The Environmental Defence Society (EDS) will file proceedings in the High Court at Napier later this week challenging the decision-making process that led to Craggy Range Vineyards building a track across the face of Te Mata Peak.
The proceedings name Hastings District Council and Craggy Range Vineyards as first and second defendants. Waimarama Marae is supporting the case.
EDS will argue that the decision to approve the track was unlawful and will seek an order for its removal.
“We are filing these proceedings because it has become clear that we can no longer rely on the earlier assurances of Craggy Range Vineyards that it would remove the track,” said EDS CEO Gary Taylor.
“The assurances that were given late last year consisted of an unequivocal promise that we believe can no longer be relied on. The company now appears to be wriggling out of the public commitments it made and the track is still there. The company is not replying to our requests for a clear explanation of its current intentions.
“Te Mata is an outstanding natural landscape and feature and has profound cultural values that the council either undervalued or overlooked. We contend, with support of the Marae, that because of those values the resource consent application should have been publicly notified and that the decision to grant approval was wrong in law.
“We acknowledge that council has since set up a steering group to consider the future planning and use of Te Mata. That is a good step forward which we support.
“But first the Craggy Range track must be removed and it is clear that we need court action to ensure that happens,” Mr Taylor concluded.
The proceedings will be formally filed on Friday. Barrister Rob Enright and inhouse solicitor Madeleine Wright are acting for EDS. Donations to support the case can be made here.