Vodafone NZ Ltd - Establish a Telecommunication Facility at Birds Clearing

Submissions Closed (Friday 6 September 2013)

A total of 444 submissions were received.

Application has been withdrawn by Applicant.

Update 26 November 2014: This Resource Consent Application has been Withdrawn

  • The resource consent application lodged by Vodafone NZ Limited has been formally withdrawn. No further action will be taken with this application.  

  • Recently Vodafone re-designed their proposed facility so that the proposed structure complies with both the rules in the Tasman Resource Management Plan, and the New Zealand National Environment Standard for Telecommunications Facilities that controls radiofrequency emissions.

  • Accordingly a Certificate of Compliance has been issued for the new design; together with a resource consent being granted for the proposed earthworks at the site.  Neither of those required public notification.

  • Under the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) an applicant has the right to lodge another application for an amended proposal, even though there is an existing application before Council.

  • Questions have been raised with Council staff regarding whether Vodafone has right of access to the proposed site; and whether their new design will meet the requirements of the Rural Broadband Initiative. Those matters are not relevant to Council's role as the RMA Consent Authority (for issuing a Certificate of Compliance).  Any queries about those matters should be directed to Vodafone NZ Ltd.

Update 5 November 2014: Certificate of Compliance Issued for Re-designed Telecommunications Facility

  • Vodafone NZ Ltd has re-designed the telecommunications facility proposed for Birds Clearing above Pohara so that it complies with both the rules in the Tasman Resource Management Plan, and the National Environment Standard for electromagnetic frequencies.

  • Accordingly a Certificate of Compliance has been issued for the new design.  Council is waiting for Vodafone to advise us what they want to do with their original application RM130427 that has been on hold for 12 months.

  • Questions have been raised with Council staff regarding Vodafone's right of access to the proposed site and whether their new design will meet the requirements of the Rural Broadband Initiative. Those matters are not relevant to Council's role as Consent Authority (for issuing a Certificate of Compliance) and any queries about them should be directed to Vodafone NZ Ltd.

Update 15 August 2014: Investigation based on Interpretation of Relevant Rules

  • Vodafone New Zealand Limited is continuing to investigate whether the proposed telecommunications facility can be re-designed to comply with the permitted activity conditions of TRMP Rule 16.6.2.1(j) while still fulfilling their technical and structural requirements.
  • Rules 16.6.2.1(j) and (j)(iii) of the Tasman Resource Management Plan (TRMP) set out permitted standards for the height of Network Utility towers, and size of infrastructure to be attached to towers, in Rural 2 Zones. Details of Council’s interpretation of these Rules can be found below.
  • Vodafone NZ Ltd is entitled to review their proposed tower design to see if they can comply with the permitted activity standards.
  • The Further Information Request on Vodafone’s application was made prior to the review of the infrastructure size restriction, but still covers the size restriction on the antennas being 4m2 in cross-sectional area (not 1m diameter), compared to the 16m2 size that has been applied for.  If Vodafone amends their design of the proposed structure to comply with both the 4m2 size, and the 25m height restriction, then assuming there are no other issues, they will be able to obtain a Certificate of Compliance – in which case they will presumably withdraw their current application and the Further Information request will become defunct.
  • While Council has stated a deadline for Vodafone to meet, and we are concerned that the process is now being further protracted, the reality is that no further work on the current application can be done (ie. costs incurred by Council) until Vodafone confirms its intentions. 
  • The direct referral of the current consent application to the Environment Court stands, unless Vodafone advises otherwise or withdraws the application.
  • If the current application is to carry on, the next steps will be for Vodafone to responds to the Further Information Request and then Council staff will prepare a report for the Environment Court.

Download and read Council's interpretation of the relevant rules:

Vodafone TRMP Rule 16 6 2(j)

Vodafone Re 4m2 Size Rule 16 6 2(j)

Vodafone Re 4m2 Size Illustration

Update 10 June 2014: Delay in Provision of Further Information

  • Vodafone New Zealand Limited has asked for these applications to remain on hold until 31 July 2014 to enable the completion of an investigation into the design of the proposed telecommunication facility, following the Council’s interpretation of the Rules 16.6.2.1(j) and (j)(iii) of the Tasman Resource Management Plan (TRMP).  These rules refer to the size of the attached infrastructure and the height of the tower.
  • Council has granted this extension to provide the applicant with the opportunity to complete the investigation in order to ascertain whether the facility could be redesigned to meet the permitted activity criteria of the TRMP while fulfilling their technical and structural requirements.
  • The further information requested by Council is now due on 31 July 2014.
  • The direct referral of the consent application to the Environment Court is not affected by the current extension.

