Latest from the Auckland Plan Committee

Some Councillors need to be disciplined – STRONGLY!

 

Yesterday after the Governing Body meeting was the next round of the Auckland Plan Committee meeting. The purpose of these open to the public meetings is to set the interim directions on the next stages of the Unitary Plan per the recommendations of subsequent workshops.

Yesterday the APC were deliberating on the following issues:

  • Rural (that being all things rural including rural subdivisions but not the Rural Urban Boundary)
  • Retail (The General Business Zone)
  • Signs
  • Parking
  • Electricity Corridors
  • Stock access to streams and Coastal Marine Area
  • Trees and Utilities
  • Universal Design
  • GMO’s (Genetically Modified Organisms)
  • Aircraft noise (Auckland International Area final approach flight paths)
  • Mapping
  • The Rural Urban Boundary

 

The following was released by Council yesterday at the conclusion of the Committee meeting

Councillors progress with review of Unitary Plan

 The Auckland Plan Committee today continued work to review proposed changes of the draft Unitary Plan.

 

Based on public feedback and direction given to staff at six councillor and local board chair workshops over recent weeks, the potential changes reviewed today covered: development in rural areas, retail operations in the general business zone, signage and billboards, parking, electricity transmission corridors, stock access to freshwater and the coastal marine area, tree protection during maintenance on utility operations, disabled access to buildings, genetically modified organisms, aircraft noise, and the Rural Urban Boundary.

 

“This is the council listening to community feedback and making sensible changes to the draft Unitary Plan to best reflect what people have told us,” said Deputy Mayor and Auckland Plan Committee chair Councillor Penny Hulse

 

Council staff will continue with further work on the key issues as direction is given by elected members at workshops.

 

The Auckland Plan Committee then makes decisions that will shape the proposed Unitary Plan for public consultation later this year.

 

More information on the issues and directions considered can be found on the Auckland Plan Committee agenda, www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

 

—–Ends—–

Senior Unitary Plan – Planner/Leader Penny Perrit was in the hot seat and methodically went through the workshop recommendations that were ready for the Committee’s direction setting. So I was expecting this session to take an hour, maybe 90mins if there was a hang up which I did half expect on the Rural Urban Boundary. Rather the Committee took just over 2:45 hours with 95mins wasted on the very first topic – RURAL.

It leads in to the point I placed in bold above which I will repeat again here: “This is the council listening to community feedback and making sensible changes to the draft Unitary Plan to best reflect what people have told us,” said Deputy Mayor and Auckland Plan Committee chair Councillor Penny Hulse. 

And this is where I am going to have a crack at two particular Councillors for absolutely wasting time to the point one should have been thrown out of the Committee for his behaviour! Yes I run tight ships when I run meetings myself…

I was seeing if my two usual suspects were going to grandstand and re-litigate the Unitary Plan again as they did in the last Committee which seriously annoyed a lot of people including the Main Stream Media. Those two suspects being Councillors Brewer and Coney.

While Cameron was very quiet in this Committee so kudo’s (and congratulations to him and Kate Brewer who were married in the Pacific Islands just recently). However, Councillor Coney stepped right up to the mark of grandstanding and re-litigating the Unitary Plan, wasting 95 minutes focused on the Rural topic (the very first topic).

Her re-litigation also set off Councillor Wayne Walker who decided himself to also to re-litigate the Rural topic after everything was explained to him at least three times by Penny Perrit and the Deputy Mayor. However, Councillor Walker decided to insult, obfuscate, time waste, ignore the directions of the Chair and shout at other Councillors and staff members rather than listen with his ears and engage his brain before his mouth…

What compounded the matter even further as I discovered from other Councillors accusing Councillor Walker was that he was possibly not present at the Unitary Plan Workshops where the Rural topic was being discussed at length (or even other workshops). If I was Chair and had learned of that particular fact on top of his appalling behaviour, it would have been enough for me to have him thrown right out of the Committee.

I (as a ratepayer and the only one present sitting in the public gallery watching the proceedings) have no time what so ever for behaviour such as Councillor Walker’s who does not even show up to Workshops. How on Earth can you abuse Councillors and staff when one does not even show up to the Unitary Plan workshops where the subject was thrashed out!

As for those Councillors re-litigating the Unitary Plan, I also hold you in disgrace for placing the APC proceedings in absolute utter contempt. I make my way from Papakura to Town Hall (and back again) taking time out of my day to attend these Auckland Plan Committee proceedings to try to learn and  write-up new information on the Unitary Plan. The information gathered will usually form the next steps in either advocating a particular matter or stored somewhere for future use when a matter comes up.

Thus I don’t appreciate my time being wasted by Councillors that do not turn up to workshops and/or re-litigate the Unitary Plan. Unless someone is dead, dying, giving birth or getting married I expect you to be doing your jobs and that means workshops and committee deliberations.

 

With that rant out-of-the-way I can also report on the following:

  • Parking Maximums will come into force in some areas of Auckland while some areas will retain Parking Minimums. The City Centre Zone, (Super) Metropolitan Centres, Metropolitan Centres and the Mixed Housing Zones will have the parking maximum rule applied in the Unitary Plan. Everything else is still up for deliberations
  • The Rural topic is still being worked on with better ideas known post August 12 when the next Unitary Plan Mapping workshop occurs
  • The Rural Urban Boundary is still being worked in at in-depth levels by the planners. However the Corridor option for the Southern RUB is looking pretty good and should be reflected in the final Unitary Plan

 

The next Auckland Plan Committee meeting on the Unitary Plan is set down for Tuesday 13th of August and should be a big one with substantial subject matters to be discussed including:

  • City Centre (possibly Manukau as well)
  • Place based Precincts
  • Education Precincts (Usually areas around Tertiary Campuses)
  • Industrial Zones (that is a biggie especially concerning the Penrose and Wiri heavy industrial complexes)
  • Retirement Villages / Converted Dwellings
  • Second Mapping Workshop

Now that is already going to be a long day without any Councillors grandstanding. If one does decide to re-litigate can we please have them removed and not have the ratepayers’ patience sorely tested on very critical subject matters?

I think more coffee is needed 😛

 

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