Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: A plea for sanity on the Unitary Plan

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  • Russell Brown, in reply to Chris W,

    But I’m really not sure that can be said about the “majority” of the opposition at the moment.

    Thanks Russel, you just proved my point about opponents being labelled as mis-informed.

    Okay ... on the basis of what I see and hear, I am led to believe that many people who oppose the Unitary Plan don't understand it very well. The email which forms the subject of the post being an example; others have been personally noted by people in this discussion.

    Identifying and opposing flawed elements in the plan is a laudable part of the democratic process. Outright opposition to the idea of a plan at all is nutty, especially when it's accompanied by the voicing of weird ideas about population control.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22743 posts Report Reply

  • Chris W, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Okay … on the basis of what I see and hear, I am led to believe that many people who oppose the Unitary Plan don’t understand it very well. The email which forms the subject of the post being an example; others have been personally noted by people in this discussion.

    Identifying and opposing flawed elements in the plan is a laudable part of the democratic process. Outright opposition to the idea of a plan at all is nutty, especially when it’s accompanied by the voicing of weird ideas about population control.

    I've had a different experience (online and meetings). Lots of people have valid reasons to oppose aspects of the DUP (I'm not talking about opposition to having a plan) but there seems to be a general opinion amongst supporters that if you oppose something in the plan you don't know what you're talking about - something I've observed. The plan is a work in progress and it's not helpful to put barriers up to people voicing their opinion. Whether supporting or opposing the draft plan, everyone is entitled to their opinion, even when they are wrong.

    Auckland, New Zealand • Since May 2013 • 4 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    A good post from James Dann in Christchurch, looking at Auckland's Unitary Plan fight and thinking, if only ...

    I’m not knocking the people campaigning for and against the plan. I’m encouraging you. I’m envious, really. You get to have all the heated, spurious, fact-based, hate-filled arguments that shape cities. We don’t. While it might be hard, even infuriating at times, at least you get to have it. You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone. While we may never have been paradise, that didn’t stop them covering the place with parking lots.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22743 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Chris W,

    Correct SteveL. There seems to be a trend of labeling all opposition as mis-informed.

    With all due disrespect, SteveL when you've got an opposition lobby group circulating "impressions" of the effects of the Unitary Plan that... well, aren't entirely accurate (and getting them published in Auckland's only daily newspaper)? "Mis-informed" is pretty fraking polite, in my book.

    And I'm not going to apologize for saying that way too much of what I've seen and heard is whistling for some remarkably unpleasant dogs, rather than making reasonable and arguable criticisms of the Unitary Plan. I think it's very useful to call out people like Winston Peters and the racist rump of Grey Power trying to smuggle their anti-immigrant Yellow Peril bullshit into this debate.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to Chris W,

    Whether supporting or opposing the draft plan, everyone is entitled to their opinion, even when they are wrong.

    A fine sentiment, likely to misfire methinks.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1878 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Chris W,

    Whether supporting or opposing the draft plan, everyone is entitled to their opinion

    Usual distinction between opinions and facts applies.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19667 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    And I’m not going to apologize for saying that way too much of what I’ve seen and heard is whistling for some remarkably unpleasant dogs, rather than making reasonable and arguable criticisms of the Unitary Plan. I think it’s very useful to call out people like Winston Peters and the racist rump of Grey Power trying to smuggle their anti-immigrant Yellow Peril bullshit into this debate.

    And there's a bit of that going on, for sure.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22743 posts Report Reply

  • J Browning, in reply to Sacha,

    Evidence - Melbourne CBD is an example close to home.

    We need to remember - car ownership is not the issue; people's reliance on cars to get them everywhere they want to go is the issue.

    I own a car to take me to places for recreation and sport not serviced by public transport (West Coast beaches, for example)...otherwise I walk or cycle everywhere around town.

    Without my car, I would be forced to live a very closed existence in town or be reliant on friends and family driving extra miles to pick me up and drop me off...

    This is the reason why places with parking limitations attract a different type of resident to the 'burbs...

    Auckland • Since May 2013 • 16 posts Report Reply

  • J Browning, in reply to Sacha,

    Indeed...although I'm not sure it was entirely divided by function...the duplication of effort is astounding.

    Auckland • Since May 2013 • 16 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to J Browning,

    Transport, Events, etc are functions as are the many different parts of Council that may lack coordination. I talked about that in my earlier guest post about the Rugby World Cup opening night shambles.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19667 posts Report Reply

  • J Browning, in reply to Russell Brown,

    But that's less a problem with the Unitary Plan than the design of the Super City, surely?

    Ummm...well, yes and no.

    The Super City structure is most certainly to blame for the siloed approach.

    However, it also reveals the blinkered manner in which the Unitary Plan has been developed and why it is flawed.

    How can you write a rule book to fulfil Strategies and Plans you are not even aware of?

    You have to ask - what is the purpose of the Unitary Plan is if it's not to fulfil the Auckland Plan?

    Or, more importantly, what is the point in the Auckland Plan?

    Does Council merely exist to write rules to control and manipulate public behaviour?

    Are they serving us, or are we serving them?

    Auckland • Since May 2013 • 16 posts Report Reply

  • J Browning, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    And chances are the loudest opponents of the Unitary Plan otherwise have no time for the Resource Management Act. What's the real reason for their whining, then? Property cartelism? Snobbery (which is a form of social cartellsm)? Or just sour grapes about John Banks not taking Auckland? Or even all of the above?

    Most people care about themselves and themselves alone...how many people do you know who care about the effect of the Unitary Plan on our city as a whole?

