White, Senior (in age), Conservative and from either Central or North Auckland
Had two articles I could have written on this morning. One being on Auckland Transport and the other on the Demographics of the Unitary Plan.
Tell you what here is the AT post in a few bullet points as the news was that underwhelming:
- AT Board Meeting Papers for this Thursday are out
- Public Transport Patronage goes up
- Rail patronage still dives with a further 1.9% and 11% loss (depending which bit you are looking at. Patronage now at 9,333,525 for rolling 12 month period block
- AT ask Deloitte to do a review on AT-HOP roll out
- Deloitte do the review and give nine recommendations
- AT go do the exact opposite to all the recommendations
- AT even go put the AT-HOP rail fares up to boot – effective June 3
And we wonder why our public transport system has issues…
Simple though explaining AT for the month now wasn’t it. So back to the Unitary Plan.
Last night I caught via Twitter a report done for Auckland Council. The report was on last November’s People’s Panel Online Forum for the Unitary Plan. I am a member of the panel and participated in that forum. In short the report was outlining the demographics of those who participated in the Forum and the skewing of a particular demographic in that forum.
The report can be seen here
I want to point out some key findings of the report here:
Click for full resolution
Basically what the graphs show is that: If you are “White, Senior (in age), Conservative and from either Central or North Auckland” you made yourself heard in the Unitary Plan Online Forum. While I have no issue of people making their issues known, a heavy skewing to one particular demographic has some major issues.
I could go on about what my Political Studies lecturers went on about in my University of Auckland years but I don’t want everyone being put to sleep either. But in short what you get is one segment of the community over represented and another segment under represented. This is deadly for democracy as the (either) vocal minority or majority can have undue influence on the democratic processes – including the Unitary Plan.
This over vocal situation then gets played out in the main stream media such as the New Zealand Herald (and often why I go debunk Orsman (although not needed today)). This leads to further skewing of the demographic “representation” towards the Unitary Plan and can befuddle the Councillors and bureaucracy to the thoughts and opinions of those who have not spoken up (again the South and West). And again this situation is deadly to democracy as we get an unrepresentative situation with comments on the UP. Autocracy is a word I am thinking of here.
So because Central and North Auckland are being vocal in what they want with the Unitary Plan, does not mean it is what the silent citizens in the South and West want with the Unitary Plan in their own minds and eyes. The Council must realise this when forming decisions over the Unitary Plan.
In saying this though I must be clear that the South has been busy with their Unitary Plan submissions and meetings. Some people need a big shout out and I am going to start with Angela Dalton and Simeon Brown of the Manurewa Local Board:
Coming up tomorrow on Talking Auckland (formerly BR:AKL)
If you are “White, Senior (in age), Conservative and from either Central or North Auckland” you have skewered the discussion of the Unitary Plan – and this is not a good thing either
How? Find out tomorrow #shapeauckland
- Angela Dalton I can assure you my meetings have covered most ages and most races and have been fairly representative of the demographics of my part of the city.
- Nick Kearney Good for you, Angela. It seems they were excluded from the Northcote meeting.
- George Wood No one was excluded from the Northcote meeting tonight. The Asian community may have attended the earlier meetings in Northcote.
- Nick Kearney They should have been specifically invited.
The comment thread also shows the skewing situation as shown in the Northcote meeting last night on the UP.
I also caught this comment that would ring rather true in ONE aspect of South Auckland not participating in the Unitary Plan process: “South Auckland – more concerned on day-to-day survival, feeding the kids, and whether we have a job the next day. Thus too busy to focus on Unitary Plan…”
A sad indictment of reality down here? Hate to say it but most likely. A reminder that Weymouth is up for Mixed Housing while the Manurewa Town Centre is up for 8 storeys as it designated a Town Centre under the UP.
I don’t quite think despite me asking Council the true socio-economics have been taken into account down here in the South.
I better clean up my submission for the Unitary Plan as the May 31 deadline approaches. But I know already the submissions in will be heavily again from this category: “white, Senior (in age), Conservative and from either Central or North Auckland” which is while okay, it is not okay as well…