Herald Passing Lobbying Material Again?

Auckland 2040 Rehashes Old Propaganda


I notice the Herald ran an opinion piece from Richard Burton of the Auckland 2040 lobby group against the Unitary Plan. The Herald even had this at the bottom of the piece: “Richard Burton is spokesman for the Auckland 2040 lobby group.”

So least you are fore-warned with that piece of information when reading the piece. For the Auckland 2040 website to check it out yourself you can go here: http://auckland2040.org.nz/

The “opinion” piece from the Herald is called “Richard Burton: Council must get serious about design” – with the tag line: Relaxed building rules in the Unitary Plan will undermine city planners’ goal of `quality built environments’. The URL is here: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11209788


Last year I posted here in the blog this: Auckland 2040 – So We Need to Talk. It seems nearly a year later Richard Burton of Auckland 2040 has ignored my suggestion and got into the Herald what is effectively a rehashed piece from before that has been debunked countless times.

Long story short to save me pasting the piece over here:

1) From Facebook

Come on Richard that is the same NIMBY commentary you tried in the Feedback around last year that got heavily debunked – yet you try it again. I concur with sentiments from most of the comments here against your well propaganda piece.

The Unitary Plan is not perfect granted but it is a start and backed up with the Auckland Design Manual the outlines are there for actual quality development. Richard you must remember two things:
Neighbourhoods are not static – they change and evolve through time – they are NOT museum pieces
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Some might think House of the Year looks swish while I think it looks much to be desired.

And I am disappointed in the Herald who yet again post something like that propaganda piece but yet do not post up counter perspectives as readily…


2) The Auckland Design Manual was created alongside the Unitary Plan to assist in quality user contributed urban design projects. It covers residential, commercial, parks and civic spaces, and even industrial facilities. It is non statutory (the Unitary Plan is a statutory document which has development controls on some urban design concepts) to allow people to collaborate and come up with quality urban design end results. There is no need for strict development controls to the extent Burton is pushing (arguably to keep pieces of Auckland as museum pieces rather than allowing them to evolve as a city is like a living organism) as it would seriously inhibit any drive towards more affordable housing.


3) The Unitary Plan actually needs liberalising such as what was posted here in Transport Blog a while ago: http://transportblog.co.nz/2011/10/23/taking-a-fresh-look-at-planning-regulation/ It us our excessive development controls (like Auckland 2040 would want) that has contributed to poor land use and just as poor urban design. It was the “strict” development controls that led to the Rabbit Hutch Apartments that spoil parts of the CBD. As I have written in my submission we actually need to liberalise the Unitary Plan to not only give greater potential of more affordable housing but allowed the freer market to provide in particular housing that people actually require – not be lumbered with


So the question is will the Herald allow a counter-piece against Richard’s piece? I doubt it but willing to be proved wrong.


My Submission to the Unitary Plan