While much of the Coromandel Peninsula is surrounded by sea and a large percentage is under the management of the Department of Conservation, private landowners have played a crucial role in helping shape and maintain the natural beauty and diversity of this special environment.
One of the Peninsula’s great attractions is its accessibility to the nearby urban areas of Auckland and Hamilton. This is one of the reasons why the Coromandel is such a popular holiday and recreational area.
The Coromandel Property Owners Alliance (CPOA) has been formed to ensure proposed regulations that potentially affect all Coromandel property owners, whether permanent or holiday home owners, are transparent, are based on objective science or fact and include meaningful consultation with affected parties.
We want to ensure that future regulation of activities on privately-owned land is balanced against owners’ rights to reasonable use of their property and the resources on it.
CPOA considers that a collaborative and respectful approach between all parties is the single most effective way to harness the goodwill and efforts of property owners so that the Coromandel remains a unique place for residents and visitors alike.
Coromandel Heritage Region (CHR) Proposal
The Thames Coromandel District Council (TCDC) is investigating the possibility of creating a special ‘Heritage Region’ designation for the Thames Coromandel District. This proposal is NOT about heritage buildings as some have thought, but about “preserving and enhancing” (over and above RMA protections) the "special values" of the Coromandel. The stated aims include protecting our environment, as well as our community’s culture and heritage, and providing tourism marketing/branding.
The CHR proposal also recommends international recognition through a global conservation group called the IUCN (International Union of Conservation of Nature). Our District would be registered as an IUCN Category V Protected Landscape.
TCDC has released a Feasibility Report to promote the CHR concept. But this only mentions potential benefits, and does not address potential disadvantages, alternatives or likely costs. At least some ratepayer and/or taxpayer funding will be required. Overseas experience of this type of special environmental status consistently shows dwindling rural communities, a predominance of low-paid seasonal employment, unaffordable housing, and young people forced to leave the area for work and housing.
Additional Bureaucracy and Regulation - Heritage Region status would be in addition to the RMA - District Plan, Regional Policy Statement, National Policy Statements etc. Most likely a special Act of Parliament would be required. It is inevitable that Heritage Region status would result in increased controls over the District’s resources and increased costs in planning processes.
Loss of Local Democracy - A new governance model would be developed to 'manage' the Heritage Region, although it is unclear what this model would actually look like. Again, overseas experience shows a number of potential problems with the way special areas are governed. We believe the best governance model for Coromandel is a democratically-elected Council that is answerable to its ratepayers.
Loss of Sovereignty - IUCN status would require adherence to IUCN's policies and guidelines, and ongoing monitoring and reporting to them.
Thames Coromandel District residents have long cared for and safeguarded the region’s special landscapes and wildlife, without special Heritage Region status.
We believe that the potential benefits within the CHR concept, such as tourism branding, conservation and economic growth can be developed through our existing structures and governance, without tying the District into a costly and restrictive designation.
CPOA intends to be fully engaged in the consultation process on this issue. We want to ensure that this region has a healthy economy, is able to retain its young people and that there is a viable future for all communities.
Proposed District Plan
The Thames Coromandel District Council is currently finalising the Proposed District Plan. This new version of the Plan will contain important information about how you can use or develop your land over the next 10 years. Once approved, this Plan will be locked in for 10 years.
CPOA is concerned that this Proposed District Plan arbitrarily imposes onerous restrictive Overlays across a significant number of privately owned properties. The Overlays, plus the inland extent of the Coastal Environment Line, will have extra rules and resource consent costs. This will include vegetation clearance, earthworks and building restrictions, among others.
CPOA has actively participated in the Hearings process of the Proposed District Plan over the period September 2014 to April 2015. CPOA’s submissions, on behalf of its members, can be accessed via the Thames Coromandel District Council website through the “District Plan Hearings Page”. CPOA has also completed a comprehensive submission on the Natural Character Variation, and will continue to be engaged in the District Plan process on behalf of property owners.
CPOA is keen to see a moderate and fair approach is adopted by the Council to ensure a balance is achieved.
Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like more information about the work of the Coromandel Property Owners Alliance.
HOW CAN I BE INVOLVED?
Become a Member of CPOA by downloading and completing a CPOA Membership Application Form either in .pdf format or .doc format.
WHY JOIN CPOA?
It is a group with which you can share your experiences and/or concerns
You will receive information on relevant issues brought to the attention of the CPOA and the actions it has taken or is taking
The group will help you identify restrictions that may be placed upon you or your land through excessive regulation and will advise you on the processes necessary to help you try to resolve them.
THE PURPOSES OF CPOA
to ensure an effective balance is maintained between the reasonable needs of individuals families and communities and the environment in which they live and work so that ALL have a sustainable future on the Coromandel.
to promote the protection of the environment in its complete sense, consistent with the definition of the environment in the Resource Management Act which states:-
(a) ecosystems and their constituent parts, including people and communities; and
(b) all natural and physical resources; and
(c) amenity values; and
(d) the social, economic, aesthetic, and cultural conditions which affect the matters stated in paragraphs (a) to (c) or which are affected by those matters”
to encourage public agencies to establish collaborative partnerships, as opposed to reliance on regulation alone, to ensure protection of the environment consistent with Principle 5 of the New Zealand National Biosecurity Strategy 2000 which states, inter alia, that:-
“Respect for property rights, as well as their scope and associated responsibilities is essential to ensure a collaborative partnership is developed between resource owners and users and public agencies to sustain and conserve biodiversity.”
to ensure proposed regulations that potentially affect all Coromandel property owners are transparent, are based on objective science or fact and include meaningful consultation with affected parties.
to do anything, within the law, necessary or helpful to the above purposes.