Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Auckland 2040 Group Meet Mayor For Talks about Unitary Plan

Auckland Mayor Len Brown and Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse meet Auckland 2040 Group for Urgent Talks about Unitary Plan

Auckland 24 May 2013

In response to mounting public outrage following Auckland 2040's disclosure of the implications behind critical elements of the draft unitary plan, Auckland 2040 Founders Richard Burton and Guy Haddleton met this week with the Mayor, and Deputy Mayor for intensive discussions.

The meeting was constructive, with the Mayor willing to consider proposals put forward by Auckland 2040 for amendments to the plan. He also expressed a commitment to have a fair and meaningful dialogue with Auckland 2040 over the next few months, stating that the Unitary Plan would not be notified in September until 80-90% of the issues were resolved. 

Following the meeting, Auckland 2040 has submitted their proposals in a letter to the Mayor and is now awaiting feedback.

Comments Richard Burton, “I look forward to the healthy public debate that will emerge from our proposal and our participation in on-going discussions with Council”

Letter to Auckland Mayor below:

22 May 2013

His Worship the Mayor

Our thanks to you and Deputy Major Ms P Hulse for taking the time to meet with Auckland 2040 and the Character Coalition yesterday. We were very pleased to read in the NZ Herald that you agreed with much of what we said.

A fundamental issue in looking at the future growth of Auckland is the extent to which Auckland is likely to grow over the next 30 years. That Auckland is growing and will continue to grow is undisputed; it is the rate and extent of growth which is at issue. Significant under or over estimation can have profound effects on future planning. We request that Auckland City:

·       Be completely transparent in revealing the statistical justification for Council’s 1,000,000 population increase forecast for the next 30 years

·       Reconsider the Auckland population estimate of 1,000, 000 additional population over the next 30 years to align with Statistics NZ Medium estimates. Overseas cities generally adopt the Medium estimate in planning for growth and then monitor that estimate over time, with adjustments up or down depending on actual growth. The High estimate as used by Auckland Council may overstate actual growth by as much as 50%. Overstating the population increase has serious implications on infrastructure and the need for high density intensification and or greenfields development.

The Draft Unitary Plan has been prepared on the basis of an additional 1,000,000 population over 30 years. Even if Auckland reaches such growth levels, it will not happen overnight but rather in a progressive incremental manner. It is thus logical to release land for intensification and green field’s development in a staged manner. To zone immediately 56% of Auckland’s residential areas for unrestrained, scattered apartment development is neither logical nor staged. Neither would immediate release of greenfields land sufficient for 400,000 people be logical or staged. Fortunately no-one is suggesting the latter.

We are not opposed to intensification, nor apartment development. We are opposed to scattered, un-planned, uncoordinated developments with no or inadequate consideration of urban character values, heritage values or infrastructure and no community consultation.

Certainty in an urban framework context is of fundamental importance to most people living in or buying into neighbourhoods. While alteration or addition of dwellings is largely accepted, structures introducing a different, more discordant building form are strongly opposed. Many residential areas have a mature character with established dwellings and streetscapes. Some have a dominant heritage character. Many of the most popular areas have had significant infill, but the infill is of a similar character to the existing housing so is accepted, albeit reluctantly in some quarters. Apartment buildings are a very alien building form in those streetscapes and the uncertainty of whether this form of development will occur in “my street” is what is galvanizing Aucklanders to object to Council’s proposals.

Auckland 2040 and the Character Coalition request that Council approach the Unitary Plan in a more planned and staged manner. Specifically Council should reduce the amount of land zoned for apartment development and instead have a more targeted focus providing development opportunities while preserving most of the existing residential areas.

If demand indicates more apartment zoned land is required, Council can undertake the appropriate neighbourhood or town centre studies with meaningful community involvement prior to release of more land for redevelopment. If full structure planning is required prior to release of greenfields land then why should not the same apply to intensification proposals within the existing urban area?

