Dear Supporter of the Waitemata Harbour,
As you will know, Urban Auckland (Society for the Protection of Auckland Downtown and Waterfront Inc) has taken legal action against Auckland City and Ports of Auckland, claiming that the consent approvals for the two wharf extensions of Bledisloe Wharf are unlawful.
We have been very heartened by the broad support we have received from Aucklanders in our campaign to date. Our sister organisation, Stop Stealing Our Harbour, has been organising the public protest. Two thousand plus people, of all political persuasions turned up at our second rally last Sunday, May 3, showing the broad spectrum of opposition for the Ports expansion plans.
On 16 April Urban Auckland’s legal team presented our case before the High Court, seeking an interim injunction against POAL to stop construction work. This was denied for the bigger picture of establishing an urgent hearing date which has been set down for June 2, 3 and 4 in the High Court before Judge Venning.
Meanwhile, despite offering a compromise of pausing B3 wharf, Ports of Auckland is continuing with work on the eastern B2 wharf extensions. POAL’s greater plans for expansion are being tabled in the PAUP hearings to be held this week. Urban Auckland is fighting this all the way.
To be clear, we are not anti-Ports. We never have been. We want any discussion of POAL’s growth informed by the study done of the wider social, economic and environmental impact of growth on the Waitemata Harbour accompanied with research done on a national ports infrastructure study. The Auckland Council have now agreed to do this but say they are powerless to stop B2 wharf extension. We believe these were consented illegally and are contesting these.
Urban Auckland has been carrying out this legal action with funds it has accrued on other campaigns, but we will be increasingly stretched as court action continues. We have to date a very good legal team; Julian Miles, QC, Rob Enright and Kit Littlejohn as barristers, plus our solicitors at Madison Hardy. They are either acting pro bono for us or at reduced fees. Other concerned professionals who are donating their expertise for free. Julian Miles is now unable to be in court on the June dates, and we are now engaging Matthew Palmer as our head QC. He, while not pro bono, has offered us a much reduced fee.
As legal costs mount up, we are forced to review our situation of being against two heavily funded (both by ratepayers) protagonists. We believe we have a strong case but it is a ‘David and Goliath(s)’ situation.
We are asking people for a pledge of whatever you feel is appropriate. We are aiming to raise $100,000. If you are willing to help please donate to our fighting fund:
Urban Auckland Westpac bank account : 03 0162 0135709 00
Code: UA POAL Fighting fund
Reference: your name
As Urban Auckland is a registered charity with “donee status” granted by the IRD, any donations of over $5 will qualify for a tax credit of one third of the donation. If you require a receipt, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
We would really appreciate your help in this fight to protect the Waitemata Harbour as it is for future generations.
Chair, Urban Auckland
Urban Auckland has been an Incorporated Society since 2000, when it took legal action against the proposed PWC Tower. Prior to that its members had been instrumental in stopping the hyper-development of Britomart under the then mayor, Les Mills. Urban Auckland has also been successful in cases challenging the quality of urban design of developments on the St James site, Princes Wharf and Auckland Maritime Museum. Urban Auckland has also been active in the Auckland Plan and the proposed Auckland Unitary Plan, always striving for the best quality urban environment for Auckland City.