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A better Auckland region for all

31 March 2005 Media Statement

A better Auckland region for all

Eight councils have notified changes to their RMA planning documents to better manage urban growth across the Auckland region.

"I congratulate the Auckland councils for the way they have worked closely together to develop the required changes to their planning documents in a relatively short time," Environment Minister Marian Hobbs said today.

"By revising their plans, the Auckland councils will be better able to manage urban development and provide improved, more efficient and environmentally sound transport networks. This is in line with the government’s transport package that was announced in December 2003," Marian Hobbs said.

To help ensure that the funding of $1.62 billion, allocated in that package to Auckland’s transport system, achieves the desired results, the government required the Auckland councils to revise their planning documents to support more strongly the regional growth and land transport strategies.

The changes that each council is proposing will more clearly define the rules that shape development. They will ensure that future developments, land use changes and transport initiatives are consistent with the Regional Growth Strategy. This will help to manage Auckland’s growth in a more effective and integrated way.

The government directed the eight councils to prepare the changes to their RMA planning documents and to publicly notify them by 31 March 2005.

Councils are also required to appoint a joint hearings panel to hear any submissions on the revised planning process and to make recommendations on the proposed changes to the councils. This is instead of having eight separate hearings processes.

To support the process, the government has contributed funding to Auckland Regional Council and the Auckland councils through the Ministry for the Environment’s Sustainable Cities budget, part of the government’s Sustainable Development Programme of Action.

"I support the forthcoming joint hearings process," Marian Hobbs said. "The government believes it is crucial for Auckland to manage its growth more sustainably, by linking its land use to its future regional needs, including transport."


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