The Board of Inquiry convened to run the hearing process on the proposed Basin Reserve flyover held a Pre-Hearing Conference on Wednesday 25 September.

The pre-hearing conference was held in the unlikely surroundings of the Mercure Hotel at the top end of the Terrace – a venue which is up a hill, unsheltered, and has no public transport access and little parking. We hope the hearing itself will be held somewhere that has good public transport access, is central, and is on the flat.

The Pre-Hearing Conference heard submissions on a number of procedural issues. Many submitters to the Pre-Hearing Conference, including Save the Basin, argued that the proposed hearing start date of Monday 13 January was unrealistic and unfair, and argued for a start date of Monday 3 February or later.

While we didn’t get everything we wanted on this one, the Board has moved the hearing start date forward two weeks to Monday 27 January. Here is the revised indicative timetable from this point forward:

Friday 25 October: Applicant’s Evidence in Chief (EIC) lodged with EPA

Friday 13 December: Submitters evidence lodged with EPA

Monday 16 December: Expert witness conferencing begins no later than this date

Friday 10 January: Applicant’s rebuttal evidence lodged with EPA

Monday 20 January: Last day for giving notice of making representations

Monday 27 January: Hearing starts

Friday 28 February: Hearing ends

Thursday 17 April: Draft decision released

Monday 19 May: Comments on draft decision due

Friday 30 May: Final decision released

Some points to note:

  • The new deadline for lodging “submitters evidence” with the Board is Friday 13 December.
  • NZTA have been given a deadline of 10 January to lodge their rebuttal evidence.
  • The end date for the Board of Inquiry process has been pushed out to 30 May 2014 (as allowed for by a recent change to legislation).

Even with these changes, the timetable for these hearing processes is very tight. Several previous Boards of Inquiry have had to be extended beyond the intended nine-month period.