Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: A plea for sanity on the Unitary Plan

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  • Alastair Thompson,

    Fantastic post RB, now I understand what you have been getting so obviously irritated with Bernard Orsman about. I also seriously commend the Niall Insight Documentary – it is a great radio feature, understated but very clear in what it conveys. The govt is at sea over Auckland. clueless. In am even beginning to have some sympathy for the idea of Amalgamation here in Wellington. It would be nice for my town to have some real klout and that NZTA couldn't just snap it's fingers and have several lovsl Mayors jump to its attention - as it does now.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 220 posts Report Reply

  • Maybar,

    Agreed. We can't keep letting suburbia sprawl all the way from pukekohe to wellsford. What Auckland needs is at least 3 city centres. One in the north either in henderson or albany, or both and the other in the south, possibly manukau. These new cities will need high speed rail linking them, parking buildings, office buildings, streets, theatres etc and will need to be designed based on traditional cities not big box retail like commonly developed today. The unitary plan has created far too many town centres, local centres and much too widespread higher intensity development that is upsetting the wider Auckland population. If we create 3 or 4 cities and protect the integrity of existing residential areas in auckland then we will create more choice for the residents of the Auckland region for finding alternatives to where they live, work and play. My husband and I currently commute against the flow of rush hour traffic and if more people had the option to work in other city centres this would significantly reduce traffic congestion. Creating new cities for Auckland would allow sustainable development for Auckland and would allow the metropolitan urban limits to be extended in a sensible manner so that this country can grow. We need to create alternatives to the current Auckland city centre because it is finite and not everyone can have a piece. How do we pay for these new cities you ask? Well all those property investors who are buying up residential properties could divert their funds and start building a better future for Auckland.

    Auckland • Since May 2013 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Myles Thomas,

    Dark arts indeed.

    I still can't buy Hooton as a Death Eater. Slytherin, sure.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10629 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to J Browning,

    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?

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

  • DexterX,

    Thanks for the post and links. I needed to look at it all.

    The current furor is over the opportunity provided to have input into a process about planning to create a plan for the future growth of Auckland City.

    I attribute the “heart” of the irrational opposition to the "plan to create a plan" is – “we don’t want “them” as neighbors – living in their “apartment homes”. Who are the “them” and what and where are those “apartment homes”? – Well that doesn’t seem to matter “they” just don’t want “them” in their neighborhoods.

    Asked myself does Government have any plans to accommodate the population growth pressure- say for instance the growth in school age population?
    The answer is “No”.

    I am going to take the time to provide feedback on the draft plan

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1224 posts Report Reply

  • Tamara,

    The misinformation has reached my school's community, with folk being told tomorrow is the last chance to submit. Sigh.

    New Zealand • Since Oct 2010 • 115 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew C, in reply to Sudhvir Singh,

    Disappointing to see so much misinformation about the Plan

    I agree, but dont just blame the punters for this.

    I went to one of the meeting where Len and his officers came to try and explain some of the details around the Unitary Plan.

    They talked constantly about 2 story height neighbourhoods. Then the guy from 2040 stood up and said it could be 3. The officers just KEPT REPEATING THE 2 STORY LINE, until he forced them to admit it could be 3.

    That is simply hopeless. Talk about throwing petrol on a fire.

    And for the record I have no real concerns or interest in this height thing, I was there to learn about a different item (significant ecological areas), I am just reporting what I saw. I don't think the council is trying to be tricksy at all, but I do think that they need to take some of the repsonsibilty for the misinformation/fear that is out there.

    Auckland • Since May 2008 • 167 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Anna Subritzsky's What consultation process? op-ed in the Herald today makes the council's actions over the the Waterview Precinct Plan look dismissive and arbitary.

    But if you read the actual feedback report it seems clear that the decision on the siting of the terraced/apartment area (on run-down Housing NZ property to the north of the suburb) was made as a result of feedback.

    The original comprehensive development area to the south of the suburb was deemed inappropriate because of the need to preserve viewshafts. So none of this is as mysterious or arbitrary as the column claims.

    The Waterview Community Facebook page claims:

    Being Government owned HNZ buildings, they are highly likely to be LOW COST, POORLY DESIGNED with poor social outcomes for their residents and Waterview as a suburb

    Which might be getting us closer to the nub of the matter.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22743 posts Report Reply

  • Graham Dunster, in reply to Tamara,

    Tomorrow is the last chance to submit on the Draft Unitary Plan. Totally true.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2009 • 184 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    the loudest opponents of the Unitary Plan otherwise have no time for the Resource Management Act

    Pays to look at this in light of the proposed RMA changes. That's where some of the tension lies.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19667 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Alastair Thompson,

    I'm very opposed to a Wellington supercity. I actually think the opposite and that we should remove Tawa and J-ville from the city to create an actual urban community.

