Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: A plea for sanity on the Unitary Plan

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  • Sacha,

    The 'supercity' amalagamation process left unresolved tensions about the scope of where we each belong - street, neighbourhood, suburb, old city, new region. No surprise to see it playing out in some of the Unitary Plan discussion.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • Graham Dunster, in reply to J Browning,

    "So I’ll ask the question again – what Strategy or Plan does the Unitary Plan correspond to?"

    From the draft Auckland Unitary Plan:
    The dUAP specifically states that the Auckland Plan sits at the top of the strategic framework and describes the 30-year vision of Auckland as the world’s most liveable city and provides the strategic direction for other council plans and strategies. It further states that the dUAP is Auckland’s key resource management document prepared under the RMA, and is one of the most critical parts of the strategic framework. It plays a key role in the successful implementation of the Auckland Plan, by identifying:
    existing and future residential, business and industrial areas existing and future locations of critical and social infrastructure areas for protection significant to Auckland and New Zealand. (Part 1 Section 1.4)

    So if the government does water down the RMA then this will have a specifically deleterious effect on Auckland's future via the Plans.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2009 • 184 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Sacha,

    The ‘supercity’ amalagamation process left unresolved tensions about the scope of where we each belong – street, neighbourhood, suburb, old city, new region. No surprise to see it playing out in some of the Unitary Plan discussion.

    Good observation.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • SteveL, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    You seem to be deducing an awful lot about what I think from what was nothing more than attempt to clarify another poster’s comment. Never said there wasn’t a lot of misinformation out there, or that people weren't influenced by it - just that not *all* the opponents are.

    The Grey Power/Winston Peters proclamations are of course nonsense and deserve to be called out as such.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2013 • 7 posts Report Reply

  • Graham Dunster,

    My mate Geoff's feedback. (Mine's too long and boring):

