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Waikato District Council has issued infringement notices to the property owner and organisers of the Levitate music event held on New Year’s Eve at Whaanga Road in Raglan.
The first the council knew of the event was from an article that appeared in the Waikato Times on 31 December 2011.
The event was held in contravention of a Waikato District Plan rule requiring certain temporary events to have resource consent.
Waikato District Council general manager regulatory, Nath Pritchard, said the council does not wish to prevent such events from occurring but the requirements are there to ensure the effects on the environment and neighbours are properly considered.
“It’s important the event is properly managed to assure public safety particularly in relation to traffic safety, public health and alcohol management.
“Because the organisers of the event never applied for a resource consent we were unable to consider its effects on the environment, neighbours and the general public,” he said.
At a meeting held with council officials after the event, the property owner admitted knowing that the event was being held in contravention of the district plan rule but he said he had decided to take the risk.
While the council is not aware of any issues with the running of the event which attracted attendance of approximately 400 people, Mr Pritchard said the council cannot turn a blind eye to such a flagrant disregard of the council’s rules and processes.
“The infringement notices were issued to serve as a warning of the seriousness with which the council views this matter,” he said.
The infringement notice attracts a fine of $300.
More serious prosecution procedures are available for non-compliance with the district plan rules attracting fines of up to $300,000.