RM Journal

Bunnings Ltd v Auckland Transport [2020] NZEnvC 92

The Environment Court’s recent decision in Bunnings Ltd v Auckland Transport [2020] NZEnvC 92 concerned an application to the Environment Court for declarations that a road widening designation contained in the Auckland Unitary Plan (AUP) had lapsed, that Bunnings was not restricted in its use of the land by the designation, and that the inclusion of the designation in the AUP was an error.

Bunnings submitted that the designation had lapsed in November 2015 under s 185 of the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA), prior to the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan (PAUP) becoming operative in March 2017.

As such the inclusion of the lapsed designation in the PAUP did not revive it and it was therefore included as an error in the AUP. The Environment Court should therefore exercise its powers under s 292 of the RMA to remove the designation from the AUP.

Auckland Transport, supported by Auckland Council, took the position that there was a submission, evidence and hearings process to confirm whether or not the designation should be included in the AUP, resulting in its inclusion.

Author: Joseph Wright, Solicitor, Dentons Kensington Swan

Read: Bunnings Ltd v Auckland Transport [2020] NZEnvC 92