Auckland Council has refused a resource consent from McCallum Brothers to extract two million cubic metres of sand offshore of Pakiri.
The application sought consent to mine the sand over a 44 square kilometre area, with the ability to take up to 150,000 cubic metres during any 12 month period.
An overwhelming 655 submitters, of a total of 660 submissions, opposed the consent.
The decision was made by independent commissioners, on behalf of Council, who found that the issues in contention between the parties were extensive. These were listed in their 124-page decision released on Friday (May 6).
The arguments came down to the need for the sand resource versus the cultural and environmental impacts.
The submitters in support considered consent should be granted largely for reasons of economic well-being, while the submitters in opposition considered consent should be refused largely because they considered the extraction of sand was not an appropriate use in this particular part of the coastal marine environment, or not appropriate at all.
The commissioners felt that there remained a great deal of uncertainty about the coastal processes taking place and the actual and potential effects of the sand extraction on those processes.
“In addition, we have accepted the evidence of mana whenua and Mr Hopkins [a Council planner] that there are significant adverse effects on mana whenua values.”
The consent’s original applicant (Kaipara Limited) transferred all interests in the applications and its existing coastal permit to McCallum Brothers last October.
McCallum Brothers were approached for comment but did not respond.
The applicant and submitters have 15 days in which to lodge an appeal to the Environment Court.