The Challenge is Laid
Who Will Step Up From the Opposition?
Answer Thus Far – NO ONE!
This morning I threw down a challenge to the oppositional Councillors of The Unitary Plan – a.k.a The Clunker. I’ll repost the challenge here then some replies on what I got thus far:
George Wood and Cameron Brewer. You keep popping up on the Facebook feeds on what is wrong with the Unitary Plan (which the city knows and it is becoming a game of State the Obvious here). What I do not see from both of you is a power point presentation or 10 A3 pages of an alternative to The Clunker in where (in your opinions as they count too you know) YOU THINK The Unitary Plan should go. If I can come up with material and take it round with me to community meetings and Civic Forums and go one to one with residents and others, then I am sure you two can as well otherwise I am thinking “What on Earth am I paying you for with my money”
This was shortly followed by this from me
I just laid a challenge down to two councillors that are opposed to The Unitary Plan, by extension this extended to the rest of the oppositional councillors as well. You get paid to put an alternative forward while I don’t and thus far I seem to be the only one clocking the miles going around the city trying to both understand residents and get an alternative put forward…
So the challenge was laid down and this was the responses I got thus far from either Councillors or Local Board Members and my replies in return:
Nigel James Turnbull Ben I don’t think Councillors should be doing this work. Officers are tasked with this and should be responsive to Councillors guidance on how to model and look at the issues inherent in such a big piece of work. I do agree that pointing out some obvious solutions is important, but that is exactly what they have been asking for, like non operative status at notification, better public exposure and consultation over the plan, consideration of infrastructure requirements in growth areas etc. these and many other important issues need to be addressed and suggestions included and not put to one side. The issues you are seeing simply add to the case that this needs to be done once, and done properly. There is no way it should be made operative in September, it would be poor judgement on any councillor that suggests such an option.
Ben Ross : Auckland I was writing a post on Town and Local Centres but I’ll stop to comment here. I disagree Nigel with your first two centres – but then it might come down to the leadership style one is looking for out of our civic leaders. The Councillors are individual human beings as well and are affected by the clunker like everyone else. As I look for a more visionary and proactive rather than reactive which is what George and Cameron are doing (in my opinion), I would expect them to draw that alternative up from their personal beliefs, measure it against the current Unitary Plan alongside residents and businesses, then put in their own submissions for planing officer considerations.
Look I am saying this again and again and again until I go black and blue in the face, we need alternatives to the UP if we believe the UP will not work. We need someone with vision and balls (more than guts) to draw up that alternative and take it to the residents and go “What do you think”
For the most part it might get the residents out of either their shell-shocked mode or NIBMYism mode and get them doodling on paper their vision for the city.
But it needs someone with that vision. As I said if I can draw an alternative and take it to the city, then why can’t the oppositional councillors to assist the community in thinking…
Proactive – not reactive – as I expect that from Auckland Transport!
George Wood Ben Ross: The 70/30 or 60/40 brownfield/greenfields split is one of the important issues here. Whilst the Auckland council officers went down to 40% greenfield they fudged the overall figure with it adding to 110%. The intensity of the development on the town centres is of concern to communities especially the height and bulk and the provision of infrastructure. Lets hear the views of the community and then the plan can be modified to accommodate the concerns.
Ben Ross I just wrote a long post on Local Centres and “place-setting”http://voakl.net/2013/04/11/the-clunker-local-centres-and-transport/
And yes I know someone in Council fudged the figures with the 60/40 aspect – probably a butt covering exercise which will not work.
As I just said to Nigel in regards to this we do need a visionary here to take lead and go forward. Communities are just about running around blind and fragmented here George they really are. This is showing up again and again with these community meetings. Most communities are doing their upmost best here with the Clunker but the catch often missing is the Clunker is a regional document and you need to go regional with thinking here. Also the fact that the Clunker is so damned large it nearly makes it impossible to go regional without help and leadership
I am going to go on a limb here and annoy the oppositional councillors in saying I am doing a better job (although I am going to give credit as well to some of our Local Boards here for doing a fantastic job – you know who you are) in slowly uniting the city and its communities around the Unitary Plan: by running commentary through the blog giving my take on what is going on, showing up to as many community meetings and civic forums as possible to either hear what people are saying or to give my alternative back (to council), often alerting people to something in the UP that might have been missed, and building an alternative that I have gone out on a limb and taken it around the city and used it as material to talk one to one with residents.
Often that material kicks off an interesting dialogue and gets the juices flowing into what we all want for our city – as well as some interesting compromises as well.
A single resident of Auckland should not be left to the task of uniting his city around a clunker of a document which is cause the biggest amount of angst since Ruth Richardson’s mother of all budgets in 1991. That should be a visionary Councillor’s job – but am struggling to see one here. All I see is sniping Local Politics – so someone has to fill that void
If the Councillors believe they are doing a better job than myself in all the above then prove it to me!
That is the challenge and some of the responses I threw down this morning to the opposition. So far (and with respect) their responses have been underwhelming and somewhat expectant of a reactive not proactive opposition…
The opposition to the Unitary Plan need to step up fast to the leadership mantle. Not leave the more proactive in Local Boards and the community just about floundering about from a vacuum in central leadership…