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The Auckland Unitary Plan: Over 1500 days in the making

16 August 2016

The Auckland Unitary Plan: Over 1500 days in the making

Property Council commends Auckland Councillors for passing the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan yesterday and views it as a step-change for Auckland’s future growth and urban rejuvenation.

Property Council Auckland Branch President, Phil Eaton argues, “make no mistake, this is a landmark for Auckland and arguably its most defining moment since the opening of the Harbour Bridge, in terms of shaping the city.

“To say that this has been a marathon, and often dramatic journey is an understatement. It has taken nearly 5 years to achieve. The public consultation process involved over 13,000 submissions, 1.4 million submission points and nearly two years of hearings to analyse, review and provide recommendations.

“It is pleasing to see our advocacy and campaigning for a Plan that enables much needed development and that delivers a quality urban form bear fruit. Over the many years that this Plan has been proposed and developed, we have consistently argued for a flexible approach to managing future growth by growing the city up and out through increased density and new communities on the city fringe” says Mr Eaton.

“Furthermore, I take delight in the fact that common sense has prevailed, with Councillors accepting several recommendations even though they represented shifts in the Council’s earlier policy positions.

Mr Eaton believes it is important to acknowledge the role of Central Government in the Plan development, “they have been a key player in this, they drove the amalgamation of Auckland into a single council and established the Independent Hearings Panel process as well. Their actions have streamlined governance and planning decision-making in Auckland.

“I would also like to thank the Independent Hearings Panel for their work in delivering a set of strong recommendations based on objective and robust analyses and data. Their work has been simply outstanding and a testament to evidence based decision-making.

Mr Eaton adds that “we must also praise current and former councillors for their role in developing the Plan. They have been in an unenviable position, caught between the debates and competing visions from a range of stakeholders. In particular, Penny Hulse has provided consistent and strong leadership for the Council in navigating the often hazardous, passionate and subjective debate around the Plan.

“At this stage, we are happy with the decisions that have been released so far this week. However, the devil is in the detail and we won’t see the finalised and full decisions of Councillors until this Friday. Until that happens, we remain cautiously optimistic about the finalised decisions”.

However, Mr Eaton does believe “the Plan will provide the means to develop new communities and to rejuvenate existing communities. It will enable the creation and development of healthy, safe and economically and socially prosperous communities and help Auckland become the world’s most liveable city”.

END.

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