I received this email from Chris Kissling, Chair of the Civic Trust:
An agenda item for the Hagley Park Advisory Committee on the Hagley Oval Lease Amendment Proposal suggests that the staff think an amendment to the existing lease is possible. That is not what the Civic Trust understands. It is clearly a lease for six permanent high light towers, not four retractable light towers, requiring six pieces of ground not four, none of which would occupy the same footprint as granted in the previous lease. Therefore, it is a NEW lease. Such a lease can only be made under the Reserves Act and must comply with the Hagley Park Management Plan which it fails because the HPMP (Hagley Park Management Plan) cannot be overridden by Regenerate, by the CCC, or by the Minister. It would need a review of the HPMP following due process to achieve a revision that would accommodate the six permanent light towers. Furthermore, the new lease, if permitted, would need to be considered as a commercial lease of land on the grounds that the need for the lights is driven by commercial requirements for night TV broadcasts of commercial cricket events. The conditions for commercial leases within reserve land are different from the lease that the Canterbury Cricket Trust is seeking to have amended. The Department of Conservation representative will be aware of that fact.
A public hearing of a lease application is necessary as the matter is of considerable public significance. The composition of a hearings panel could be contestable given the voting record of Councillors on the issue. That might therefore require an “independent” commissioner to be appointed, and whoever that might be could also be contentious. Since the matter comes under the Reserves Act, we would suggest that the Minister for Conservation be involved in the appointment of a commissioner.