Auckland 2040 – So We Need to Talk

But Please – Lay Off the Main Stream Media


This is a message for the Auckland 2040 Lobby Group

I have received and noted feedback from you (2040) via a third-party on me. I have noted that you have seen my often scathing remarks against you in regards to the Unitary Plan but; I have also noted that you (2040) have read my 104 page submission which included the Special Character Zones, and Manukau and were “impressed” (words handed back this way).

Admittedly relations between myself and Auckland 2040 would be “frosty” and that can be owed to the heavy debunking spearheaded from this end in the last weeks of the Unitary Plan feedback process. Those relations as of current are still frosty.

However, if truce flags are willing to be raised the guns will fall silent for the duration. That is Auckland 2040 – if you were “impressed” at the submission I wrote and the introduction of the Special Character Zone then the next move is yours – you know where to find me or contact me.


In saying that I do have on request though for Auckland 2040. Lay of the Main Stream Media appearances please – for your sakes not mine nor the City’s.

Why do I ask this? I saw your interview on the NZ Herald yesterday (Friday) and heard your question at the Auckland Conversations on Population Trends. From those I can deduce that your fixation on three set issues are truly annoying the city to no-ends of the Earth and will not win you any allies in getting the Unitary Plan modified to something more palatable to the city as a whole. Oh and the wider city also does not care if one of your “heads” has 30-years of planning experience if the humility and “nous” is somewhat lacking (meaning get a PR guru and a face that can sell your message without annoying the city (Of particular note here: If I as an individual can sell off a successful message in the social media and MSM realms and get mentioned for it – without annoying the bulk of the wider city there might be some lessons here for you guys on “facilitating the debate”)).

As for the three issues annoying the city they are:

  1. Fixation on the North Shore with little regards for elsewhere in the city including the South and the West
  2. Fixation of trying to lower the population projection. The statistics are saying otherwise to your claims. So at least just pause until we get the latest Census results to see where things are going on a more up to date reflection. You did seriously annoy the audience with your fixation at that Conversation piece last week earning you no favours.
  3. And for heaven’s sake – drop the three storey issue in the Mixed Housing Zone. I and others have already debunked that piece (Guy Haddleton’s house in a Single Housing Zone) and will always have it as ammunition if need be against you. Three storey pieces can already happen under the existing plans and not much changes in the Unitary Plan. Constantly banging on about it especially in regards to the North Shore will definitely earn you no favours. If you want my advice on this; three storey pieces will happen, let’s get the quality right and in-line with our population growth. Do that and you would win more friends.

Now was that advice harsh? Maybe but, it is also valid. Valid in me laying out my concerns to you so we have a no surprises policy when reaching out and thawing relations as well as where I currently stand.


As mentioned earlier – your move next.

Ben Ross
Talking Auckland