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EDS seeks environmental improvements to Auckland Plan

Media Release: EDS seeks environmental improvements to proposed Auckland Unitary Plan

The Environmental Defence Society has today released its final submissions on the proposed Auckland Unitary Plan.

“The Auckland Unitary Plan process is the largest planning exercise ever undertaken in New Zealand. It will shape the future of New Zealand’s largest city,” said EDS Chairman Gary Taylor.

“Our 100 page submission is the result of a major piece of work over several months by the EDS team and our external expert advisers. We also called for public feedback on an early draft and found many comments helpful in fine-tuning the submission.

“We have looked at the entire plan, including rural, urban and marine environments. We have asked whether it sets high enough standards for environmental management if Auckland wishes to maintain its high living standards and enhance its reputation as an environmental guardian.

“We have concluded that overall the Plan is heading in the right direction but needs some substantive changes in its environmental measures to comply with the law.

“Areas that need further attention include better protection for land and marine biodiversity; better management of the key threats to freshwater; improvements in stormwater, waste water, sedimentation and nutrient run-off; and improved mapping.

“In particular, we think the plan is not up to scratch in Auckland’s extensive marine space.

“The next stage in this plan-making process will be the opportunity to make cross-submissions later this year. EDS will be commenting on the submissions lodged by other parties.

“Following that, the independent hearings panel will start its process. This will be a time-consuming process and a significant logistical challenge given the expected numbers of submitters.

“It will be some years before the process is complete,” Mr Taylor concluded.

To view EDS’s submission click here.

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