On 19 August 2022, the Hearing Panel convened a virtual pre-hearing conference with
counsel and others representing MHUD, Restore Rotorua Inc, Noahs Hotels (NZ) Ltd
and Council to discuss the order and anticipated duration of appearances and other
related hearing matters.
As a consequence the Hearing Panel makes the following directions for the hearing:
(a) The hearing will, as far as practicable, be split into two sessions:
(i) Session 1 will focus on the overview / cumulative effects of the 13
applications and will run from Monday, 17 October 2022 through Friday, 21
October 2022 as needed.
(ii) Session 2 will focus on the site-specific motel applications and concerns
and will run for 2 days from Monday, 31 October 2022.
(b) Council’s response and MHUD’s reply will follow
See Minute 10 below for more information.
Update – July 2022
The Hearing Panel was advised on 7 July 2022 that the contracted emergency
housing resource consent application for the Rotorua International Motor Inn at 2
Monokia Street, Rotorua has been formally withdrawn.
At the same time the Panel was advised that MHUD intended to lodge a new resource
consent application to use an additional tourist accommodation premises for
contracted emergency housing in Rotorua – being the Emerald Spa Motel on Fenton
That application was received on 22 July 20022 and is anticipated to be notified
on or about 6 August 2022, and would then “catch up” with the other 12 applications
and be heard and determined by the Panel at the same time.
See Minute 9 below for more information.
Update – June 2022
The commissioners have now agreed, in response to a request, to enable people to make a single submission covering multiple or all applications and have directed Council to change the information on its website accordingly, which has been done.
It will be clear when people go to the Council website that they can make a single submission if they wish but noting that if people want to submit about specifics relating to specific sites it is preferable they make separate submissions.
While cumulative effect will be considered, each application must be dealt with separately because they are 12 separate applications.
See Minute 8 below for more information.
Update – May 2022
The Ministry of Housing and Urban Development has requested public notification of resource consent applications for 12 of the 13 Rotorua motels it has contracted to provide dedicated emergency accommodation for families and children.
This means the panel of Independent Hearing Commissioners appointed to consider the applications does not now need to make a decision about notification as the applicant has requested it.
The request for public notification was made at the same time MHUD provided additional information that had been requested and for which the ministry was granted an extension of time by the panel (see Minute 5 below)
As required as part of the process, Council must prepare a recommended approach for public notification which needs to be approved by the panel, including documentation for each application. That work is underway.
Public notification will occur once the panel has approved the documents and there will be a four-week period for people to make submissions.
Each consent application requires its own public notification.
A timetable for hearings and decision-making by the independent panel will be advised by the panel in due course (see Minute 6 below).
Notification is expected to occur early June.
MHUD has not requested public notification of the other (13th) consent application, but has advised it will update the panel in the first week of June as to whether it wishes to continue to progress that application or not.
There are currently 13 motels in Rotorua that are contracted by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to provide dedicated accommodation for families and children in need of emergency housing.
Find out more about the response to emergency housing needs in Rotorua HERE.
To ensure that the short term use of the motels is appropriately considered under the Rotorua District Plan, HUD has lodged resource consent applications with Rotorua Lakes Council to use the motels for emergency housing.
Rotorua Lakes Council has appointed a panel of Independent Hearing Commissioners to consider and decide both the notification path for the applications as well as the subsequent grant or decline of the applications. The panel was appointed in order to protect the integrity and independence of the application process, and to provide assurance to both the community and the applicant that the process would be carried out fairly, independently and with a high level of expertise.
On 24 November 2021 it was confirmed that two senior planners (David Hill and Greg Hill) and a barrister (Sheena Tepania) would make up the panel of Independent Hearing Commissioners, and assume the functions and duties of Council as the consent authority under the Resource Management Act in the processing of the applications.
The panel has directed the applicant to respond to Council’s request for further information by 22 April 2022. When that further information is received, the panel will proceed to review the application information in its entirety, consider the recommendation from Council’s reporting planner on notification, and decide the appropriate notification path for each application.
If the panel decide to limited notify or publicly notify one or more of HUD’s applications, a hearing will be scheduled on that application(s), before the panel decides to grant or decline the application.
To keep the community up to date with the process, the Minutes from the Independent Hearing Commissioners will be published here.