On May 16, the Waikato District Council (WDC) advised that the operation of the remaining Icepak coolstore and a possible rebuild on the Tamahere site were governed by a mixture of District Plan rules, existing use rights and a number of resource consents, and that the WDC would “strictly enforce the provisions of these.”
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That week Council learned that Icepak intended to operate the remaining coolstore at the site.
Icepak was entitled to operate the coolstore but, said WDC in a media statement, “given recent events there is doubt as to whether this is possible, as it must be strictly within the terms and conditions of the resource consent and existing use rights. Council is currently taking legal advice on this issue. The building would also require re-certification of its existing building consent. Council would not allow the coolstore to operate unless the re-certification occurred and the consent conditions were strictly adhered to. Public safety will not be compromised.”
The statement continued:
In terms of a rebuild, the starting point is that Icepak has existing use rights and resource consents which enable it to operate a coolstore facility from the site. However, any replacement building would also require building consent.
Waikato District Council Mayor Peter Harris said “In any steps my Council takes, public safety is paramount.”
The existing use rights are to conduct a rural industry providing horticultural services, preliminary processing of horticultural produce and coolstorage. These existing use rights were established in the mid-1980’s by the original developer of the Icepak coolstorage operation. Those existing use rights were subsequently extended to include agricultural products.
Later, Icepak sought and obtained resource consents to extend the coolstorage buildings. The one remaining coolstorage building on site is subject to a resource consent issued in 2002.
Council has formally notified Icepak that it requires the current resource consent conditions to be reviewed to determine whether the conditions of consent are appropriate. This review process will take some months and, subject to legal advice, may involve public participation.
In the meantime, Council will strictly enforce the provisions of its District Plan, the existing use rights and the conditions of resource consent and will perform its regulatory functions in accordance with the Local Government Act 2002 and the Resource Management Act 1991.