Download and read the advice letter to submitters:

Update on Current Status Letter June 2014

Update 7 February 2014: Delay in Provision of Further Information

  • Vodafone New Zealand Limited has asked for these applications to be put on hold until 31 May 2014 to seek further clarification on Council’s permitted activity rules for telecommunications facilities, TRMP Rule 16.6.2.1 (j) and the permitted activity size (4 square metres) of attached infrastructure.
  • Council has granted this extension to provide the applicant with the opportunity to fully clarify the intent of the rule.  This will assist the applicant to assess the impact of the proposed antenna platform on the Birds Hill locality as well as the wider landscape in order to satisfy the further information request.
  • The direct referral of the consent application to the Environment Court is not affected by the current extension.

Download and read the advice letter to submitters:

Update on Current Status Letter February 2014

Direct Referral to Environment Court

The Council has granted a request from Vodafone New Zealand Ltd to allow these applications to bypass the Council hearing and decision stage and be decided directly by the Environment Court (this is called “direct referral”).

Download and read more about the decision and reasons:
Decision on Request to Refer Resource Consent Application to Environment Court

The procedures involved in processing the application from this point on can vary. The following matters are brought to your notice:

  • Council has requested the applicant to consider providing further information relating to matters raised in the submissions received, particularly regarding potential adverse effects of the proposed telecommunications facility on other activities in the Bird Clearing locality and on the landscape and visual amenity values associated with this part of the Pikikirunga Range as viewed from Clifton to Ligar Bay. Vodafone NZ Ltd (the applicant) has advised that it will respond to this request by 31 January 2014.
  • Any further information received from the applicant will be made available to submitters.
  • After the further information is received, Council must prepare a report on the applications within 20 working days.
  • A copy of Council’s report will be made available to submitters.
  • At that stage the applicant has a choice of continuing with the Direct Referral process, or they can opt to revert back to the usual Council level decision-making process.
  • Due to the above matters, at this stage we cannot give an indication of when or where a hearing will be held.

Information about the direct referral process can be found on the Ministry for the Environment’s website:
Direct Referral Process

Application for Resource Consent

The Tasman District Council has received applications for resource consent as detailed below.  The applications and supporting information may be examined in the main office of the Council (Richmond), the Motueka Office, the Golden Bay Office and the Murchison Office during normal office hours.

A copy of the application documents can be downloaded through the link at the bottom of this page, or may be requested by contacting the Consents Administration Officer at the Tasman District Council offices (03 543 8400).

Application Details

Applicant

Vodafone New Zealand Limited

Applicant’s Address for Service

Vodafone New Zealand Limited, C/- Harrison Grierson Consultants Ltd, PO Box 5760, Wellesley Street, Auckland 1141

Location

Birds Clearing, crest of Pikikirunga Range, above Pohara, Golden Bay

Legal Description

Section 30 Block XI Waitapu Survey District CT NL6A/993

Consent Type, Application Number and Proposal

Land Use Consent (Application RM130427)

To establish and operate a telecommunication facility at Birds Clearing as part of the Rural Broadband Initiative.

The proposal comprises a 30 metre tall monopole mast plus lightning rod.

One carousel antenna platform will be attached to the monopole at a height of approximately 28 metres accommodating up to 12 antennas.

Two 1.2 metre diameter dish antennas will be attached to the monopole at a height of 20 metres.

The permitted activity height standard for masts or poles will be exceeded by 5 metres, and the antenna platform does not comply with the 1 metre diameter standard.

[Update 15 August 2014: please refer to the updates sections above relating to size of permitted infrastructure]

The proposed facility will comply with the National Environmental Standards for Radio Frequency Emissions.

Land Use Consent (Application RM130538)

Earthworks for the facility will involve upgrading the access track within the site, trenching for a cable, forming a platform 12 metres x 12 metres, and excavations for the foundations of the monopole.

The site is in a Rural 2 Zone and a Land Disturbance 2 Area as defined by the Tasman Resource Management Plan.

Application Documents

Decision on Request to Refer Resource Consent Application to Environment Court Detailed Resource Consent Application July 2013 Further Information for the Resource Consent application July 2013 Resource Consent Application Update on Current Status Letter February 2014 Update on Current Status Letter June 2014 Vodafone Re 4m2 Size Illustration Vodafone Re 4m2 Size Rule 16 6 2(j) Vodafone TRMP Rule 16 6 2(j)

Related Links

Read more about how to make a submission

Return to the Currently Notified Applications page