    Councils aren't sports teams - the idea is that they provide good services and appropriate regulation - not to demonstrate what a cool place the city is or what a Big Swinging Dick(ess) the mayor is.

    If we look at ultimate efficiency, then with a country smaller than most world cities, a single Ministry of Local Government could probably do it all more cheaply. The reason we have local councils is so that decisions can be made by and for distinct communities, which implies that councils should represent such distinct areas, not arbitrary large regions with nothing in common.

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

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Graham Dunster,

    Tomorrow is the last chance to submit on the Draft Unitary Plan. Totally true.

    Yes, and then everyone will have the opportunity to comment and make formal submissions on a proposed Unitary Plan shaped by this initial feedback phase. But you knew that.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22743 posts Report Reply

  • Graham Dunster, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Indeed, just wanted to clarify Tamara's post.

    And who knows if things change during the process...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2009 • 184 posts Report Reply

  • Chris W,

    When communication isn't clear mis-information has an opportunity to prevail. The council should have taken more steps to make this complex document easier to understand.

    I'm also curious why people who oppose the DUP are labelled as being mis-informed by those who support the DUP. It's quite condescending.

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

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Chris W,

    I’m also curious why people who oppose the DUP are labelled as being mis-informed by those who support the DUP. It’s quite condescending.

    But doesn't the email addressed in the original post answer that question?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22743 posts Report Reply

  • SteveL, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I assume what Chris is saying is that not everyone who expressing opposition to the DUP is doing so on the basis of emails such as the one that is the subject of the post.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2013 • 7 posts Report Reply

  • Chris W, in reply to SteveL,

    Correct SteveL. There seems to be a trend of labeling all opposition as mis-informed. The majority of opposition is sound and is valuable to the council in their review process, just like the feedback for support. The whole point of the consultation process is for council to see what people think. If people submit objections on the basis of mis-information the council should be able to pick up on this and treat it accordingly.

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

  • Sacha, in reply to Chris W,

    If people submit objections on the basis of mis-information the council should be able to pick up on this and treat it accordingly

    Totally agree. And I for one am available at very reasonable rates if they don't have the necessary skills to do that.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19667 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Chris W,

    Correct SteveL. There seems to be a trend of labeling all opposition as mis-informed. The majority of opposition is sound and is valuable to the council in their review process, just like the feedback for support. The whole point of the consultation process is for council to see what people think. If people submit objections on the basis of mis-information the council should be able to pick up on this and treat it accordingly.

    I absolutely agree that it's vital for people to communicate what they don't like or see as defective with the DUP. People in the discussion here all have reasoned points of view. But I'm really not sure that can be said about the "majority" of the opposition at the moment.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22743 posts Report Reply

  • SteveL, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Or at least the most vocal component of it.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2013 • 7 posts Report Reply

  • Chris W, in reply to Russell Brown,

    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.

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

  • Glenn Pearce, in reply to Russell Brown,

    It's fair to say the mechanism for providing feedback from September will be more involved than the current mechanisms of sending an email though.

    It's going to be akin to a Board of Inquiry, Environment Court Hearing including cross examination.

    That's likely to put off most punters except those will a real axe to grind.

    Auckland • Since Feb 2007 • 499 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Council voted against extending the submission period on the Draft. Note George Woods' understanding of what the Plan allows.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19667 posts Report Reply

  • Sj,

    Hello PA people. Please excuse the rude gatecrash but... I used to write on PAS under 'Speaker' (Sally Jones). Time flies; it's a few years back now (about three), so maybe nobody remembers, but let's say one or two of you do remember - the blow-job writer, my first essay here was on 'My first job' - then please feel free to check out my new blog - One Woman's World (OWW)
    http://onewomanswo.blogspot.co.nz/ and leave a comment. Better still, 'follow'. I will do the same in return.
    It's especially for the poets. Just finished a poem on the side effects of sex. Poets and feminists, feminist poets, are particularly welcome.

    Sacha.

    Belmont • Since May 2012 • 17 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Sj,

    welcome back. and Sacha is a great name. :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19667 posts Report Reply

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