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Timing of Auckland Council plan consultation is unacceptable

Media Release: 20 October 2011

AA says timing of Auckland Council plan consultation is unacceptable and calls for a one month extension for submissions

The Auckland Council decision to undertake the public consultation on the 30-year regional plan at the same time as Auckland hosts the Rugby World Cup has failed.

The AA was commenting following a Council statement that it had only received 143 submissions on the 30-year plan.

Simon Lambourne, the AA's spokesperson on Auckland Transport, says "the AA has been very concerned about the timing and duration of this consultation."

"The AA is today releasing the following results from our latest survey of 1,822 AA Members in Auckland to report what motorists think of the consultation process."

50% of those surveyed did not know the Council was seeking feedback on the 30-year vision, before the AA informed them of this.

65% of AA Members surveyed said consulting on the 30-year plan during the Rugby World Cup would greatly decrease, or decrease, participation by those affected by the plans.

75% of those surveyed said they had not read any of the 30-year plan documents.

59% of those surveyed said the 35 days the Council has given Aucklanders to read the draft plan documents and give their views was not enough time.

58% of those surveyed did not believe the Council had publicised the documents enough.

35% of those surveyed said they would like the Council to seek their feedback through a survey, 20% said they would have liked the Council to send them copies of the draft plan, and 29% said they would prefer to read the draft plan online.

The AA online survey has a margin of error of 2.3% and was conducted between 30 September and 16 October:

"The Council could have easily waited until the Rugby World Cup was over, when Aucklanders could have focused on the 30 year plan proposals, and properly debated and discussed them."

"The AA is concerned the Council appears determined to press ahead with controversial ideas, such as charging people to use the motorways and when they drive into the CBD, and reducing the number of CBD car parks, without providing Aucklanders with a reasonable amount of time to consider and respond to such proposals."

"Consultation on decisions that will affect this region for the next half century are being pushed through in 35 days, while Aucklanders focus on hosting visitors to the Rugby World Cup and the games themselves."

"The Council's announcement that it will only extend the consultation period by six days, until the end of October, is inadequate. For the Council and the 30-year plan to have greater community engagement and input into the 30 year plan, the AA is calling for consultation period to be immediately extended until the end of November. This will allow for proper public debate once the Rugby World Cup is over, and it will increase the number of public submissions and community engagement."


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