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Speaker: Correcting Auckland 2040's Unitary Plan befuddlement

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  • Johann Schoonees,

    Ben

    You are clearly well informed and totally on top of the details of the Unitary Plan process - well done.

    However, you are in a tiny minority of Auckland residents. Most of us lead busy lives running families, businesses and jobs. Yet what happens to our properties matters dearly to us.

    Your comment that "...if you did not submit to the Unitary Plan in 2014 because you were happy with what was proposed then and there have been changes now which you don’t like, then tough" is more than a bit rich.

    I, and it seems many others, did not in 2014 come across any obvious caveat that if I did not lodge a submission in support of the Proposed Unitary Plan, I would be barred from future submissions. And no, I did not have time to read the fine print of the process.

    Failure to widely advertise information that critically affects the democratic right to be heard of ordinary residents amounts to dis-empowerment.

    Since Mar 2007 • 4 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    This seems like a good place to put this ...

    A reader has noted to me that she saw this post on the Grey Lynn Residents website drawing attention to a petition from the Auckland Ratepayers' Alliance calling in Auckland Council to "withdraw their undemocratic 'out of scope' zoning changes." This is the claim Ben deals with in the post above.

    The Ratepayers' Alliance petition page formally demands that: "Auckland Council should vote to withdraw plans to rezone areas of Auckland in the Unitary Plan which have not been available for public consultation."

    Leaving aside the other misrepresentations, I understand this isn't even possible.

    But here's the funny thing: The Auckland Ratepayers' Alliance is an initiative of the Taxpayers' Union. It was launched last April with a promise to, In Jordan Williams' words:

    ... stand up against Auckland Council’s wasteful spending, poor financial mismanagement, the proposed rates increases and the new taxes the Council wants to introduce.

    David Farrar duly amplified, encouraging "Aucklanders who want to reduce wasteful spending by the Auckland Council to join" and emphasising that the Alliance's job "will be to fight wasteful spending and large rates increases, no matter who is running the Council."

    What the Alliance doing with this petition and the misinformation accompanying it seems way outside the financial remit touted by Williams and Farrar. Indeed, Auckland Transport is already taking advice on how to quantify the costs it faces as a result of the additional sprawl already permitted by the Proposed Unitary Plan. But they want to address housing capacity in Auckland with even more sprawl?

    How very odd.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22825 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Ross, in reply to Johann Schoonees,

    One way or the other we are all running busy lives and that includes me with a young family.

    The feedback form on the Proposed Unitary Plan had three options:
    1) Support the PAUP
    2) Support the PAUP but wish to make amendments
    3) Oppose the PAUP

    I went for number 2 and filed by submission after that.
    The "tough" comment will reflect that No. 1 was there on the feedback sheet available online and in hard copy form.

    So if you supported the zone over your property it was a case of tick No.1 and write I support that zone for whatever reason you gave. As far as The Panel is concerned you have lodged a submission and could participate in the Hearings when new proposed changes came through if you wished to do so.

    Council over 2013-2014 hammered the above fact home despite the noise from the Main Stream Media focusing on everything else.


    Ultimately though you have measures available. Once the Plan goes live Plan Changes can be mooted (although Private ones face a 2 year stand down).

    Auckland • Since Jan 2014 • 32 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    Once again, the Unitary Plan has exposed the closet statism of those who like to call themselves free-enterprisers. When you get the worst of both worlds, you basically have a rentier class that's just as powerful as a parliamentary senate. Or at the very least, thinks it is.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5429 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Auckland Transport is already taking advice on how to quantify the costs it faces as a result of the additional sprawl already permitted by the Proposed Unitary Plan. But they want to address housing capacity in Auckland with even more sprawl? How very odd.

    The same Act party inconsistency drives both Seymour and the woman who heads this northern brach of the Taxpayers Onion. Fringe nutjobbery.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19706 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Johann Schoonees,

    I, and it seems many others, did not in 2014 come across any obvious caveat that if I did not lodge a submission in support of the Proposed Unitary Plan, I would be barred from future submissions. And no, I did not have time to read the fine print of the process.

    I have a lot of sympathy for that. Media have done an appalling job of explaining the process, to the extent that many Aucklanders believe it is the Council making these zoning decisions, not an independent panel.

    Nor do enough of us grasp that this whole process was dictated in the supercity enabling legistation pushed through by Act and the Nats. Council can't change it.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19706 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Sacha,

    Nor do enough of us grasp that this whole process was dictated in the supercity enabling legistation pushed through by Act and the Nats. Council can't change it.

