The High Court of New Zealand set aside consents issued on a non-notified basis which granted Ports of Auckland permission for wharf extensions, saying that the applications for consent should have been bundled, which would have required notification, as the most restrictive activity was a discretionary activity.
Furthermore, special circumstances existed which required notification in this case, Justice Geoffrey Venning said in the ruling .
The Commissioners fell into error in determining that because the extension was a controlled activity and an expected development no special circumstances existed so that it was unnecessary to notify in any event, the ruling said.
The previously approved concession was disputed before the High Court by the local environmental organization Urban Auckland, The Society for the Protection of Auckland City and Waterfront Inc.
The ruling marks another victory for the environmentalists in this controversial case.
Back in May, Auckland Council’s Governing Body decided to support the construction of one wharf extension and put the other on hold, which was widely criticised by the country’s cruise industry representatives.