    This Plan is NOT entirely terrible.
    It may be premature, it maybe too politically timed, it may be giving us incomplete information, and indeed not enough information to make truly informed decisions, but some of the concepts contained within it are very good.
    1. This plan is TOO SOON. We are still living in Rodney Hide's Auckland. We haven't had a chance to look at the way the wards are divided, the nature of the Local Boards, until the census figures come out in December we don't even know how many people live in Auckland and where they live.
    How can we plan properly if we notify something that's not even based on up to date information?
    The boards of the CCO's are all Government appointees meaning they are not controlled by the Council. Aucklanders were never even asked if we wanted to be a Super City, it was foisted upon us. We are not living in an Auckland run by Auckland yet. Until we are, this plan is ahead of itself.
    2. This plan is TOO RUSHED. With the Council refusing to extend the process it looks more and more like a Political Plan rather than something good for the residents and businesses. A robust, transparent plan should work for everyone, whatever the results of the upcoming Local Body elections.
    3. This plan LACKS INFORMATION. How the existing infrastructure, some parts over 130 years old, will handle the new demands placed upon it is not explained.
    4. This plan WITHHOLDS INFORMATION from the Public. The prime example is the mythical Urban Design Manual, a fabulous beast that was "(to be developed) by December 2012 to sit alongside the Unitary Plan"- from the Auckland Plan.
    This has not happened. This essential piece of equipment to ensure that the mistakes of the past are not repeated is slated for release in September 2013 at the the same time the Plan is notified.
    Where is the democracy, the transparency? Any submissions in support of this unseen manual must seem naive in the extreme.
    5. This plan MISSES IMPORTANT PARTS OF THE AUCKLAND PLAN. In his introduction (page 3) the Mayor himself states
    "Each community will consider the appropriate degree of compactness and level of intensity that goes with this. Our emphasis is to build on local character, and to create vibrant, creative places and inclusive communities"
    None of this is in the Unitary Plan, on the contrary- the Plan is supposed to be active just before the elections, the window for appeals has been shrunk and communities have no say in how they grow.
    The Vancouver Plan, lauded by the UP Planning Team, has grass roots, "Community Led" development. This was very successful.
    The Dutch have ‘Welstandscommissie’. Independent bodies, appointed by the council of each city, who advise the Council regarding building consents. Community members have places on these bodies ensuring local buy-in.
    The Draft UP has no such democratic provisions. It needs them. 6. This plan DEGRADES BUILT HERITAGE.
    Section 4 (Development Design) says "Dwellings should be designed and located to respect and complement the amenity of the surrounding neighbourhood." It then contradicts itself with-
    d. Development adjoining or across a road from an identified historic character area should be designed and located to respect rather than replicate the prevailing character of the area. Notwithstanding this, new and contemporary interpretations in form and detail may be used.
    e. Development adjoining or across a road from scheduled historic heritage places should be designed and located to respect rather than replicate the key historic heritage design and location elements of that building. Notwithstanding this, new and contemporary designs may be used.
    Which is it? Things are further confused by-
    "The design of buildings should contribute to the local streetscape and sense of place by responding to the planned
    future form and character of the surrounding area and significant natural landforms and landscape features." So we don't have to design to respond to our existing built form, but the planned future form must be respected?
    Surely a time machine would be the only way to accomplish this.
    The Urban Design Manual could even offer some clues. Unfortunately we are not allowed to see it during the submission period.
    88% of Aucklanders regarded Heritage as Important or Very Important in a 2011 people's Panel survey. (Fig. 1) This plan effectively discounts that whopping majority.
    Fig. 1 (sorry can't post diagrams...)
    7. I support the CITY RAIL LINK. CRL now! Single most important transport project. We don't need another Harbour crossing (bridge or tunnel) we need the rail system to make sense. This above all else will save us. It
    benefits everyone, especially Motorway users, as every person traveling by rail is one less car causing congestion. 8. I support the SKYPATH across the Harbour Bridge. This is the single most important cycling/ walking project.
    9. In English please?
    "4.1.3.5
    “To determine the overall activity status of an activity, the user must review all the relevant provisions that apply to the site or proposed development, including the zone, Auckland-wide
    provisions, and any relevant precincts or overlays. The most stringent activity status will apply unless the precinct or overlay specifically makes the same activity more enabling.”
    10. The Heritage provisions border on useless. There is already an unofficial rule with AC that people are not allowed to build extensions in the style of the house (making a mockery of the current rules), but that it MUST be contemporary.
    This alone accelerates the destruction of the built heritage that has survived thus far.
    Not only should "matching" extensions be allowed, they should be encouraged. The PM163 Design Guidelines show very good examples of this.
    These Design Guidelines also show how to build sensitively in heritage areas. See FIG 2
    (sorry can't post diagrams...)
    What we are getting increasingly is FIG 3.
    (sorry can't post diagrams...)
    This is a BAD OUTCOME whichever way it's measured. If we are getting this under the current rules, how much worse will it be under the new, weaker rules? (see point 6 above)
    11. LOCAL FLAVOUR. Auckland is not an amorphous blob, it is a collection of villages each with their own history. There should be some variation in the future development potential of Metropolitan Centres, Town Centres and Local Centres based on their particular characteristics rather than blanket rules across all of these key centres.
    12. Minimum Parking Requirements. Ditch them ALL.
    13. ZONE BORDERS. Where the terrace/apartment zone butts up against other zones it will be possible for a neighbour to get consent for a 4-6 storey development without informing you, as there is no requirement for notification. This seems to be a complete lack of democracy.
    14. HERITAGE OVERLAYS. Demolition consent for a pre 1944 house can still be sought, with heritage assessments provided by the developer. But with no notification, the decision will be made solely by council staff, with no input from neighbours, local boards, or community heritage groups. Most of the historic inner city suburbs haven’t yet had full heritage assessments, this is a one-sided process, and will still lead to significant heritage loss.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2009 • 184 posts Report Reply

  • Jim Welch, in reply to J Browning,

    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...

