Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Top award recognises planning transformation

6 May 2005

Top award recognises planning transformation

Wellington City Council has been given a prestigious national award by the NZ Planning Institute as a result of the transformation of its planning services in 2003.

The review then restructure led to the creation of the 60-person Urban Strategy Group – which has moved Wellington City to a position where it is now regarded as the national leader in urban planning.

Urban Strategy Group Director Stephen Rainbow says last week’s naming of Wellington City as recipient of the NZPI’s Nancy Northcroft Planning Practice Award was a “fantastic result” for members of the group.

“It shows that a truly integrated approach to planning can mean only good results for the city and its population – and reputation.

“We’re confident the quick thinking, consistent decisions, good communication and ability to look to the future in a co-ordinated, comprehensive manner will be beneficial to the future development of the Capital.”

Dr Rainbow says most Wellingtonians would probably be blissfully unaware of the existence and significance of the Council’s Urban Strategy Group. “But its influence is already being felt in a variety of ways, such as in good resource consent decision makings.

“Group staff are working together well to make the right calls in terms of how developments can benefit the city, and how their negative effects can be minimised.”

The 2003 review brought together 60 District Plan, resource consents, parks planning, urban design, heritage, policy, compliance and project staff together onto one floor. Prior to that they had been spread over varying units of the Council. Communication was not good – meaning decisions were often inconsistent. “As a result we had frustrated people both inside and outside the Council.”

The review involved discussions with affected Wellington staff – and staff in the planning departments of Auckland, Dunedin and Christchurch City Councils.

Three principal structural changes resulted, including: drawing all of the existing RMA planning teams into one management unit – a combined Planning Team creating a new Forward Planning Team, separate from the District Plan team creating two new positions: Best Practice Manager and Principal Planner The Best Practice Manager is primarily responsible for ensuring top-quality work across the group and identifying and pursuing opportunities for building relationships with other city councils, professional institutions, the Ministry for the Environment and other central Government agencies, and tertiary institutions The Principal Planner is primarily responsible for complex, high-profile or major project resource consents and providing input into the interpretation and development of District Plan provisions and long-term planning frameworks.

The forward planning team has already made significant progress towards the preparation of an Urban Development Strategy, aimed at providing a framework for shaping, influencing and managing the growth and change of the city’s urban form over the next 30-50 years.

Dr Rainbow says the reorganisation has also helped in the recruitment of staff to the City Council. “Planning is one of those areas where there are global shortages of good staff. The new structure allows staff far greater opportunity to get experience in many facets of planning. We are more than holding our own in terms of attracting and retaining staff.”

He adds that the revised structure is ‘organic’ and will continue to evolve and respond to the challenges of local authority planning. “The structure encourages well-considered decision making. The City Council is thus better placed to provide better and clearer planning results to our community while providing a rewarding and team based working environment to our planners.”

Other New Zealand local authorities are taking a close look at the Wellington Urban Strategy Group model – with Auckland City Council now restructuring along the same lines.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>

ALSO:

Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>

ALSO:

With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>

ALSO:

Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>

ALSO:

Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>

ALSO:

More Justice & Corrections

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news