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Council Committees
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Hearings Committee

The purpose of this Committee is to provide the appropriate hearing forum for the consideration of matters relating to the regulatory and judicial responsibilities of the Council under the Resource Management Act or other legislation. In practice, some matters are referred to Commissioners appointed under the Resource Management Act.

Terms of Reference:

  • To hear and decide on applications, submissions and objections to applications, made in terms of the Napier City District Plan and the Resource Management Act, as notified applications.
  • To hear and decide on submissions and objections to the Napier City District Plan Review and any changes or variations proposed to that Plan. The Committee may decide to refer the matter, with recommendations to the Council for a final decision, in a situation where:
    • The District Plan will be significantly altered as a result of submissions.
    • Any decision on the District Plan will have a significant impact outside the District Plan on other Council policies, particularly rating levels or fees and charges.
    • The Council will need to consider making a variation or change to the District Plan.
  • To hear and decide upon submissions and applications, and resolve disputes in relation to Dog Control within the City.
  • To perform the statutory functions of the District Licensing Agency for Napier City, as provided under the Sale of Liquor Act 1989 and its amendments.
  • To consider and decide Tenders for the supply of Goods and Services to the Council, where tenders exceed the Chief Executive's delegated authority.
  • To hear any applications for consents and compliance with the Building Act and all Council Bylaws.
  • To review, when requested by the applicants, decisions made by staff under delegated authority, on non-notified applications made in terms of the Napier City District Plan and the Resource Management Act.
  • To undertake any other hearings as required by Council.


The Committee's decisions and recommendations must be consistent with the Council's Ten Year Plan. The Committee in all respects has delegated authority to make decisions on behalf of Council within the terms of Council Policy and appropriate Statutes. Note: this Committee acts in a semi-judicial manner, dealing with issues that can be subject to consequences arising from legal appeals. It is important that all members are trained and conduct themselves in a disciplined manner at all times.

The Committee must also comply with the statutory requirements of the Resource Management Act. Its decisions should conform to the Council's District Plan. Where the Committee finds conflict between the Resource Management Act requirements and any Council policy document, it should make appropriate recommendations for change to the Council or the Council's appropriate Committees.

Committee Details

Chairperson Councillor Jeffery
Deputy Chairperson Councillor Herbert
Officer Responsible Planning Manager
Committee Secretary Committee Administrator
Napier City Council Councillor Brosnan
Councillor Pyke
Councillor Taylor
Councillor Wise
Councillor White
Tangata Whenua Representative  
Meets As required
Membership (6) Napier City Council
(1) Tangata Whenua Representative
Quorum Resource Consent Hearings - 3
District Plan Hearings - 4

Adopted by Council 25 June 2013

That the Hearings Committee system be restructured so that:

  • The standard membership be reduced to three members instead of six with a quorum of three, always having an alternative member available at short notice in case of sickness, unavailability or conflict of interest.
  • A pool of Councillors qualified as Commissioners be retained and any specific Hearings Panel always contain one or more representatives from this pool, unless only outside independent Commissioner(s) are required because of conflict of interest issues or at the request of the applicant.
  • The Hearings Panel to contain a mixture of Commissioners and outside Commissioners as and where this is appropriate
  • The particular composition of the Hearings Panel to be decided by the Chair of the Hearings Panel, in consultation with the Mayor e.g. District Plan changes and reviews
  • The composition of the Hearings Panel required for District Plan reviews may be increased to up to six members.
  • All decisions on Plan changes and District Plan reviews be made by the whole Council, based on the recommendation from the Hearings Committee, unless the Council determines to rehear the matter.

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