also given evidence relating to the potential effects on wells and flooding displacement.

However, the report from the planning officer does note that if these issues, among others, could be addressed the activity may be acceptable.

The hearing continues today (Wednesday 5 May 2021) at the Showgrounds Function Centre, Rangiora. It is expected to last between five and six days.