Jet-boat company KJet intends to relodge its consent
application to operate on a stretch of the Kawarau River,
regardless of the Queenstown Lakes District Council's
decision on the Navigation Safety Bylaw 2014.
Hearing chairman Lyal Cocks and panel members Ella Lawton and
Craig Ferguson heard submissions on the Queenstown Lakes
District Council's proposed bylaw in Wanaka on Monday and in
Queenstown on Wednesday.
At Wednesday's hearing, KJet counsel Graeme Todd said the
company applied for resource consent last year to extend its
route, taking in a 1.4km section of the Kawarau River between
the Arrow River confluence and the historic Kawarau bridge.
Simultaneously, it applied to the council for an exemption or
amendment of the existing bylaw to give effect to the
However, due to council-caused confusion, the resource
consent application was withdrawn earlier this month.
Mr Todd told the Otago Daily Times yesterday both
applications were lodged on the same day, with the company
seeking a joint hearing.
He said the council ''lost'' the second application and then
obtained in-house legal advice stating it ''wasn't legally
possible'' for the exemption to be granted.
''We argued it was.''
KJet then sought for the council to adjourn the resource
consent hearing until the issues with the exemption
application had been sorted out, but that was refused.
''There was no point proceeding with the resource consent
hearing ... it [the application] was withdrawn earlier this
month. It's extremely frustrating for the client ... and
equally frustrating for other parties that have been involved
However, days after the application was withdrawn, external
legal advice sought by the council confirmed an exemption
could be granted.
At that point, the company decided to submit on the bylaw.
However, due to the process the council followed, only those
''fortunate enough'' to be party to the submissions learnt of
KJet's suggested amendments.
''We have to play [by] the rules as the council sees fit, but
it's unfortunate the way it was done.''
Mr Todd said if the bylaw was not amended as the company
suggested, KJet intended to relodge its consent application
and seek an exemption.
The council was unable to respond to an ODT request for
comment by deadline.