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Navigating a complex planning landscape to ensure business continuity for a treasured geothermal holiday park

THE PROJECT

Athenree Hot Springs and Holiday Park has been operating in Athenree, Bay of Plenty for around 70 years. Many generations have enjoyed this attractive local icon, with the pools being the main feature of the Park and central to the operation of the business. When the resource consents required to supply geothermal water to the pools, and to discharge the used pool water to the Coastal Marine Area were due to expire, the Park engaged 4Sight Consulting to help them navigate this process. Key tasks included:

  • Early identification of key consenting issues and requirements;

  • Supporting consultation with key stakeholders, including Tangata Whenua and Marine & Coastal Area Act Applicants;

  • Utilisation of existing information where possible to streamline the process;

  • Preparing a thorough AEE and consent application, including pump test and draw down analyses, for the taking of geothermal water and the discharge of water to the Coastal Marine Area; and

  • Advocating for the client through pre-lodgement discussions with the Regional Council, securing s124 (continued use) rights, negotiating workable consent conditions, and providing timely and accurate responses to technical queries.

THE APPROACH

4Sight ensured that the resource consent renewals occurred smoothly and that critical dates were met, so that the client could continue to operate while the replacement consents were being assessed. The required lodging date was fast approaching by the time 4Sight was commissioned, so we made sure the appropriate information requirements were identified at the outset, and consultation was initiated early, so that the application could still be lodged within tight time constraints.

We navigated complex planning issues and undertook a thorough assessment of environmental effects. Our post lodgement support throughout the consent process ensured a mutually beneficial outcome for the client.

4Sight's main strength in working with the client is our ability to draw on practical RMA planning experience, geothermal, hydrological and coastal expertise, and knowledge of Māori environmental issues.

THE OUTCOME

The project resulted in the non-notified granting of replacement resource consents with pragmatic consent conditions and no disruption to the operation of this celebrated business.

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