    They're all for the Vogons energising the demolition beams... until they actually come right to their doorstep.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5429 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    no sleep til Epsom.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19706 posts Report Reply

  • Glenn Pearce,

    Putting the awful process that is being followed aside, perhaps if the blue "out of scope" changes maps were published with an explanation of why particular areas were selected for the out of scope changes they would be better received and understood by people.

    Some of the changes appear to be random and bizarre to the average Joe.

    The initial plan was (I understood) for the upzoning along major arteries and around transport hubs (seems fair enough and logical). The latest out of zone changes appear to have little science behind them at face value.

    What it looks like to me is they have removed the pre-1944 heritage protection from areas they deem to be already stuffed because of the previous lack of protection having now done a proper review and once the pre-1944 protection was removed they upzoned everything by 1 or in some cases 2 levels irrespective of transport connections.

    I also believe they have been influenced by the cynical submission by Housing NZ to have individual properties upzoned.

    The removal of the special zone for schools and re-zoning them residential is also concerning as it allows the MoE to sell schools that are deemed to be "surplus to requirements"

    Auckland • Since Feb 2007 • 504 posts Report Reply

  • Glenn Pearce,

    I heard Penny Hulse claiming that the blue out of scope changes were made because the feedback from the IHP to the council was that they hadn't upzoned enough in the initial draft plan to cope with the growth planned for Auckland.

    Auckland2040 however claim there was no such direction from the IHP.

    Could Ben (or someone) point to where exactly this feedback Penny Hulse refers to is documented as someone is wrong.

    Auckland • Since Feb 2007 • 504 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Glenn Pearce,

    perhaps if the blue “out of scope” changes maps were published with an explanation of why particular areas were selected for the out of scope changes they would be better received and understood by people.

    But why would they want that That is not the way the big boys, or girls, do business...

    "Think about pricing. What has every telco in the world done in the past? It's used confusion as its chief marketing tool. And that's fine," said Gattung in a speech recorded on March 20.
    "You could argue that that's how all of us keep calling prices up and get those revenues, high-margin businesses, keep them going for a lot longer than would have been the case.
    "But at some level, whether they consciously articulate or not, customers know that's what the game has been. They know we're not being straight up."

    Ummm...

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Glenn Pearce,

    She explained that the proposal put forward by the Council is only a preliminary position and that any out of scope changes are based on the feedback Council received from the public in the earlier stages of the process.

    I don't think this is a correct statement, as I understand it the blue out scope changes are not based on feedback from the public at all but from the guidance from the IHP to the Council and "best practice" planning?

    Auckland • Since Feb 2007 • 504 posts Report Reply

  • Glenn Pearce,

    The Orakei and Eden-Albert boards have also taken a stance on this on behalf of constituents, Waitemata board appear to be silent on the whole issue.

    Auckland • Since Feb 2007 • 504 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Glenn Pearce,

    The removal of the special zone for schools and re-zoning them residential is also concerning as it allows the MoE to sell schools that are deemed to be "surplus to requirements"

    Or make schools like Auckland Grammar sell some of their playing fields. Why should the taxpayer carry the substantial opportunity cost of them having acres of hugely valuable playing fields in the middle of the city?

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

  • Glenn Pearce,

    When Cathy Casey and Mike Lee are lining up with Cameron Brewer, George Wood and Dick Quax against the process, you probably should take a long hard look at the process.

    Auckland • Since Feb 2007 • 504 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Ross, in reply to Glenn Pearce,

    Afternoon Glenm

    Deputy Mayor Hulse is correct in regards to the Blue Out of Scope changes regarding residential growth shortages.

    In regards to the Pre 1944 Demo Overlay, with the Panel scaling that back significantly it meant the Council could no longer defend applying the Single House Zone so upzoning will occur.

    But in regards to the residential capacity shortage, that was the Auckland Development Capacity Model or the ACDC15 report.

    The following 9 links have my commentary and material from the Panel on the matter

    They are in chronological order of the event happening
    http://voakl.net/2015/07/24/unitary-plan-falls-very-short-of-enabling-those-400000-homes-needed-by-2041/

    http://voakl.net/2015/08/10/are-we-bottling-our-intensification-targets-in-the-unitary-plan/

    http://voakl.net/2015/08/20/council-reruns-development-capacity-model-finds-more-areas-viable-for-housing/

    http://voakl.net/2015/09/28/unitaryplan-oh-council-wont-like-this-with-the-development-capacity-model-being-pinged/ <<< that one caused the main issues leading to the now Out of Scope Changes in order for the PAUP to comply with the Regional Policy Statement Urban Growth outcomes

    http://voakl.net/2015/09/28/breaking-dissension-over-unitaryplan-directive-on-development-capacity-for-unitary-plan-residential-zones/

    http://voakl.net/2015/10/13/that-peer-reviewed-report-for-the-auckland-council-unitary-plan-development-capacity-model-aklpols/


    I know lots of reading but I hope this helps on the events leading up to today.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2014 • 32 posts Report Reply

  • Glenn Pearce,

    Deputy Mayor Hulse is correct in regards to the Blue Out of Scope changes regarding residential growth shortages.

