Think wisely and save your bacon

Your neighbour is proposing to build a piggery on their property. What can you do about that?

Farmer Freddy, relieved that the issues with his dog Dino have been sorted, takes his neighbour Roger for a beer. Just as Freddy and Roger are getting up to leave, Roger mentions his plan to build a piggery on his farm and hands Freddy an approval form to sign. Freddy - a little perplexed - decides it would be a good idea to give Pebbles, his lawyer daughter, a call when he gets home.

"Roger has asked me to sign an approval form for a piggery he wants to build on his property. What should I do? After all, piggeries aren't renowned for smelling like roses" Freddy explains.

"Dad, you need to get some more information" replies Pebbles. "How many pigs he is thinking of farming? What about the design of the shed? Is it across the direction of prevailing winds or parallel? There are a lot of things you need to consider and there is a process that the regional council has in place for these kinds of things. Look, I'll come over after work tonight to go through it with you."

"Thanks Pebbles," says Farmer Freddy. "I'll see you later."

That evening, after dinner, Pebbles sits down with Freddy to go through it.

"The Resource Management Act ensures that when someone wants to do something that affects the environment, or directly affects you, you get the chance to have your say. You can make a submission supporting Roger's proposal, objecting, or supporting some parts of it but not others. Before making a submission though, it's worth thinking about other ways of making your views known - for example, is there anything Roger can do to reduce the impact of the piggery on you?"

"So how do I go about making a submission?" asks Freddy.

"Well, the easiest way is to use the regional council's standard form," replies Pebbles. "Be as specific as you can about your concerns, and explain exactly how they will affect you and how they could be managed. After all, you probably don't want the washing smelling like pigs, and, since the piggery is near our house ..."

"What do you mean our house?" interrupts Freddy.

"Now now, Dad, keep your hair on. What I was saying was that it may make family BBQs bigger stinkers than they might be otherwise. Once the council has considered the submissions, you may be invited to a pre-hearing meeting to try to resolve your concerns informally and so avoid the need for a formal hearing. But if you and Roger can't agree, there will be a formal hearing."

"Crikey" says Freddy, "there's a fair bit to do then. I hope I don't make a pig's ear of it. Thanks Pebbles, you've really saved my bacon."


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