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

 


Speech: Brown - Draft Auckland Unitary Plan

News Release
Office of the Mayor


15 March 2013

Speech for launch of the Draft Auckland Unitary Plan

Kia ora tatou. Welcome everyone.

I want to acknowledge my fellow councillors and local board chairs.

In particular I want to acknowledge Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse, whose leadership as Chair of the Auckland Plan Committee has been vital in getting us to this point.

Today is a major milestone in Auckland’s journey to become the world’s most liveable city. This is where the rubber hits the road.

Two years ago a new, unified council was tasked by the government with putting Auckland back on the path to becoming a true international city.

The government set it out in legislation. One council. One mayor. One vision. One plan.

One of my first tasks as Mayor, working closely with the new council, was to set the vision which became the Auckland Plan.

We talked extensively with Aucklanders about how we could best meet the challenges facing the region, and how we can best seize the opportunities they present.

15,000 people made submissions on the Auckland Plan, many others engaged through public meetings, online forums and involvement with their local boards. We have also consulted widely on the draft Unitary Plan through our 21 local boards and their communities.

Their response has been – and remains – loud and clear. They want a balanced and planned approach – a modern, liveable city, with a compact urban footprint, a revitalised city centre, integrated transport, environmental preservation and a dynamic economy.

They don’t want unconstrained urban sprawl that would turn Auckland into another Los Angeles.

They don’t want to live miles from their workplace, or spend hours each day in their car.

They want to protect and improve the environment that makes this region such a great place to live.

We have also talked extensively with international experts. Their advice reflects the views of Auckland. Last week, this was encapsulated in Michael Enright’s report. He identifies five key priorities for Auckland:

• Mass transit, particularly rail.
• Revitalising our city centre as a hub for finance, business and tourism.
• Maintain or reduce the urban footprint – a denser Auckland will be more vibrant, sustainable and liveable if done properly.
• Clusters of sectors and related businesses
• And finally, a substantial change in mind-set in how we live, travel and work.
We could ignore this. We could continue to do things the way they were always done from the 1950s on.

More sprawling suburbs. More roads. More laissez-faire development. And what would happen?

There would be more congestion. There would be even less of a sense of pride in being Aucklanders, as we live in far-flung suburbs and centres.

We would see the loss of more of our farmland – some of the most productive land in New Zealand – as it was turned into roads and pavements.

And there would be more costs on ratepayers – because of the huge infrastructure costs associated with sprawling cities.

We’ve been here before. In a 1969 report Sir Dove-Myer Robinson warned government of the consequences of ignoring Auckland’s challenges:

He wrote of the “accelerated urban sprawl, ruinous decentralisation of the CBD, and continuing increase of the cost to the community already resulting from congestion.”

We did not ignore Aucklanders.

The Auckland Plan, which we released last year, reflects the desire and the necessity for a modern, compact city.

It reflects the need for an integrated transport system which provides quality public transport alongside the roading network.

It reflects the need for a concerted drive to develop an export-focused regional economy.

And it reflects the need for the region’s development to be achieved in a way which improves – not injures – the environment.

The next step was to bring together Auckland’s array of district and regional plans into a new, single Unitary Plan.

The Auckland Plan sets the vision for 30 years. The Unitary Plan provides the detailed policy framework for how we implement the Auckland Plan.

It will eventually replace Auckland’s 14 existing district and regional plans with a simpler set of rules for the management of the built and natural environment.

It is through the Unitary Plan we can begin to deliver on the goals of the Auckland Plan.

From heritage and environmental and coastal protection, to the mix of heights in and around our town centres, to minimum apartment sizes, density of business areas and protection of productive farmland.

One set of rules which guides the development of resilient communities, a strong environment, integrated transport, quality urban living and a powerhouse economy.

The Unitary Plan recognises that when it comes to housing, people want choices.

There will be low, medium and high-rise apartments, terraced town houses, mixed use developments and stand-alone houses.

There will be some apartments in town centres, as well as in metropolitan centres like Manukau, Takapuna and New Lynn.

But there will also be land release and development around the edges of Auckland.

Importantly, this plan recognises that people want different types of housing at different times in their lives. Many young people and retired people want to live where they can give up their car or live right in the heart of their town.

Others still want to live further out, to enjoy more green space as they raise families.

Under this plan, the city will give them all of these options.

This is in sharp contrast to a vision in the 1940s and 50s which drove Auckland down the track of LA urban sprawl.

