The Queenstown Airport Corporation ''at the very least''
expected neighbour Remarkables Park Ltd to ''act rationally
and responsibly'' over the development of the airport, the
Environment Court heard yesterday.
The 19ha of land in dispute south of the runway, known as
''Lot 6'', became the preferred site for the airport's
relocation of fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters and private
jets when airport-owned land north of the runway, which
Remarkables Park said should be used instead, was found to be
''unworkable and unsuitable''.
Corporation counsel Matthew Casey QC, of Auckland, made the
comments in his opening submission during day two yesterday
of the hearing on the notice of requirement applied by the
airport to alter its existing aerodrome designation to
include Lot 6.
Mr Casey told Judge Jane Borthwick and commissioners David
Bunting and Ross Dunlop Remarkables Park co-director Alastair
Porter ''has no regard for the findings of this court and its
decision dealing with the issues he claims to be concerned
about. A party seeking to invoke equitable principles must
themselves act equitably.''
Remarkables Park showed it was ''intent on pursuing
self-interest, using its claimed power of veto as it
Remarkables Park submitted it had a ''legitimate
expectation'', based on earlier agreements, the greenfield
parcel of land would remain a ''buffer zone'' between
aircraft noise from the runway and the park's noise-sensitive
residential and commercial activities.
However, Mr Casey said earlier agreements ''do not prevent
the exercise by [the airport corporation] of its statutory
functions, duties and powers in the capacity in which it
seeks to designate the land, nor do they prevent the court
from the proper exercise of its power under the [Resource
Management Act] to confirm the designation''.
The real legitimate expectation was about the process not the
outcome. Remarkables Park could expect to be consulted by the
corporation about Lot 6 ''in good faith'' but it could not
expect the obligation being satisfied only by the
corporation's leaving the section alone, he said.
Judge Borthwick and the commissioners heard the corporation
took into account the effects of the notice of requirement on
Remarkables Park and devised conditions to address them.
However, the company made no attempt to redesign its Lot 6
land around the designation since it was aware of the
corporation's intentions since 2008 and the notice was issued
in 2010, Mr Casey said.
The alleged ''scarcity of industrial land'' on Frankton
Flats, submitted by Remarkables Park as another reason why
airport-owned land should be used instead of Lot 6, was also
dismissed by Mr Casey. Zoning established by plan change 19
is not intended to provide for airport activities.
The hearing continues in Queenstown this week.