    Just because some people are selfish doesn't mean everyone is.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 43 posts Report Reply

  • Penny Bright,

    31 May 2013

    The Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas Bill :

    Petition presented 30 May 2013 / Questions asked by Green Party Housing Spokesperson Holly Walker and answers from Peseta SAM LOTU-IIGA, Chair of the Social Services Select Committee:

    http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/Presented/Petitions/5/0/5/50DBHOH_PET3157_1-Petition-of-Penelope-Mary-Bright-requesting-that.htm

    Petition of Penelope Mary Bright

    Requesting that Parliament declines to proceed with the Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas Bill until the lawfulness of the reliance of Auckland Council on the New Zealand Department of Statistics"high"population growth projections, instead of their "medium" population growth projections for the Auckland Spatial Plan, has been properly and independently investigated, taking into consideration that both Auckland Transport and Watercare Services Ltd, have relied upon "medium" population growth projections for their infrastructural asset management plans.
    Petition number: 2011/64
    Presented by: Holly Walker
    Date presented: 30 May 2013
    Referred to: Social Services Committee

    ___________________________


    http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/Business/QOA/2/f/3/00HOH_OralQuestions-List-of-questions-for-oral-answer.htm

    Questions to Members
    HOLLY WALKER to the Chairperson of the Social Services Committee: When do submissions to the Social Services Committee on the Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas Bill close?
    HOLLY WALKER to the Chairperson of the Social Services Committee: What is the length of the period for submissions to the Social Services Committee for the Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas Bill?
    HOLLY WALKER to the Chairperson of the Social Services Committee: Has he, as chairperson of the Social Services Committee, written to anyone soliciting submissions the Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas Bill; if so, who?
    HOLLY WALKER to the Chairperson of the Social Services Committee: How many submissions have been received on the Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas Bill?
    HOLLY WALKER to the Chairperson of the Social Services Committee: Did he decide that submissions to the Social Services Committee on the Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas Bill will close today; if so, why?_____________________________________________________


    http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/Business/QOA/5/7/8/50HansQ_20130530_00001001-1-Housing-Accords-and-Special-Housing-Areas.htm

    1. Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas Bill—Closing Date for Submissions

    [Sitting date: 30 May 2013. Volume:690;Page:19. Text is subject to correction.]

    1. HOLLY WALKER (Green) to the Chairperson of the Social Services Committee: When do submissions to the Social Services Committee on the Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas Bill close?

    PESETA SAM LOTU-IIGA (Chairperson of the Social Services Committee) :Submissions on this bill close today: Thursday, 30 May 2013.

    ..................................................................................

    Peseta SAM LOTU-IIGA: After the bill was referred to our committee on the night of Budget night, I made—in my own decision—the decision to set a 13-day period for submissions.
    .....................................................................................

    Mr SPEAKER: I am going to ask the member Holly Walker to ask the question again, and let us hope that on this occasion we get a simple answer to a simple question.

    Holly Walker: Did he consult with the Minister of Housing or his staff before making the decision to close submissions on this date?

    Peseta SAM LOTU-IIGA: The bill was referred on the night of Budget night, 16 May, and I did not consult with the Minister. I made this decision on my own.

    Mr SPEAKER: Thank you for that answer.

    _________________________________________________________________

    Auckland • Since May 2011 • 7 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Penny Bright,

    Requesting that Parliament declines to proceed with the Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas Bill until the lawfulness of the reliance of Auckland Council on the New Zealand Department of Statistics"high"population growth projections, instead of their “medium” population growth projections for the Auckland Spatial Plan

    So we'll hold the whole thing up while we quibble over whether we should be catering for 700k more people or 1m more people? For fuck's sake!

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Brent Jackson,

    Wrote up my submission, and went to submit it, but all I got was a message saying that submissions closed on 31-May-13. I know it's my own fault for leaving it to the last minute, but I'm still a little annoyed,

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 615 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX,

    My concerns are the manner in which things are likely to happen - particularly with an emphasis on Mixed, Terraced and Apartment Housing

    The standard of “building and design” needs to markedly improve.

