Here is how things stand:
The Basin Board of Inquiry hearing is scheduled to end on Wednesday 4 June. The Board will then continue to meet to review the evidence and reach their draft decision, which is scheduled to be released on or before Saturday 19 July 2014. The Board will then give 20 working days for comment on the draft conditions, before releasing its final decision on or before Saturday 30 August 2014.
There is then the opportunity to appeal the final decision on legal issues. This appeal period will extend beyond the 2014 General Election, so the outcome of the election – if there is a change of Government – may also be significant to the final outcome. Bear in mind that five political parties: Labour, Greens, NZ First, Mana and United Future – have expressed opposition to the proposed flyover.
What this means for Save the Basin is that we will know which way the Board intends to jump by the 19th of July – since, on past practice, there is relatively low likelihood that the final decision will depart significantly from the draft decision, other than in the matter of conditions if the project is approved. If the draft decision does not go in our favour, and if we do consider there are grounds for appeal, then fundraising will become a high priority.
Of course, we hope it won’t come to that. We think that Save the Basin and other groups opposed to this unnecessary, ugly and expensive project have presented a very strong case as to why the project should not proceed. But that ball is now in the Board’s court.