It is now two weeks since the start of the public notification period for Waste Management’s resource consent application and private plan change for the proposed Auckland Regional Landfill.

It is also two weeks since the unexpected implementation of COVID-19 Alert Level 4 by the New Zealand government.

As an essential service, our team has been supporting the community and our essential service customers to ensure our homes, streets and businesses remain clean and healthy and waste is managed safely for all New Zealanders.

This is a difficult time for everyone. With this in mind, we have been in discussions with Auckland Council regarding the submission period. We can confirm that we have advised Council that we generally wouldn’t oppose any late submissions being accepted by the Hearing Panel.

In line with the consenting process, we are mindful that both Council and Waste Management need to assess any late submissions, and both Council and Waste Management need time to be able to respond to them. We have therefore indicated to Council that we may need to reconsider this position for any submissions that may be filed with Council after the date that is 15 working days before Council circulates its ‘S.42A’ Report (the report that Council must prepare before the hearing).

There were some key factors we have taken into account in coming to this decision.

First, we are pleased that the community has had access to the resource consent application documents in Council libraries over the past 10 months, since May 2019. This has provided an extended period for people to review the material prior to developing submissions. It has also meant our team has been able to respond to questions and continue our consultation and engagement with the community during this period.

Although the Private Plan Change request documentation was not available for the same length of time, all of the background assessments and expert reports are the same as those submitted with the resource consent applications in May 2019.

We also agreed with Council the submission period to be doubled from the normal 20 working days to 40 days. This was done in January, prior to the applications being notified by Council two weeks ago.

Even better, in those two weeks there are already 185 submissions on the proposal. This is pleasing, and reflects the high level of public awareness about the project. With seven weeks to go, we are looking forward to reviewing all of the feedback that will come in.

Reminder: How to access the application documentation

To view our application documentation, you can visit the Auckland Council website here.

You can also contact Auckland Council, by email at unitaryplan@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz or by phone (09) 365 3786, to arrange a copy of the resource consent and/or private plan change documentation to be provided electronically.

If anyone is having difficulty accessing the information, we are happy to post a copy of the application on a USB stick.

Submissions are open until 26 May, 2020.

You can read more about Auckland Council’s public notification and hearing process here.

As always, we extend our invitation to the community to get in touch with us at any time on 0800 927 837 or arl@wastemanagement.co.nz with any questions or queries you may have about the proposal.