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Letter to PM on Draft Auckland Unitary Plan

04 April 2013
Rt Hon John Key, Prime Minister of New Zealand
Hon Amy Adams, Minister for the Environment
Dear Prime Minister and Minister Adams

Re: Draft Auckland Unitary Plan and proposed RMA changes

I write this email to you on behalf of a number of Auckland Councillors who are concerned that you understand that the lobbying by Auckland Council for fast tracking the draft Auckland Unitary Plan (AUP) by giving effect to the plan on notification is not the unanimous view of the Auckland Council.

There are growing numbers of councillors, across the political spectrum, welcoming the decision by Government to take time to ensure there is careful analysis and good process for the AUP, understanding that weight and credibility must be given to the hearings process over the coming three years. We agree that the hearings panel must be allowed to do its work before, not after, these massive changes take legal effect.

Given the importance and complexity of this plan, Council and Government owe it to Aucklanders to ensure the plan is both credible and deliverable. The draft plan is meeting fierce community opposition as people begin to come to grips with the detail of proposed development and the fact that there is no guarantee of essential infrastructure to support the development.

The Government is right to stand firm on its concerns that the position advocated by the Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Auckland Council, do not provide adequate recourse for Aucklanders to seek full and impartial review of the council plan.

The plan has been rushed to meet electoral deadlines, meaning it is ill considered and has the capacity to cause massive social disruption for generations to come if it is rammed through. As a member of the original working party on the Unitary Plan I can confirm that insufficient time was allocated to major issues. Taking a long term pro Auckland perspective it will be far better for Auckland to work with legacy council plans until such time as the AUP can be proven to be properly considered.

The Auckland Unitary Plan should not be given effect on notification.
We are very happy to supply further information if required.
Yours sincerely

Hon Christine Fletcher QSO on behalf of Cr Sandra Coney, Cr Mike Lee, Cr Wayne Walker, Cr George Wood, Cr Dick Quax, Cr Cameron Brewer, Cr Sharon Stewart, Cr Calum Penrose

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