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Len Brown rolled on keeping key CCOs' Cultural Impact

Media release

Auckland Councillor Cameron Brewer

Friday, 28 February 2014

Len Brown rolled on keeping key CCOs silent on Cultural Impact Assessments

With public submissions closing on the draft Unitary Plan, Auckland Mayor Len Brown has been rolled by a majority of councillors over his insistence that key Council-Controlled Organisations Auckland Transport and Watercare not be allowed to independently submit on the draft Unitary Plan, particularly pertaining to their serious concerns over the controversial Mana Whenua provisions, says Auckland Councillor for Orakei Cameron Brewer.

“The Mayor’s draft Unitary Plan insists on the need for cultural impact assessments for any proposed development close to the 3,600 sites of Maori value. However concerned Auckland Transport and Watercare made it very clear to councillors recently that such a move would have serious practical implications, ultimately adding big costs and delays to their work.”

Mr Brewer says with this specific issue in mind, both CCOs last month asked the Mayor and councillors that they be allowed to put in their own full standalone submissions to the independent hearings panel reviewing the draft Unitary Plan, after being instructed by the Mayor they were not to in an earlier letter he sent to CCOs.

“While both CCOs have seemingly worked through some issues with the council in the interim and will present on some technical matters, the ability to submit fully and independently has now been welcomed by the CCOs in the past 24 hours as a helpful way to resolve all the issues.

“The Mayor did his best to try to outlaw any internal dissent to his controversial Unitary Plan by telling the CCOs and local boards to get back in their box, but this was never democratic nor would it ensure full and frank consideration of all the issues.

“The hearings panel need to hear it straight from the horse’s mouth when it comes to the costly impacts of cultural impact assessments and the likes. Auckland Transport and Watercare are after all multi-billion dollar utility and infrastructure providers and should not be silenced.

“While they now can submit in full if they choose, unfortunately Auckland’s 21 local boards representing communities genuinely concerned about the likes of residential intensification, high-rise, and more infill housing have been banned from doing stand-alone submissions. It’s outrageous.”

Mr Brewer’s successful amendment, seconded by Dick Quax, at yesterday’s monthly Governing Body meeting read. ‘That Auckland Transport and Watercare be allowed to submit standalone separate submissions, to assist the Independent Hearings Panel’s full understanding of the proposed overlay’s potential impacts and costs.’

The amendment was carried 10 votes to nine.

Ends

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