Cape Kidnappers decision welcomed
The Environment Court rejection of the proposed massive development on iconic Cape Kidnappers by billionaire Julian
Robertson has been welcomed by Forest and Bird’s local branches.
“The Hastings-Havelock North and Napier branches were very concerned about the effects of this proposal on the
landscapes, natural character and native seabirds at Cape Kidnappers,” said Hastings-Havelock North branch chairperson
“Cape Kidnappers is an important breeding location for gannets and other native sea birds. It would have been
inappropriate to locate such a major development so close to the gannet breeding colonies,” Mr Collins said.
“The area is also an outstanding coastal landscape with considerable natural character. The Resource Management Act is
meant to protect the natural character of the coast and today the Environment Court did just that,” he said.
“Councils have to take note of what the people ask of them and stay within their own rules. They jumped the fence on
this one by allowing a proposal that was 77 times the size of what was permitted by the District Plan,” he said.
Forest and Bird’s Conservation Manager Kevin Hackwell said that the Court’s criticism of the Hastings District Council
should be a wake-up call for the Government.
“The Environment Court found that Hastings District Council had adopted an uncompromisingly partisan approach on behalf
of the developers. There is no way council hearing panels should be given the power to strike out submissions if some
cannot be trusted to act impartially,” Mr Hackwell said.
“This decision reinforces the fundamental role that the Environment Court plays in securing environmental justice,” he