A vision that consigned our transport planners to building motorways. A tragic mistake that we’re now addressing.

The Unitary Plan will help to deliver a better city. It will also help us to deliver one which is affordable for our communities.

Auckland’s population is set to nearly double over the next 30 years. Our population will grow by a million people. More than 60 per cent of this will come from our existing populous. They have to live somewhere. The region needs a mix of new housing land, and more intensive housing in key areas of the city.

This plan allows for intensity – but it also expands the existing city by creating a new rural-urban boundary.

The land for housing will be available – under this plan. But we cannot simply allow sprawl – and destroy some of New Zealand’s most productive land in the process.

Over the past few months, we have heard a lot from the government on the topic of housing affordability. Ministers have told us that the key to providing more affordable housing is the availability of land – there is not enough to satisfy demand.

If the government wants to make more land available to Aucklanders more quickly, then they need to allow the Unitary Plan to take effect on notification. That will bring the new rural-urban boundary into effect much more quickly and address the issue the government says is central to housing affordability.

I have written to the Prime Minister to make this point. The people of Auckland have been clear that want us to see it through. I hope the government recognises that.

Over the coming weeks and months we want Aucklanders to have their say on this draft Unitary Plan for Auckland. Such a plan has never been more necessary or timely for Auckland.

If we get this right, we can start to meet the challenges Auckland faces – now and in the coming decades.

No reira, tena koutou, tena koutou katoa.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

#SaveCampbellLive : Mediaworks Delivered 104,000 Petition Signatures At TV3's Newton HQ
#PonyTailGate #TailGate Full Coverage

Pukeahu Park : ANZAC 100th Anniversary Dawn Service In Pictures

Roughly 18,000 people gathered this morning at Pukeahu Memorial Park for the Anzac day centenary. Anticipating the large turnout, patrons arrived as early as 4.30. It was virtually impossible to get near the Memorial after 5am. By 6, the crowds on Taranaki Street had stretched as far back as the Z Petrol station.

The screens erected around the park displayed the live events to those who had turned up. The heat generated by the huge number of people caused many to take a turn. Medics and ambulances were on hand for the fainting crowd members. Only twenty minutes into the ceremony, one medic said they had already dealt with 15 to 20 spells. More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

War: What’s To Commemorate?

Gordon Campbell in Werewolf: Is there anything that can be validly commemorated on this 100th anniversary of Gallipoli? Beyond, that is, a fleeting sense of empathy with the thousands of soldiers killed or wounded on April 25 1915 and in the months thereafter, until the whole thing was finally called off in December 1915. More>>

MORE IN WEREWOLF:

ALSO:

Peter Ellis Case: Minister Declines Request For Commission Of Inquiry

Justice Minister Amy Adams has declined a request from supporters of Peter Ellis for a Commission of Inquiry on the basis that an inquiry cannot be used to determine the liability of any person. More>>

Quakes: New Process For Red Zone Crown Offers

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee has announced a process to give everyone a say on the Crown offers to owners of vacant, commercial/industrial and uninsured properties in the Residential Red Zone. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Battle Obama Is Waging Over The TPP

For the past two and a half years, this column has been arguing that the fate of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal will hinge on whether US President Barack Obama can win Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) from Congress... Last week, the White House finally, finally unveiled a draft TPA Bill. More>>

ALSO:

Greens: Govt Breaks Free Doctors Visit Promise To Kids

Documents obtained by the Green Party show that the Government decided to fund only 90 percent of doctors’ visits for children suffering from an injury in an attempt trim the cost of the so-called “free” visits. More>>

ALSO:

Other Wars: Extension Of NZDF Commitment In Afghanistan

The New Zealand Defence Force’s commitment of mentors and support staff to the Afghan National Army Officer Academy in Afghanistan has been extended out to December 2016, Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee says. More>>

PM's Press Conference: Auckland Property Prices Increasing "Too Rapidly"

John Key accepted that Auckland property prices 'are going up too rapidly” in a press conference held today in Wellington, however he said that this is not anything new. More>>

ALSO:

Press Conference: ANZAC PMs Concerned About ISIL Bringing The War Home

Prime Minister Key and Prime Minister Abbott spoke of the bond formed between Australia and New Zealand in the “baptism of fire” of Gallipoli. Abbott stated that New Zealand and Australia’s values and interests are linked, and this is reflected in the joint operation in Iraq which will begin shortly. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news