    Presently in the area I live, the Mt Albert Eden Ward, a significant proportion of recent developments – over the alst 15 years - of this nature have required re-cladding – the original construction not complying with the building code despite being given code compliance certs.

    IMHO – having walked around and looked at things – There now exists the situation where, to my mind, many of the re-claddings that have gone what I imagine is compliance - yet the detailed aspect of the construction particularly wall junctions, and flashing details do not comply with code.

    The building inspectorate (Auckland City) and the Department of Building and Housing need to be mindful of these aspects – and avert the leaky home/building crisis becoming (a revolving) ongoing crisis.

    I don’t feel the knowledge or skills exists at many levels to get this aspect right.

    With the plan the driver is accommodating future growth (and change) there is a need to more recognise the community focus and role of existing utilities and community resources like school, pools, play grounds and recreational areas – so that rather than have a planning approach where the existing utilities and community resources are closed and/or relocated (in favour of mixed housing) that they are strengthened where they currently are to enable the existing community/residents to transition more readily and easily through the change/growth into the “new community”.

    An example is the location of the Mount Eden Normal Primary School and the nearby pool are shown on the Map as a mixed housing area – whereas this location rather than being a mixed housing model should be perhaps special use or community focused areas.

    The same factors are likely present in other local board areas – there to my mind needs to be a focus in preserving the core of an existing community and the resources that lie within it for the purpose of enabling the change to transition more humanely.

    With any approach the emphasis needs to ensure the right thing needs to happen the right way.

    For what it was worth this was the basis of my submission on the draft plan.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1224 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to SteveL,

    Never said there wasn’t a lot of misinformation out there, or that people weren't influenced by it - just that not *all* the opponents are.

    And if I've given you the impression that I think any such thing I'm deeply and sincerely mortified. At the risk of being presumptuous, I'm sure Russell would say the same. I'm one of this cranky old farts who believes human beings really suck at getting things perfect the first go round (if ever), which is why it's a really bad thing to legislate at any level by divine fiat.

    I certainly don't have every nuance and wrinkle of the Unitary Plan clear in my head, and welcome other perspectives. But, with apologies for beating a dead hobby horse here, it's seriously disquieting that the only daily newspaper in Auckland appears to have slipped into quarter-arsed campaign mode and is failing at Journalism 101.

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

  • Jim Welch, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    But, with apologies for beating a dead hobby horse here, it's seriously disquieting that the only daily newspaper in Auckland appears to have slipped into quarter-arsed campaign mode and is failing at Journalism 101.

    Hear, hear. Disquieting but utterly predictable, sadly.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 43 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Jim Welch,

    Just because some people are selfish doesn’t mean everyone is.

    Exactly. And what really leaped out at me from that story:

    "It is great that the Government is stepping in but we need to help our own communities too. That's the way life used to be and somehow we've lost track of that," says Farrelly. "I hope people can look at what has happened at Randwick Park School and be inspired to find the people around them who need help.

    [my emphasis]

