Hearing for Moir Hill development at Puhoi

by George Driver

A resource consent hearing for an 1800-hectare residential development at Moir Hill will be held at the Puhoi Centennial Hall from December 6 to December 8 from 9.30am.

Asia Pacific International Group has proposed a 207-lot subdivision on the site, between Puhoi and Warkworth,  in exchange for transforming 1300ha of pine forest into native bush.

A total of 23 submissions were received, with 11 in opposition, six in support, five neutral and one not stated.

A report by Auckland Council consultant planner Haylee Minoprio recommended the consent be granted.

She said the proposal would result in long term benefits through the retirement of pine forestry and rehabilitation of native forest. Any adverse effects could be appropriately managed.

However, a number of nearby residents were concerned the subdivision would increase the risk of flooding and erosion.

One couple on Ahuroa Road said they lived right next to a creek on the flood-plane for the area and the development would increase the risk of flood.

The Warkworth branch of Forest and Bird opposed the consent due to the high risk of run-off from the steep site and the extensive earthworks required.

It also said the reforestation scheme was very ambitious and was concerned about the cost of rehabilitating the forest if the plantings failed.

“Full restoration of cut over forest on this scale has rarely been attempted,” the submission said.

The Matakana Coast Trail Trust (MCTT) also made a submission opposing the development, as the development did not include any pedestrian or cycle access between Puhoi and Warkworth.

If the consent was granted, it called for the developer to work with MCTT to plan for public trails.

But the Te Araroa Trail Trust made a submission supporting the development. The land includes a section of the trail, which runs from Cape Reinga to Bluff, and the submission said the developer had been supportive of the trail.