The Auckland Shooting Club had its Certificate of Compliance (CoC) reinstated by independent commissioners last month, but those opposing the development are vowing to fight on.
The club, owned by Raymond O’Brien, is being developed at Makarau but has been opposed by neighbours and, in particular, the Vipassana Meditation Centre.
In June, the Vipassana Meditation Charitable Trust Board challenged the CoC in the High Court.
Although the High Court found in favour of the shooting club, two issues were referred back to Auckland Council to check.
Subsequently, Council revoked the CoC in August when contaminant levels, from discharged ammunition, were higher than those permitted under the relevant regional plans.
In the most recent decision, the commissioners reinstated the CoC after deciding that the shooting club did not breach the Air, Land and Water Plan or the Resource Management Act.
However, the Vipassana Trust has signalled that it will challenge the decision in either the High Court or the Court of Appeal.
Trust Board trustee Kirsty McKay says they want a fair decision.
“Important information has been withheld by Council at every stage of this process and there is yet to be a fair and transparent hearing,” Ms McKay says.
Mr O’Brien says although the club could operate without the CoC, it couldn’t hold any organised shooting days.
“We’re very happy to get a favourable decision because it had a significant impact on our membership applications,” he says. “In the three months prior to losing the CoC, we had 351 members join but during the three months after losing it, we had just 13 new members as people assumed we were closed.
“Council could have handled this process better, but I’m confident now that we have ticked all the boxes and won’t have any further problems.”
As part of the range development, four new shooting bays have been finished with eight due to be completed by mid next year, dependent on the granting of a resource consent for the earthworks.
“In the next five years we hope to build 33 ranges, which will give us the capacity to host a world championship.”