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Pauline Anderson Albert Eden local board, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I would like to make it clear that I support intensification in Auckand. The city simply cannot continue to sprawl. I do however want intensification that is carefully planned and considered with infrastructure investment in place before intensification becomes a problem for the city. Much of Auckland in particular the central isthmus is already under pressure with sewerage overflows storm water and flooding issues and traffic congestion already costing the city millions. To simply open over 50% of the isthmus for intensification without planning for it is simple folly. Len Browns vision for the world’s most liveable city cannot happen without significant investment in infrastructure. If the Billion dollars for the inner city rail link was used on infrastructure then the UP might just work. But that is another debate.
    I have a letter from water care that states that current and proposed infrastructure (central interceptor for one) would simply not cope with predicted population growth. They have advised council of this yet we still plan to open up the whole city to intensification in one go instead of a staged process.
    Albert Eden is already the least greened area in the whole of Auckland and needs more open space desperately. This is agreed by all. However there is no provision for any additional parks or open space in the UP yet the intensification planned in the UP will increase the population of Albert Eden at a minimum to say 150,000 people over the next 10 years, but no more open space. The worlds, most liveable city! How?
    I did not write this email, it was forwarded to me I do not know who the original author is. I chose to forward to those in my email group as I hoped to cause debate and make people realise the importance of this document to the future of Auckland. It seems it has worked. I have to say that I have received many emails and phone calls thanking me for bringing the importance of the UP to people’s attention. I suggest that if it had being called something like “The Auckland housing intensification plan” it would have caused people to sit up listen and get involved to a much greater extent. Most people still do not know what it is all about. But let’s not tell people what it really is.
    The consultation process around the plan and on this most agree has been meagre and of the meetings I attended much of the important information such as section size in the mixed use and single house zones was glossed over. The planners did not know this detail, chose not to know or were actually incorrect and were corrected by the general public. Is this good enough for something so important?
    It was only at my insistence that more meetings for the general public be held in Albert Eden we had one at Unitec and library venues for drop in discussion, plus a couple for stakeholder groups was simply not enough for a population of 100,000 plus with a lot changing. Finally the board agreed and unfortunately no planners were available. Never the less they were very well attended the last on the 27th May in Mt Albert with 70 people many incredulous that they were only getting a meeting about it just 4 days out from the close of submissions. Aucklanders have not being well served by this council on this debate.
    In fact that very day at a council meeting a motion was passed by George Wood to extend the consultation period by 15 days and was voted down 10 – 7 not to extend. Where was the harm in giving Aucklanders the time they needed given the surge in interest at that late stage?
    This plan is important for the future of Auckland. All we can hope now is that council and the planners listen and put a lot more thought, facts, planning, focus on infrastructure issues and consultation into the next round of the process. We’ll see.

    Mt Albert • Since Jun 2013 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Pauline Anderson Albert Eden local board,

    Thanks for engaging, Pauline.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • J Browning, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    Just because some people are selfish doesn’t mean everyone is.

    Exactly. And what really leaped out at me from that story:


    "It is great that the Government is stepping in but we need to help our own communities too. That's the way life used to be and somehow we've lost track of that," says Farrelly. "I hope people can look at what has happened at Randwick Park School and be inspired to find the people around them who need help.

    [my emphasis]

    Well done; you seem to be illustrating my point quite nicely on your own.

    I am not saying I support the view that individualism is the goal; I merely point it out because it is reality, whether you like it or not.

    Who was it that said - "don't interact with the world they way you would like it to be; interact with it the way it is..."

    If we really want to bring about change, it is not going to happen by pretending we're all one big happy family...most people in our city don't even know who they live next door to, let alone who lives on the other side of town.

    Auckland • Since May 2013 • 16 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to J Browning,

    Well done; you seem to be illustrating my point quite nicely on your own.

    I'm sorry, but your point seems rather confused to me. The story I linked to would seem to show the opposite of individualism - people engaging with their community and working to help those less fortunate than themselves, not because they can profit from it, but it's because what people, being social animals, do.

    Nobody's pretending to be all one big happy family, but:

    most people in our city don’t even know who they live next door to, let alone who lives on the other side of town.

    is a serious problem that can be easily remedied by dropping all the individualist nonsense we've been fed since 1984 and re-engaging with each other.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • J Browning, in reply to Graham Dunster,

    "So I’ll ask the question again – what Strategy or Plan does the Unitary Plan correspond to?"

    From the draft Auckland Unitary Plan:
    The dUAP specifically states that the Auckland Plan sits at the top of the strategic framework and describes the 30-year vision of Auckland as the world’s most liveable city and provides the strategic direction for other council plans and strategies. It further states that the dUAP is Auckland’s key resource management document prepared under the RMA, and is one of the most critical parts of the strategic framework...

    I am aware of where the Unitary Plan is "supposed" to sit.

