The Herald Just Can’t Get It
Mr Kirk however has a Valid Point
It seems the NZ Herald with their Auckland Unitary Plan reporter Bernard Orsman can just simply not get it when it comes to actual coverage and commentary on the Unitary Plan. I have repeatedly noted and am doing so again that the Main Stream Media are failing in their obligations of balanced reporting with the most two prominent posts being these two:
This unbalanced and one-sided coverage is annoying the city greatly as there are those who support the Unitary Plan in-part or as a whole. However Orsman and the NZH seem to be more interested in the Blue Rinse Brigade and trotting out what they say rather than what we all say.
However, Fairfax media who run the local Couriers you get, plus individual private blogs like my own have stepped up to the plate and are doing much better coverage and commentary thus far on the Unitary Plan. Fairfax and those bloggers should be applauded (although I still wince at Sydney’s piece – although that was out of circumstance) for their efforts so far while the NZH be vilified for their continued failings.
So where did Orsman and the Herald fail this morning prompting the latest round of backlash in social media. Well it was this article here: ‘Not in my back yard’ and if you look at the main story carefully it is actually not a NIMBY-ism story. It is a story of genuine concerns for an elder – someone with wisdom and knowledge on city planning listing his thoughts on the Unitary Plan and actually giving an alternative here. However, what flipped the story over to a NIMBY-ism piece was Orsam’s rant on the side – obviously still hurting from Sydney’s blog post.
I shall get to Mr Kirk’s concerns in a moment but first Orsman.
This is what the fool had to say as a sidebar to the article:
The battle backed by a blog
Hate speech is coming to a street near you – if you live in a quiet piece of suburbia, like Poronui St in Mt Eden, and object to your neighbourhood being rezoned for apartments and infill housing.
In a sign that the council is losing the battle to persuade middle-class suburban Auckland to adapt to a new way of life, it has appointed 28-year-old councillor Michael Goudie to counter more conservative views.
Not only that, but wise heads like deputy-mayor Penny Hulse are turning a blind eye while Goudie promotes an anonymous blog article, We Hate Nimbys (Not In My Back Yard) that labels a “sea of grey hair” opposing a new planning rulebook “selfish, arrogant, narrow -minded and parochial people” who should “just hurry up and die”.
Suburbs, including Orewa and Browns Bay that helped elect Goudie to the council in 2010 are branded “soulless, geriatric timebombs” in the blog he calls “brilliant” but that others label “hate speech”.
Yep he is still sore after that apparent line. However let me copy over a post from ANZAC Day by Orsman that would give rise to the ‘Pot, Kettle, Black’ argument:
Len Brown is attending four Anzac Day services tomorrow. I wonder if Michael Goudie will be tagging along in his official capacity of nobbling the oldies on the unitary plan to tell the “sea of grey hair” what a bunch of arrogant, deluded and selfish people they are who should “hurry up and die”.
I think Goudie has a bit more nous than that…
But there is more and even I replied right back
That reprimand should now be dismissal…
I don’t care what beef one might have against councillors and the Unitary Plan, you NEVER EVER imply ANZAC Day the way he did nor utter such tripe as Orsman did ON ANZAC DAY either. What Goudie might of said can be remarked as offensive to some but, we leave those gripes behind as we remember our War Heroes on that special day – hand in hand united. And if you are wondering if I am fuming – yes I am as ANZAC Day to me does hold close to me (as it does to all others) with having family on both sides of both World Wars.
Mr Kirk’s Concerns and Alternatives
Mr Kirk (a former planner with the former Auckland City Council) who lives in Mt Eden and right next to the famous iconic Mt Eden Volcano had concerns about the Unitary Plan (as does many others) did have to say this which struck me most:
From that NZ Herald Piece:
“Kirk, 77, has produced a demographic breakdown of Poronui St that shows more than half the residents are under 30 – and just six over 65 – countering critics’ claims (see sidebar) that most opponents of the plan are elderly.
He says he has no moral answer to the “nimby” question.
“That’s the dilemma. Do I share Poronui St with others or do the drawbridge thing and say ‘I’m bloody in and I don’t want more people’?”
The planner and social conscience in Kirk says if the council is serious about Poronui St, it needs to develop a specific, comprehensive plan where the architecture and buildings work for the residents – and not rely on blanket zoning passed over to developers.
“That is a lazy, unprofessional cop-out.”
Now that I do honestly hear loud and clear from Mr Kirk. It is something I have picked up through my Unitary Plan commentary and jet-setting and it is an issue Auckland Council needs to address. Fortunately I am writing and redeveloping a concept that Mr Kirk is looking for with Mt Eden. It is my Special Character Zone work and presentation I am compiling for Orakei Local Board next week in regards to St Heliers but, can easily be translated to other areas such as: Mt Eden, Onehunga and Ponsonby.
Taking an extract from my OLB presentation:
My submission to the draft Unitary Plan (and currently seen in the Shape Auckland Housing Simulator) calls for Local Centres to be dropped to three storeys. This would be consistent with the calls in St Heliers to drop the Local Centre to three storeys – with further restrictions at nine metre heights in place within the rules. What is not recognised thus far through the Unitary Plan is the fact our city is heterogeneous and the great role Local Boards has to play with Unitary Plan “planning” once the UP is operative.
To recognise the heterogeneity of our city I am proposing to St Heliers via the Orakei Local Board a Special Character Zone tied in with my Centralised Master Community Plan (CMCP) – Land Allocation/Development/Utilisation urban development/management model.
CMCP’s were covered in my submission to The Auckland Plan and I shall go back over it in a moment. First it is introducing and working on a new zone – the Special Character Zone (SCZ).
Centralised Master Community Plans being as in the embed below:
The CMCP extract is a bit vague as I update and clean it up but in short it takes some of these merits in regards with Local Boards that are found in my other methodology (the SLPD):
The main crux of the SLPD would come from the: decentralised, semi-regulated, collaborative, efficient, simplistic and affordable approach to LADU. This is how the crux or ideal would be achieved:
Under SLPD’s the decisions and/or oversight would be with the Local Community Board rather than the centralised Council
Council provides a statement of intent (The Auckland Plan) and action plan for Auckland (Auckland Long Term Plan) over the next period of time
Council provides a mediation service when there is a dispute with an SLPD
Council assists Local Community Boards with resources required when an SLPD is being carried out
SLPD follows the Philosophies of Land Allocation/Development/Utilisation (mentioned page 14)
Collaboration between the Local Board, Community and Developer (allowing greater flexibility and response to community concerns and needs/desires)
Mr Kirk is wanting a comprehensive plan in regards to Mt Eden, I think that can be provided for with a ‘Mt Eden Special Character Zoned – Centralised Master Community Plan’ – a specialised local plan led by the Local Board overseeing the land allocation/development/utilisation of Mt Eden.
Once I have given my presentation to Orakei Local Board, I might translate St Heliers Special Character Zone over to Mt Eden and see where that goes. But good on Mr Kirk for making his concerns known AND seeking out an alternative for his community. No he is not a NIMBY, he is a genuine concerned citizen wanting the best for his community (and the wider city). 🙂
Just a note before I sign this off: this Unitary Plan is like the rabbit hole in Alice and Wonderland 😛 I have gone down the hole and where I end up at the end of this – who know!
BEN ROSS : AUCKLAND
BR:AKL: Bring Well Managed Progress
The Unitary Plan: Bringing Change
Auckland: 2013 – OUR CITY, OUR CALL