The following proposals should be considered in the context of the above statements. We request the Auckland Council give consideration to the following proposed amendments to the Unitary Plan:

1.     The introduction of a new residential Infill Zone which allows one and two storey buildings only and permits infill at a density of one unit per 350m2 net site area. This zone to be applied to the majority of the residential areas and in particular to residential areas which:
a.      Retain a strong residential character of 1 –2 story dwellings ,or
b.     Have significant heritage values, or
c.      Are close to sensitive environments such as the coast, lakes, volcanic cones, or
d.     Have been subject to considerable infill development, but which retain predominantly stand-alone housing, or
e.      Have topographical challenges which would tend to increase the adverse effects of apartment buildings

2.     The Mixed Housing Zone be restricted to areas in close proximity to town centers or selected arterial routes with good roading, public transport and infrastructure and which do not have the characteristics in (1) above.

3.     The Terrace House and Apartment Zone be confined to areas immediately adjoining inner city or Metropolitan Centres, plus the major town centres subject to (5) below.

4.     Development controls to be reconfigured to address adjoining property effects, and height limits to be restricted by full discretionary activity status, including public notification and affected party’s consents for exceeding height.

5.     That Metropolitan, Town Centre and neighbourhood studies be undertaken with community involvement to determine the most appropriate zoning mix after due consideration of existing urban character, heritage values, infrastructure and traffic. That Council reconsider town centre studies undertaken by previous council’s or Environment Court decisions affecting specific areas and incorporate the principal findings of those studies/decisions into the Unitary Plan.

6.     That should Council determine that additional intensification is warranted in the future due to increased demand, Council undertake structure planning of the areas where intensification is planned. Such structure planning should be similar in scope to that required for greenfields planning and have an aim of achieving a significant degree of community consensus.

We would welcome the opportunity to discuss these proposals in a constructive manner with Council and senior staff.

Yours sincerely,

Guy Haddleton, Auckland 2040
Richard Burton, Auckland 2040
Sally Hughes, Character Coalition

About Auckland 2040

Auckland 2040 is a newly formed grass roots organization of non political residents passionately concerned about the future planning and shape of Auckland. Its web site is www.auckland2040.org.nz


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Environment Commissioner: We Need To Work Together On Climate Change And Farming

“The debate around agricultural emissions and the ETS has been polarised for too long,” said the Commissioner. “But the ETS is not the only way forward – there are other things that can be done.” More>>


NZ Super Fund: Seeking To Put A Market Price On Climate Change

Oct. 19 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand Superannuation Fund says it will devise a set of rules to assess investment winners and losers under climate change, a strategy that could rule out fossil fuels or producers such as current portfolio member Exxon ... More>>


Rejuvenation: Parata Will Not Contest 2017 Election

Education Minister and National List MP Hekia Parata has today announced that she will not be contesting the next election. She advised the Prime Minister of her decision earlier this year. More>>

Prisons Grow: Government Approves Plans For Increased Prison Capacity

Despite significant progress in reducing crime the number of prisoners has increased faster than projected. This is because the proportion of offenders charged with serious crimes has risen, meaning more people are being remanded in custody and serving more of their sentences in prison. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Plastic Bag Activism, And Street Harassment

Amusing to see the Act Party experiencing another outbreak of young fogey-ism. What has aroused the ire of Act Leader David Seymour this time is the introduction of a Greens private members bill to the ballot process, calling for a 15 cents levy on plastic bags to reduce pollution. More>>


Unclear Weapons: US Navy Ship Cleared To Visit NZ For Navy's 75th

United States Navy ship, the USS Sampson, has been given clearance to visit New Zealand next month by Prime Minister John Key... “The process for considering the visit by the USS Sampson is the same as that used for all ships attending the International Naval Review." More>>


P Policy: $15m Allocated To Tackling Drug Abuse

Almost $15 million dollars seized from criminals will be invested in anti-drug initiatives, with more funding for Police and Customs and a greater focus on treatment for drug abusers, Prime Minister John Key says. More>>


More Or Less Democratic Countries: Fiji Prime Minister To Visit NZ

“This will be Prime Minister Bainimarama’s first official visit to New Zealand as Fiji’s Prime Minister,” Mr Key says. “New Zealand and Fiji have strong ties in a range of areas, and the Prime Minister’s visit presents a further opportunity to discuss issues of mutual interest.” More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news