    However, the lovely chart prepared by Council and related commentary is academic, nothing more.

    When Planners have been directly asked about how the Unitary Plan fits with the Auckland Plan and the other myriad of strategic plans, they can not tell you.

    This is because all they have simply done is consolidate all the old rules into one document and fiddle around a bit with them.

    The Unitary Plan does not flow from the Auckland Plan, plain and simple.

    What is even more suprising is that on the Council's own chart showing how everything fits together, the Unitary Plan sits alongside the other strategies and plans, so clearly there was never any intention that these would inform it.

    Another issue no one has touched on so far - I understand the Unitary Plan development commenced while all these other Plans were in progress...they have been running on concurrent timelines...

    Auckland • Since May 2013 • 16 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to J Browning,

    When Planners have been directly asked about how the Unitary Plan fits with the Auckland Plan and the other myriad of strategic plans, they can not tell you.

    that's not their job

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Pauline Anderson Albert Eden local board,

    If the Billion dollars for the inner city rail link was used on infrastructure then the UP might just work.

    The Core Rail Link is infrastructure. And it's for the entire region's transport network, not just the "inner city".

    Like the Unitary Plan, communication has been woeful until recently, so I don't blame you for believing otherwise. I do recommend reading some of Transportblog's material on the CRL - see menu item at top right of their site. Thanks for dropping in here too.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • J Browning, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    is a serious problem that can be easily remedied by dropping all the individualist nonsense we've been fed since 1984 and re-engaging with each other.

    How do you propose this happens, exactly...attend a Green Party fundraiser?

    Excuse my cynicism, but as someone actively involved in a wide variety of community groups, pretending all we need to do is "drop the nonsense" is not an answer...

    We need to face the facts - we live in a different world now; very few find time to attend community meetings unless they feel directly threatened by something...very few take the time to pick up litter they see on the street...very few visit their elderly or at risk neighbours...very few look outside their own backyards.

    This is reality.

    If we want to change it, it means coming up with new ways to engage, new ways to consult....

    Over and out. This debate should be appearing elsewhere...

    Auckland • Since May 2013 • 16 posts Report Reply

  • J Browning, in reply to Sacha,

    that's not their job

    Riiiighhhhhttt....so, they are employed in a silo to write "a Plan". Without any idea how it fits in with anything else....hmmmm....

    Auckland • Since May 2013 • 16 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to J Browning,

    Not sure what you think planners do, but it's not really aligning policy. There are some senior managers and elected members whose job it is to convey the strategic relationships. Ask them, by all means.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Sacha,

    Ah I see you have posted the same comment on Transportblog, Pauline. For others here is the response from Stu Donovan there.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to J Browning,

    we live in a different world now

    Not really. Science and technology have advanced, ideologies spouted by the ruling classes have changed, but people remain people. You can learn as much about modern society from ancient Greek, Chinese and other classics as any modern writing.

    If so few people visit their elderly, get to know their neighbours or pick up litter we need to ask why. People still need the same community our ancestors always did, so why are they so disconnected? Perhaps the answers to that question could be the cult of the individual and consumerism and Prosperity Doctrine - both in the evangelical Christian version and the secular consumerist edition - that have predominated in public discourse for so long. There's nothing wrong with owning stuff or being rich, but there's something better in being actively engaged in one's community. But you know that, being active as you are in a variety of community groups.

    I don't think this argument entirely belongs elsewhere because my experience suggests community functions better in a denser environment. Where I live in southeastern downtown Beijing all green space is communal. Some people have walled off small areas to grow their own flowers or even food, but there is no "tragedy of the commons" - the elderly, the kids, parents/caregivers of young babies and their charges, etc gather in the communal areas and hangout, swap gossip/news/advice, help each other out... y'know, what neighbours in a healthy community do. Similar things happen up where I am today in my wife's home village, but in wider spaces, it being the countryside. I struggle to see how that could happen in the car-dependent sprawl this current National government seems to think is the only way to go.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

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