The Unitary Plan is a Clunker

1854 Pages?


I have mentioned in the past that the Draft Unitary Plan was around 500 pages and it was larger than our largest Bible at home. Well it seems I got that number wrong as the Draft Unitary Plan actually stands at 1854 pages and takes Councillor George Wood two car trips to get the sole Council copy of this clunker to a public meeting.


1854 pages? What the flying heck Auckland Council, that is not a plan but just an actual dead weight to anyone and everything in the city. Maps aside, the idea was to get this clunker down to 100 A4 pages so that it was easy for everyone to read to access. Not just be a play thing for city planners and Environment Court Lawyers that costs us more money.


Bernard Orsman for the NZ Herald had this to say on the Clunker this morning:

Struggle to access copies of city plan

By Bernard Orsman @BernardOrsman

5:30 AM Thursday Mar 28, 2013


Navigating complex document online and finding a printed version proving difficult.

Many Aucklanders are struggling to find out if their neighbourhood is earmarked for high-rise apartments, heritage protection or the status quo in the new planning rulebook for the city.

The 1854-page draft unitary plan includes provisions for high-rise and multi-rise apartments and the nuts and bolts of what people can do with their properties.

But people are complaining about difficulty using the online version of the plan and trying to access 29 hard copies at local board offices, Auckland Town Hall and some libraries – about one copy for every 50,000 people.

At a public meeting in Mt Eden on Tuesday night, there was no material for locals to take away on the changes proposed for the suburb, only a single copy of maps to browse.

Birkenhead resident M. Carol Scott said in a letter to the Herald that she found the online document a “tortuously clunky process” and all she got from her local library was a brochure inviting her to “shape the world’s most liveable city”.

“Clearly, creating a Super City planning rulebook is a huge task, but how democratic is this process?” she said.

The Auckland Transport Blog said unlike the Auckland Plan – the 30-year blueprint for the city – the new rulebook was not a nicely worded document, but a complex, hard-to-use resource management document.


You can read the rest over at the Herald


Personally I am not finding the e-document that easy to use and I regard myself as tech savvy. Even with Bookmarks applied in Chrome and until I saved the PDFs to my hard drive, it would take several attempts floundering around different parts of the Unitary Plan site to get to the two areas I am focusing on at the moment: The Rural Urban Boundary addendum, and the Zoning Rules in an effort to get them simplified even further.  What is not helping is that you can read the PDF like the RUB material in question, but then you have five different maps showing “options” for the RUB rather than consolidating it as one PDF file. Thankfully I consolidated those maps into a single PDF and stuck it in Scribd last night – but heck that is annoying to do what the council should have done in the first place.


As a result in the Unitary Plan being a clunker and at over 1854 pages making it impossible to print – even if I did get the entire thing as a single PDF, getting a meaningful submission in is going to be an interesting task ahead.


However, I am off to the Papakura Local Board Unitary Plan session next month to see if I can make heads or tails of The Clunker before getting my submission in.



And now that I have that little rant off my chest this morning, my next Unitary Plan post will be on residential zoning. It’s Sim City meets Auckland Unitary Plan – here at BR:AKL



Shining The Light – To a Better Papakura (OUR home)
To a Better Auckland – (OUR City)

Auckland 2013: YOUR CITY – YOUR CALL