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Hold up on Auckland's Unitary Plan 'elephant in the room'

25th March 2013

Hold up on Auckland's Unitary Plan 'elephant in the room'

The government's proposal not to ratify Auckland's Unitary Plan until 2016/17 will load big costs onto Auckland's ratepayers, and hold back Auckland's growth, the Employers and Manufacturers Association says.

"Business wants Auckland's Unitary Plan to come into effect (be ratified) this year, not in three years' time," said Kim Campbell, EMA's chief executive.

"We understand why Environment Minister Amy Adams wants three years consultation over the myriad of rules and regulations the plan will introduce, but frankly we can't afford the delay, or the costs of doing this.

"The delay will mean uncertainty for business over the next three years, but on top of that the costs to Auckland new home owners and ratepayers will be unnecessarily inflated.

"The costs will result from Auckland Council having to manage seven different consent processes under the city's seven former legacy councils - while introducing the new future looking, single unified process.

"This is simply too much to ask.

"It will add a significant cost to the building of new homes just when we need them to be cheaper.

"The requirement to consult over the Unitary Plan for another three years is included in changes to the Resource Management Act currently before Parliament - it has to be stopped in its tracks.

"The issue is the elephant in the room as Mayor Len Brown and Housing Minister Nick Smith discuss today how government and council are to work together on housing.

"Business is all for speeding up the development of greenfields and brownfields land so there are more options for affordable housing."

ENDS

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