Poll Goes Awry with Unitary Plan

Clutching at Straws Again – Reality is Actually the Opposite

 

On Saturday the NZ Herald released a Digi-Poll (they are deemed scientific) stating Aucklanders prefer sprawl over going up. And bang on cue people like Councillor Dick Quax jump on the bandwagon pushing their message along the same lines.

From The NZ Herald

Out better than up for city, say many in poll

By Mathew Dearnaley 5:30 AM Saturday Oct 26, 2013

A sizeable section of Aucklanders appear to prefer more urban sprawl to higher buildings, despite Mayor Len Brown‘s goal of a compact city.

Herald-DigiPoll survey of 500 people has found more of them deeming the proposed Unitary Plan rule-book unnecessary than those prepared to give unqualified support to more multi-storey buildings and smaller average section sizes.

Only 18.3 per cent believe the plan is the best way to deal with population growth, and will make Auckland a better place to live.

That compares with 28 per cent who said the plan was unnecessary, and that the Auckland Council should let the city grow outwards instead of allowing more high-rises.

But 23.4 per cent supported the plan in principle while believing some proposed changes were going too far.

And 28.6 per cent were undecided, saying they didn’t know enough to comment.

Mr Brown remained unfazed by the findings yesterday, insisting Aucklanders understood the need for a compact city, but had the right to decide the best formula through submissions on the Unitary Plan which close on February 28.

….

 

Okay there are several points from the poll:

  • That compares with 28 per cent who said the plan was unnecessary, and that the Auckland Council should let the city grow outwards instead of allowing more high-rises
  • But 23.4 per cent supported the plan in principle while believing some proposed changes were going too far
  • And 28.6 per cent were undecided, saying they didn’t know enough to comment

 

That particular comment in bold is the one I am most interested in AND also most worried about as well. More on that situation in a moment.

Back to the other two points, well I hate to say it to the Herald but this is a time where the scientific poll is well off. The Facebook comment below explains why very clearly:

 

A rare time a Scientific Poll is disconnected from reality. The Herald and Dick Quaxsay Auckland prefers sprawl over going up:http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11146447

However the recent free democratic elections show 16/21 Local Boards and 9/14 Wards including Dick Quax’s Howick Ward voted in majority of Len Brown and his “smart growth” City and subsequent policies: https://voakl.net/2013/10/24/mayoral-vote-by-ward-and-local-board-breakdown/

Also as Dick Quax is a free marketeer I have noted the Free Market is responding to OUR needs with Medium Density (and High Density in the CBD, Manukau and New Lynn) development speeding up: https://voakl.net/2013/10/25/more-medium-density-developments-on-the-way/

I think both Democracy and the Free Market have spoken: in favour of heading towards the current path of some up and some out with urban development.

Food for thought

—–

 

Hmm seems the Local Elections we just had and the freer market are proving that poll and Dick Quax wrong in quite a major manner. Otherwise the reverse would have happened with the elections and market if what Dick Quax was correct would not be reacting the way it is now.

Transport Blog run a more err mind crunching analysis of the Herald story in their Herald says people want sprawl …. ummm post. For me the message is rather clear:

  • 16/21 Local Board areas voted in majority of Len Brown over any other candidate
  • 9/14 Wards including Howick voted in majority of Len Brown over any other candidate
  • The Market after a slump since 2008 is picking back up with an increase in medium and high density developments either being built or coming through the planning/consent pipeline (lower density development is still pacing at reasonable speed as well). More on that market movement can be found here: More Medium Density Developments on the Way

 

Thus the Unitary Plan should be acting a liberal enabling document that allows the demanders and the suppliers to best suss out the needs of our residential, commercial and industry requirements. In saying that I am a big fan of the Auckland Design Manual and strong urban design principles right across the board.

 

Back to my bold point from earlier: And 28.6 per cent were undecided, saying they didn’t know enough to comment

This comment being very true:

Urban designer David Gibbs, director of Auckland architecture and master-planning firm Construkt, said the combination of strong and conditional support for the plan, totalling 41.7 per cent, was “not too bad over a very complex issue” but called on the council to do a better job of explaining what was at stake.

Understandable and perfectly honest speaking from the first round of feedback experience earlier this year. It took three blogs a near dedicated full-time effort to make the complex simple in regards to the Unitary Plan earlier this year. It is an exercise I am not willing to repeat again so Council do need to get this right in the submission period first time round.

My Unitary Plan Open Days post gives a list of the open days the Council is holding for the Unitary Plan in the month of November. I have noted from comments and will pass this on to the Deputy Mayor this week that there are no weekend open sessions for the Unitary Plan. That is odd and again will raise this with the Deputy Mayor this week and get back to you on the matter.

Please remember that later on in the submission phase the New Zealand Planning Institute are meant to be running submission workshops on how to write a robust submission. I will be going to such a workshop and anyone who gives a damn about the city to also attend.

 

The Unitary Plan is a 30 year document and we also have the Area Plans coming out over the next three years as well. We (Auckland) need to be on the ball with these two documents if we want a 21st Century – not a 1950’s Auckland.

Auckland and the market looking at the political and economic indicators are demanding that 21st Century Auckland as such!

 

UP poster PNG picture

 

 

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