    Thanks, could you point me (link) to the directive from the IHP to Council that Hulse refers to? Auckland2040 claim there was no such directive.

    In regards to the Pre 1944 Demo Overlay, with the Panel scaling that back significantly it meant the Council could no longer defend applying the Single House Zone so upzoning will occur.

    So it's correct that the initial premise of upzoning along arterial routes and transport hubs was basically dis-regarded in this respect then? Effectively no regard for infrastructure to support the upzoning, anything where the pre-1944 overlay was removed was upzoned (in some cases 2 levels) and now no ability to submit feedback on that. Can you seriously not see why people are upset about this?

    My take is the council messed up the 1st version of the plan and are now using the "out of scope" process to attempt to correct it. The "out of scope" changes may be legal, but they certainly aren't the spirit that the out of scope changes were intended for.

    Auckland • Since Feb 2007 • 504 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Orsman continues his misleading campaign, featuring the nincompoopery of some Councillors who have been thoroughly briefed over many moons yet still seem to not grasp matters.

    "I'm on the residents' side. I don't want to see high rise buildings towering over Auckland."
    ...

    Sir John [Walker] said he supported calls to withdraw the changes, which see large swathes of suburban Auckland rezoned for multi-storey buildings, terraced housing and apartments in the council's latest submission to the Unitary Plan.
    ...

    "Why ruin the city with three-storey apartments? They might not be very high but I wouldn't want to live next door to one".

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19706 posts Report Reply

  • Duncan McKenzie,

    A significant cause of the problem has been the central government imposed process with its deadlines that the Council has had to work to within.

    The starting point is the goal of wanting around 70% of population growth to be accommodated in the urban limits. That seems to have been widely accepted - at least as an aspirational goal - until its implications started to become apparent.

    The first step in the Unitary Plan process was the publication of the Draft Plan in March 2013 (no legal effect, published to elicit feedback). It suggested quite a bit of intensification. Cue outrage.

    In order to get the Proposed Plan notified (marking the start of the formal process) before the 2013 elections, the Council compromised quite a lot on the intensification proposals. The outraged had won for the time being.

    There has been however a growing realisation that meeting the 70% growth goal (if that goal is to be anything other than aspirational) will mean a more pro-active approach to intensification. This has annoyed those who thought they had prevailed at the Draft Plan stage.

    The Council's new proposals are in fact the expressed opinions of experts who happen to be employed by the Council and who will be providing their evidence to the Hearings Panel. In a number of cases those experts are of the opinion that it would be sensible to up-zone some areas where no submissions were received - the "out-of-scope" changes. As Ben says, it is up to the Hearings Panel to decide how to deal with those - it does have the powers but may chose to use them sparingly.

    As to the concerns of the folk who have belatedly become aware - I do have some sympathy but as someone who has taken a close interest in the process from the beginning, I would be annoyed if that process was to be disrupted by people who have just woken up.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 53 posts Report Reply

  • Glenn Pearce,

    As to the concerns of the folk who have belatedly become aware – I do have some sympathy but as someone who has taken a close interest in the process from the beginning, I would be annoyed if that process was to be disrupted by people who have just woken up.

    I've been following it pretty closely too, can you point to anywhere that it was made clear to the public that if you didn't submit on the notified Proposed Plan you would be excluded from the process henceforth (and that large scale "out of scope" changes were possible in the final version). I certainly missed that memo.

    Auckland • Since Feb 2007 • 504 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Lyall,

    What exactly is the point of opening up submissions again? We all know what all the NIMBYs will say.

    The only question is what the final decision will be and that will be influenced by pressure and political considerations rather than any submissions.

    Auckland • Since Feb 2007 • 58 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Duncan McKenzie,

    Thanks Duncan. That's a cogent commentary.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22825 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Ross, in reply to Glenn Pearce,

    Auckland • Since Jan 2014 • 32 posts Report Reply

  • Glenn Pearce,

    I'm sorry I don't see the bit where the IHP directed the Council to upzone more?

    Auckland • Since Feb 2007 • 504 posts Report Reply

  • Duncan McKenzie, in reply to Glenn Pearce,

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 53 posts Report Reply

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