Comment from NZILA President Brad Coombs
The stoush over Te Mata Peak walking track has highlighted the need for councils to take an inclusive approach when considering the public interest in our special landscapes, says the New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architects president, Brad Coombs.
“The situation that has unfolded with the walking track consenting review illustrates the deeply held views that a range of special interest groups and the general public have in the highly valued landscapes of Aotearoa,” Coombs told Landscape Architecture Aotearoa.
His comments come as the Environmental Defence Society (EDS) announces it’s headed to the High Court to challenge Hastings District Council’s decision making process, which allowed Craggy Range winery to build a zig zagging path across the peak face. Craggy Range is named as the second defendant in the action.
Coombs says identified outstanding natural landscapes like Te Mata Peak require the highest level of protection as a matter of national importance under the Resource Management Act. Where landscape values are widely recognised, such as the scenic and cultural associations with Te Mata Peak, the territorial authority and the public have a strong interest in the management of those values, he says.