Brewer blowing smoke on the Unitary Plan and elections
For someone who is apparently retiring from Council politics at the end of the term Cameron Brewer (of Orakei Ward) having a column in today’s Herald is just odd.
Given it is on the Unitary Plan (you can read here: Cameron Brewer: Broken zoning promises will hurt at polls) I replied in the comments section:
Given apparently Brewer is standing down in the elections this column granted to him seems rather moot.
I remind Brewer of the post I wrote here Auckland blog link in regards to that failed Notice of Motion which if it did pass would have put the Council on an illegal footing with the Unitary Plan thus attracting the ire of the Government.
The Rezoning exercise is about to head to the Unitary Plan Hearings Panel for which I will be a part of as I am a submitter to the Plan.
I have faith in Judge Kirkpatrick and his Panel to exercise their powers and discretion in terms of the rezoning and out of scope changes (which are legal under the law).
There are two things to remember:
1) Government has set the framework and the timetable to the Unitary Plan which has to be operative by August (can go for an extension but needs a very good reason)
2) What does Council do with the Recommendations when they come back in July?
Ideally the Governing Body adopts the Recommendations all en mass unless the RMA or the Auckland Plan is contravened (which I doubt).
Further comments I have also made and is the key point:
One to watch
Councillors and candidates saying next term they will push for a Public Plan Change of the #UnitaryPlan after it goes live
Ask yourself this:
Do you want more of YOUR money spent on the Plan Change given appeals would be already under way and trigger even more?
I think the answer might be something like this (a comment from a trusted friend who knows their local politics):
I think the Unitary Plan needs to go operative without any more screwing around.
Our Elected Members have invested significant time and effort into getting this right. Ample opportunity has been given for consultation — yeah, sure, more consultation might result in a better outcome, but Perfection is the arch-enemy of the Very Good, and it’s OK for Auckland to be satisfied with the Very Good if the alternative is to screw around for another few years.
No more screwing around. Get the plan operative ASAP. Then we can focus on electing our next Council.
Elected Members who still want to screw around with the Unitary Plan ought to get un-elected. The City now needs to move forward. Without them.
So be aware those who promise un-electing sitting Councillors and putting those in who want to deliberately change the Unitary Plan post-election. Is it worth the added expense and time going through Public Plan Changes given Private Plan Changes have to wait two years while appeals before the Courts would still be under-way?
If anything it is probably best to wait until the Appeals are complete before we attempt any Public Plan Changes.