After a four and a half year battle ORRA has ensured that the the Opoutere beach and sand spit must now be included in the Waikato Regional Policy Statement as an ‘Outstanding Natural Feature and Landscape’ (“ONFL”) and the estuary and surrounds must now be identified in the RPS as an area of ‘ecological significance’.
The process culminated in an appeal to the Environment Court that was heard over several days in late 2014. Our community has been represented by one of our own, the very talented and dedicated Mike Lloyd. On behalf of the ORRA membership and its committee Chairperson Victoria Spence would like to publicly acknowledge the determination, sheer hard work and inspired leadership shown by Mike throughout this (often frustrating) process.
The recognition and protection from inappropriate development/use for the area that this designation achieves cannot be overstated, please take the time to read the judgment by clicking on this link: 0.pdf
Thanks must also be extended to our expert witnesses John Dowding (shorebird ecologist) and Mark Lockhart (landscape architect).
This is very exciting news!