Unitary Plan – Towards Notification #1

A Look Back


A Look Forward


As a part of a two part mini-series I will be going over the Unitary Plan briefing that occurred yesterday to the media outlets (including Talking Auckland).

In Part One (this post), Talking Auckland will look at: the Unitary Plan and where it has come thus far. Part One will also look at where next with the Unitary Plan – specifically August 28th to 30th and September 5th.

Part Two (next post) will look at one of the questions I asked in regards to the Unitary Plan: could it have been slowed down. Part Two will also serve a warning against those conservative Council candidates who think slowing the Unitary Plan down is a wise idea. Simply done in the name of a Better and Affordable Auckland, slowing down the Unitary Plan does nothing to achieve that. All it achieves is Central Government intervening – something the conservatives might be holding out for


Part One – Here and Now with the Unitary Plan, and where next

August 28-30th the Auckland Plan Committee (which will be open to the public) will be making their formal decisions on the Unitary Plan changes. These changes will then be reflected in an updated draft of the Unitary Plan that is sent to the Governing Body on September 5. On September 5 the Governing Body will decide whether to set the date for notification (and when) for the Unitary Plan or reject the notion and kick it back to the new Council for more work after the elections (October 12).

If the Governing Body decides the draft Unitary Plan as is on September 5 is ready to go for formal notification, it has been told by Unitary Plan Planner Penny Perrit that September 6 will NOT be when the notification occurs. At minimum (earliest) you would be looking at the Unitary Plan being notified between October 1 and October 5. This is because it will take time to both have the E-Plan ready as well as the hard copies printed and distributed widely across the city. By widely I mean to libraries, Council Service Centres and the Local Board Offices through out Auckland.

So again, between October 1 and October 5 is the absolute minimum time available to the Governing Body to set the Unitary Plan for formal notification. We also need to remember that the formal notification will be a three year process before a Hearings Panel of Commissioners appointed by the Minister for the Environment.

But before September 5 can occur, what happens on August 28th to 30th at the Auckland Plan Committee?

Simply put the Councillors and the Independent Maori Statutory Board will be making formal decisions that will shape the Unitary Plan for the September 5 Governing Body meeting. Apparently the Local Boards will be given speaking rights as well at the three day Committee meeting, something I will need to confirm with the Deputy Mayor.

To guide the Councillors and the IMSB through the changes and recommendations of the Unitary Plan, they will have access to a 7000 page document (on a memory stick) that will have “tracked” changes through it. Those familiar with Mircosoft Word will know how “Tracked Changes” work and what it entails. The media and myself will be getting a copy of these tracked changes that the Councillors have (or will have). The earliest date in getting the 7000 monster of a document with the changes should arrive by Monday.

Depending on its data size I will upload the 7000 page document to Scribd. If not I will figure another way of making it publicly accessible. One thing is for certain though, I will be using the 7000 page document to be watching those who might grandstand and obfuscate the Unitary Plan and the processes coming up. Yes that means I am watching you Bernard Orsman, your fan club, and some of our Grandstanding Councillors who will be named and possibly shamed.

Talking Auckland will be Tweeting and reporting live from each of the three days the Auckland Plan Committee meet as they set the decisions ready for the Governing Body’s consideration come September 5.

Unlike Bernard Orsman who was implying he had no confidence, I do have confidence in the Councillors who have been there day in day out with the Unitary Plan to wade through all 7000 pages and pass decisions in the name of a Better Auckland. I do not envy their task at all – I thank them in advance for doing this.


Some reminders on the context of the Unitary Plan

This will lead into Part Two which will be written as a subsequent post.

The Unitary Plan in the crudest of sense is the Master Planning document guiding Auckland through our urban planning, development and management for the next thirty years. The Unitary Plan will be reviewed twice – at the 10 year and 20 year marks. These reviews will allow the Unitary Plan to be updated to reflect changes to Auckland over the previous 10 year’s period of time. After 30 years Auckland goes through the entire Unitary Plan process again. At that time I will be 61.

One also must remember that Auckland is a Heterogeneous City – a quilt work of communities, suburbs, town centres, our bigger Metropolitan Centres, and of course Manukau followed by the CBD at the top. Therefore the Unitary Plan must look after both the social and physical geography of Auckland for the next 30 years.

Now (and as a final remark to Part One) if I did not have confidence in where we are with the Unitary Plan as of right now (August 20th) you would have heard me say so by now. But after starting out with what was a Clunker in the beginning (and in a way it is around 1700 pages estimate) and working through the Unitary Plan with the Councillors and Planners, I can safely say I am personally confident with where it is thus far.

So we wait for the August 28-30th Auckland Plan Committee meetings as they set the decisions for the Unitary Plan, ready for September 5.



Talking Auckland: Blog of TotaRim Consultancy Limited

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Bringing Well Managed Progress to Auckland and The Unitary Plan

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