And why you should take the Herald, who gets stories from certain Councillors with a grain of salt
I was warned that certain Councillors and a certain Herald reporter would go off on a tangent as we approach the Rezoning topic of the Unitary Plan and sure enough that tangent happened.
I have already made earlier comments about the Rezoning process and who is and who is not partaking in it here: Auckland 2040 Blowing Smoke over the #UnitaryPlan Rezoning.
Since then Orsman, and Councillors Lee and Brewer have being going off on a tangent about some secret agenda about rezoning across the Auckland Isthmus in the Herald today when there has been none.
From Our Auckland:
In fact, any decisions on zoning, and other planning matters, will not be made by Auckland Council until August 2016 at the earliest.
The Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan (PAUP) decision-making process
- The PAUP is currently going through the statutory and independent hearings process with the proposed plan open for submissions for five months.
- Auckland Council is making decisions on its proposed position and evidence on a range of planning matters to put before the Auckland Unitary Plan Independent Hearings panel. These are not decisions on what will be included within the PAUP.
- The Auckland Unitary Plan Independent Hearings Panel is a statutory body appointed by the government that hears submissions, reviews evidence and conducts mediation and hearings.
- The independent panel will evaluate any changes to the PAUP and make its recommendation to the council. After that, Auckland Council will make decisions on the Panel’s recommendations in about August 2016. All decisions will be publically notified.
The current situation
- No changes to zoning in the PAUP have been made. Auckland Council has not yet finalised its proposed position on zoning to put before the Independent Hearings Panel.
- The council is currently considering advice from staff who have analysed all submissions received on zoning in the PAUP and the guidance already given by the Independent Hearings Panel.
- From this advice, the council will give direction on the position to be taken at the hearings of the Independent Hearings Panel.
- The Panel will hold hearings on zonings in March next year. To help the public understand the council’s proposed position on changes to the zoning in the PAUP, maps for all areas will be available to the public in early December 2015.
- Final decisions on zoning, and other planning matters, will not be made by Auckland Council until August 2016 at the earliest.
What is happening
- Like all successful cities across the world, Auckland is growing. Statistics New Zealand’s latest population estimates for the year to June 2015 show that Auckland grew by 43,000 people last year, to almost 1.57 million residents. In the next 30 years there will be an additional million more people.
- The Auckland Plan and the PAUP support a compact city approach to enable better housing affordability, more choice in housing, and easier transport by focussing growth within and around town centres and frequent public transport routes.
- Zoning must be cohesive and implemented for sound reasons to avoid inconsistent changes within areas that will create a haphazard and approach to planning and building across Auckland.
- The PAUP legislation allows the Independent Hearings Panel to incorporate ‘out of scope’ changes into its unitary plan recommendations. The council can propose ‘out of scope’ zoning for public hearings to achieve better planning outcome and best practice but it is the Independent Hearings Panel that will decide on what it recommends to the council.
Submitters can continue to comment and make their case on the rezoning next year at the Hearings.