Five steps to improve both Manurewa-Papakura and Auckland
I asked Nicola Kean this morning what the Finance Minister was covering in regards to Auckland housing.
The replies were:
Given Mayoral candidates Goff, Thomas and Crone have all said they support withdrawing Council’s evidence from the Unitary Plan that occurred yesterday we are going to be stuck in Mayoral choices. However, the Mayor is one vote of 21 shared with the Ward Councillors.
So answering Bill English’s candidate question; if I were to run as Ward Councillor for Manurewa-Papakura Ward I would have voted alongside Councillor Penrose (but against Sir John Walker) to keep the Council in the Unitary Plan processes for the rezoning topic.
Because like English I do want to:
- Get on top of the housing problem as fast as possible
- Continue a working relationship with Government in getting Auckland houses AND moving
Now the vote yesterday has basically nullified the above two out. And if Commissioners are not installed by the Government for the 2016-2019 term what would I offer to both Auckland and the residents of Manurewa-Papakura Ward?
Well not calling Manurewa a welfare suburb like Manurewa Local Board Chair Angela Dalton yesterday would be a start.
But seriously there are five points I would both campaign on and bring to the Governing Body table if I decided to run and subsequently be elected to the Governing Body of Auckland Council. Those five points being:
- Bigger slice of the Budget pie for the Papakura and Manurewa Local Boards
- Transport – getting Auckland moving with choice
- Community Facilities both local and regional
- The Unitary Plan – ensure we meet Auckland Plan targets for the needed 400,000 dwellings through the next thirty years
- Transparency – all my votes and attendance publicly recorded, all non sensitive information into the public realm and easy to both read and find.
Bigger slice of the Budget pie for the Papakura and Manurewa Local Boards
Given Papakura-Manurewa Ward (as is Franklin, Henderson-Massey (part of Waitakere Ward), Manukau, Waitemata and Albany Wards) are facing some of the fastest and largest population and employment centre growth in Auckland I would campaign on extra discretionary funds be allocated to the Local Boards within the Wards I have just mentioned. The funds would come from reallocating from the Economic and Cultural Development budget lines per the Long Term Plan. At the same time I would be open to Local Boards charging targeted rates for things like berm mowing and extra expenditure to parks above and beyond standard funding.
The discretionary funds would allow extra facilities, grants or upgrades to be paid for beyond what would have otherwise occurred under normal funding mechanisms
Transport – getting Auckland moving with choice
In short I support the Generation Zero Congestion Free Network and would push for Council policy including the Auckland Transport Accord Program to recognise the CFN. My concerns on the disconnect with the ATAP can be read here: Transport Minister and Auckland Mayor Present Transport Accord. Questions Asked #AKLPols
Community Facilities both local and regional
This one gets vexed and everyone loves a new or upgraded library or sports field but there is not enough cash to go around. While the maintenance of facilities is one thing new facilities in fast growing areas is another. That is why I do believe in a new library and community centre in Takanini as well as laying the foundations down for similar facilities in Drury South. At the same time Papakura and Manurewa do lack small pocket parks and playgrounds within reach of often new subdivisions like Addison. Preferably our planning and finance instruments would determine that no household should be beyond 800 metres of a small park or playground and 1.5km of a larger park or recreational facility.
The Unitary Plan – ensure we meet Auckland Plan targets for the needed 400,000 dwellings through the next thirty years
I would have voted alongside the other eight and keep the Council involved in the Unitary Plan Hearings. I know that removing Council thus the City out of the hearings is extremely anti-democratic and a detriment to both Auckland and the relationship with Central Government. I know right off the bat that the current Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan is around 200,000-280,000 dwellings short of the 400,000 needed to house a growing Auckland. I also know that we can not afford to have the Isthmus lock itself off to intensification forcing all the growth south and west and then expecting those people through the Mt Wellington-Otahuhu, and North Western Motorway bottlenecks. I also know that the Unitary Plan Panel would have determined what was Out of Scope and whether to reject them or not. I also know that submitter and non submitters do have a final say through Councillors in July when the Recommendations come back for a final vote.
Yes some of our bigger Metros like Manukau, Albany and Henderson will develop this is a given and I’ve called for it in my own submissions. But locking out an area of Auckland due to plain NIMBYism is not acceptable at all.
Transparency – all my votes and attendance publicly recorded, all non sensitive information into the public realm and easy to both read and find.
Given the appalling attendance record of some of our Councillors (often the most vocal) I think transparency calls need to start at home. So for me every vote I place is recorded and I am more than happy write-up why I voted that way. At least there is a public record there for you and hopefully one would see a reason why I might have voted for something not “popular” like the Unitary Plan. Also my attendance record for Committees and workshops would be public with explanations for absence as well. Because if I can’t get my own house in order with transparency then I have no right to call for transparency through the wider organisation (including Auckland Transport).
Now this is no way exhaustive but more an introduction on what I would be like as a Councillor. The job is not easy but we can not have a repeat of the anti-democracy yesterday it becomes that simple.
21st Century candidate for a 21st Century Auckland