Former local lawyer appointed to Silverlight consent panel

An artist’s impression of part of the Silverlight Studios proposal. IMAGE: SUPPLIED
An artist’s impression of part of the Silverlight Studios proposal. IMAGE: SUPPLIED
Former Wanaka lawyer Jan Caunter, now living in Tauranga, has been appointed to an independent consenting panel to consider the $280million Silverlight Studios development near Wanaka Airport.

Ms Caunter is a barrister and solicitor with nearly 30 years’ practice in resource management and public law.

She has previously been based in Auckland and Wanaka.

Her particular area of expertise is in waste management.

Ms Caunter has also represented community groups opposed to development in their area.

As an independent hearing commissioner, she has chaired panels deciding a variety of resource management and housing issues in the Queenstown Lakes District and Central Otago District.

The Silverlight specialist panel will be chaired by Auckland barrister and resource management specialist Heather Ash.

Wellington independent director Karen Coutts, who affiliates to Ngai Tahu and Te Aitanga-a-Mahaki, has also been appointed.

She has served Ngai Tahu’s governing body and has Maori economic development experience.

Hawke’s Bay engineer, policy planner and expert commissioner Robert van Voorthuysen is also a member.

The Silverlight Studios resource consent application was made under the Government’s fast-track procedures for Covid-19 economic recovery.

The hearing process is administered by the Environmental Protection Authority.

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Comments were invited from various groups on September 7, with a deadline of September 28.

The panel has not yet indicated whether there will be a hearing, the spokesman said.

The Upper Clutha Environmental Society this week publicly released comments in conditional support of the development.

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