The road is still not easy
We are at the business end of the Unitary Plan with the process starting back in March 2013 and to be finalised (not including appeals) by August 19, 2016. That said the road is still not easy with 1,000 pages of recommendations to come back from Judge Kirkpatrick and the Unitary Plan Hearings Panel and the Unitary Plan document reformatted to what we have known from 2013. By reformatting I mean what we are used to how the current Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan is laid out will be different when the recommended version of the PAUP comes back this Friday. This arguably will make the things for the planners and submitters (like myself) a bit more interesting as we get use to the new format given the PAUP is around 7,000 pages including the maps.
Now Kirkpatrick reformatting the Unitary Plan is not a bad thing as it should make it easier to navigate and pick out definitions and objectives. So will have to see where things ended up next Wednesday.
On Friday at 4pm Judge Kirkpatrick literally hands over a USB stick with the recommended version of the Unitary Plan and the 1,000 pages of recommendations in both summary and the 60-specific reports format to Council CEO Stephen Town. The 60 specific reports are as I believe one to each of the Hearing topics meaning I do NOT need to go through the entire thing just the topics I submitted on (plus the Regional Policy Statement). From there the key planners will work their way through the Unitary Plan and recommendations fleshing out key policy differences (if any), navigating the new format of the PAUP, and preparing material for the Councillors’ briefing on the morning of the 27th (in confidential).
From about lunch time of the 27th another briefing is held and the recommended version of the Unitary Plan plus the recommendations go live onto the Council website. It is to strongly note the Unitary Plan does NOT GO LIVE until the Auckland Development Committee chaired by Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse have made their decisions by August 19. From there a campaign on where next will be available.
An enquiry line to help people navigate their way through the recommendations and recommended maps will be set up from the 27th of July. The number and what they can help you with will be made available next week.
For me I sit in a unique position as both a commentator and submitter to the Unitary Plan. I will be running an information series on the PAUP through until August 19 on information coming out from Council about the processes through this time. As a submitter wading through the recommendations, the maps and watching the Council decisions for what will become the operative version of the Unitary Plan is another experience entirely. Did Kirkpatrick carry one’s evidence into his recommendations and if so will the Council adopt or reject it?
I will update as information comes to hand.
In the meantime strap yourselves in and join me on the final approach as the Unitary Plan plane nears final touch down!