When it first came to the attention of NES that work had begun without a project permit, NES issued a stop work notice which the developers complied with.
However, due to the work that had been commenced without a permit, NES needed to take steps to mitigate any potential environmental damage. It was therefore agreed that pending a decision on whether to permit the development, the developers would cover the underground water tanks/storage to prevent flooding.
An Environmental Impact Assessment detailing the proposed development was then required by NES and this was subsequently publicly advertised for 30 days as required by the Environment Act 2003. No comments or submissions were received from the public with respect to the project.
On October 9, 2017 approval was granted by the Rarotonga Environment Authority (REA) for the development to proceed and a project permit was issued with conditions. Any changes to the original plan approved by the REA will need to be approved by MES.
With respect to the development in Turangi, Ngatangiia, NES advises that this development is currently being assessed and has yet to receive a project permit.
When NES became aware that contract workers had carried out work within the foreshore area, NES took steps to stop the work and required the holes that had been dug to be filled in.
The developer was advised that until he receives his project permit, work cannot begin. The developer has apologised and has confirmed that no further work will be undertaken until a project permit has been granted.
Each development proposal before the Rarotonga Environment Authority is different and must be considered on its own merits. It is important that the decisions made area sustainable, viable and sound, as we value our environment and need to keep it pristine for our children and their children.
National Environment Service.