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Unitary Plan must be radically overhauled and simplified

4 March 2014

Media Release

Unitary Plan must be radically overhauled and simplified

“If the finalised Unitary Plan is anything like the 7000-page legalistic document for which submissions closed last Friday, Auckland will never achieve its potential,” says Michael Barnett, head of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce.

“It isn’t just the stupidity of inserting into the proposed plan a co-governance arrangement, potentially requiring resource consents to be sought from all 19 iwi authorities in Auckland, but an overall failure of the document to make it easy for Auckland’s economic growth and development,” to occur he warns.

The purpose of the Unitary Plan is straight forward. It is to set the rules to deliver the 30-year Auckland Plan agreed in 2010. “But requiring some 7000 pages to write these rules that add layers of legal complexity has taken the document well beyond the understanding of most Aucklanders. We don’t do ourselves any favours by producing a plan that requires a Hearings Panel led by a Judge to untangle,” said Mr Barnett.

There is a lot of things that need fixing if the document is to give Auckland a credible set of rules for enabling the Auckland’s economic development.

The task of the Hearing Panel members will be made easier if they listen to Aucklanders as ‘customers’ and initiate a positive conversation to reinforce that the finalised Unitary Plan will not just be a legalistic document drafted to control and regulate Auckland’s future growth but a story about Auckland’s value as a place to be in the future.

“We were expecting a fit for purpose rule book drafted from the perspective of how Aucklanders want to live and work and what they value – not a planning paradigm of ‘we know what’s best for you’,” said Mr Barnett.

The Auckland Chamber submission can be viewed at www.chamber.co.nz .

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