    I'm not sure you understand where I'm coming from - I'm not in favour of the Unitary Plan because I believe it to be poorly written, without consultation or consideration of the broader picture.

    I certainly do not support the views of those trying to stir things up for political advantage (which is generally the only basis for debate in this country currently).

    Auckland • Since May 2013 • 16 posts Report Reply

  • J Browning, in reply to Chris W,

    I've had a different experience (online and meetings)...there seems to be a general opinion amongst supporters that if you oppose something in the plan you don't know what you're talking about - something I've observed

    Absolutely agree...

    Auckland • Since May 2013 • 16 posts Report Reply

  • J Browning, in reply to Sacha,

    Yes - I am aware of this; why have a team at ATEED and at Auckland Council both employed to manage and deliver major events...

    Auckland • Since May 2013 • 16 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to J Browning,

    The Super City structure is most certainly to blame for the siloed approach.

    Its architects had hoped for it to be a rubber stamp for their wider agenda. As far as they're concerned, Len Brown stole the keys from John Banks and hijacked it, and now they're fumbling for the override switch.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5414 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to J Browning,

    Most people care about themselves and themselves alone...how many people do you know who care about the effect of the Unitary Plan on our city as a whole?

    I'm not sure you understand where I'm coming from - I'm not in favour of the Unitary Plan because I believe it to be poorly written, without consultation or consideration of the broader picture.

    I certainly do not support the views of those trying to stir things up for political advantage (which is generally the only basis for debate in this country currently).

    I also agree that the Unitary Plan is full of vagaries and planner-speak. Some PR on the Auckland Council's part would not have cost much. Still, the general thrust of the Unitary Plan is colliding head on with the property-go-round that could be best thought of as NZ's equivalent of the Common Agricultural Policy - a sector in dire need of reform, but wealthy & powerful vested interests just happen to be in the way.

    And while AKL's status as NZ's biggest and most globalised city is a given, there's been little debate on regional development compared to how AKL should grow - they managed to pull it off in Britain. Other measures to reduce demand like a stamp duty on non-residents buying houses are worth examining - it could even sort out the fly-by-nighters from those in NZ for the long haul.

    There are already bonus points in the immigration system to settle outside AKL, but at the end of the day, migrants usually go where the plum jobs go, and the plum jobs seem to go where a flight to LAX/LHR/PVG can be boarded at a moment's notice. And despite the scepticism, WLG is pressing ahead for a consent to lengthen its runway. It's not a long extension, but it's a start.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5414 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to J Browning,

    Does Council merely exist to write rules to control and manipulate public behaviour?

    I'm saying no, it doesn't.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22743 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to J Browning,

    Most people care about themselves and themselves alone…

    Speak for yourself. Last I checked humans were still very much social animals and naturally put the needs of the group ahead of those of the individual. Individualism, to put it politely, is the aberration.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    WLG is pressing ahead for a consent to lengthen its runway.

    It's a huge waste of money, and I notice that it's *our* money not Infratil's.

    Christchurch has a full-size runway, it's a bigger city and further from Auckland. With Air Asia pulling out, the only long-ish haul flight is a daily service to Singapore. Nothing to the US, and no one-stops to London. (It's three hours quicker to LHR on Air NZ via AKL and LAX).

    No city of 300k people gets long-haul flights, unless it's got a much better beach than Oriental Bay. You can't fly long-haul from Pittsburgh, Bristol or Lishui.

    But maybe Peter Jackson will snag another tranche of taxpayer dollars and buy a 767 to make use of the new runway.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Graham Dunster, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    A capital gains tax to curb the seemingly never ending profits to be made by speculating in property would be a good start to make housing affordable.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2009 • 184 posts Report Reply

  • J Browning, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    Its architects had hoped for it to be a rubber stamp for their wider agenda. As far as they're concerned, Len Brown stole the keys from John Banks and hijacked it, and now they're fumbling for the override switch.

    By override, do you mean the upcoming local government elections?

    The fact we're in election year is the main reason we have the situation we have...

    Auckland • Since May 2013 • 16 posts Report Reply

  • J Browning, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    I also agree that the Unitary Plan is full of vagaries and planner-speak. Some PR on the Auckland Council's part would not have cost much.

    Auckland Council employ some of the largest PR teams in the country.

    If you've ever had any dealings with them, you would understand why it was actually a good idea they kept their mouths shut...they are trained and briefed to "respond", not to inform or promote.

    Auckland • Since May 2013 • 16 posts Report Reply

  • J Browning, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I'm saying no, it doesn't.

    Pleased to hear it.

    So I'll ask the question again - what Strategy or Plan does the Unitary Plan correspond to?

    The reality is, for all the documentation that has come out of Council proclaiming they have a unified vision and strategy for Auckland, there is no rule book that aligns with this.

    The Unitary Plan is merely a conglomeration of all the old property rules across various Councils into one document with a bit of loosening up here, and a bit of tightening up there.

    Auckland • Since May 2013 • 16 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Pyjama party paradise...

    But maybe Peter Jackson will snag another tranche of taxpayer dollars and buy a 767 to make use of the new runway

    Sadly it looks like he has gone for the smaller model...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7881 posts Report Reply

  • J Browning, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    Speak for yourself. Last I checked humans were still very much social animals and naturally put the needs of the group ahead of those of the individual. Individualism, to put it politely, is the aberration.

    Phew; what a relief...

    All these years, I thought my neighbours in Ponsonby couldn't give a monkey's about their brethren in Manukau, Albany and Henderson, but clearly I was wrong.

    It's great to know we're all campaigning for the rights of those on the other side of town...

    Auckland • Since May 2013 • 16 posts Report Reply

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