Something Stinks in Rotorua
Back in June the Rotorua District Council (RDC) sent me a letter which explained that my property is beside or part of an Outstanding Natural Feature or Landscape. That’s nice. It turns out the mountain I’m on is considered an outstanding natural feature by the council.
Along with the letter was forty odd pages including some brochures and a chapter from their Draft District Plan, titled Matters of National Importance. After reading the document I still wasn’t sure what the RDC was trying to tell me (OK, perhaps I only skimmed the document.)
There was an email address for those that wanted more information so I sent a short email to ask if the RDC was proposing to take away any property owners’ rights, increase property owners’ costs or change property owners’ obligations. The reply… no new costs, no new obligations but property owners’ will lose some rights.
The rights that RDC are proposing to take away are not ones I am likely to exercise but that is not the point. The point is that council is taking rights away from property owners. Surely the RDC and its employees have some sort of duty to property owners. I sent them another email:
Thank you for clarifying that the RDC draft plan proposes to take away some property owner’s rights.
I just have a couple more questions.
Do the Rotorua District Council and Council employees have a fiduciary duty to Rotorua property owners?
If not, what duty do the Rotorua District Council and Council employees have to Rotorua property owners?
Here is their reply:
Council has a duty to ensure that these landscapes are protected as per the provisions of the District Plan, which is a document that has been through the community consultation process, and will become a community document. Effects are managed via the resource consent process. If a person does an activity that is inconsistent with the plan enforcement action can occur.
Landowners (and occupiers) have a duty to comply with the provisions of the district plan.
If you would like to come in and discuss, feel free to schedule some time for the open day on the 27th of June (next Monday).
I didn’t attend the meeting – considering that the RDC thinks it has a duty to protect landscapes from landowners I thought attending would be a waste of time.
The RDC and its employees are ignoring their duty to protect property owners’ rights. By taking away property owners’ rights the RDC and its employees are acting unjustly (possibly illegally). The RDC and its employees are not accountable for their actions and if challenged by ratepayers they will fight them with ratepayers’ money.
Those that should be our servants presume to be our masters. (Have I said that already?)
Please leave your judgements in the comments.