So the business end of the process begins
From Auckland Council
Historic moment as Auckland Council receives Unitary Plan recommendations
A key milestone in New Zealand planning history was reached today when the Independent Hearings Panel delivered the reports containing its recommendations on the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan.
Judge David Kirkpatrick, Chair of the Panel, delivered the recommendations to Auckland Council Chief Executive Stephen Town just after 4pm this afternoon.
The Panel’s recommendations – setting out the changes the Panel considers should be made to the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan – take into account 13,000 public submissions,10,000 pieces of evidence and 249 days of hearings over the past two years.
Judge Kirkpatrick says the Panel’s purpose was to hear the many voices of Aucklanders who submitted on the proposed Auckland Unitary Plan and recommend a plan that would serve Auckland well as it faces the challenges of the next 10 years and beyond.
“I would like to acknowledge the thousands of people, from council, government agencies, large organisations to community groups and home owners throughout Auckland who have participated in this important process – without their time, dedication and effort, none of this would have been possible,” says Judge Kirkpatrick.
Auckland Council Chief Executive Stephen Town acknowledges the mammoth task undertaken by the Panel over almost two years of hearings.
“On behalf of Auckland Council and the thousands of Aucklanders who took part in this process, I want to thank the Panel and support staff for their hard work and comprehensive approach to reach this point,” says Mr Town.
Council staff will now set about gaining an understanding of the reports and recommendations before presenting the information to councillors and the public on 27 July 2016.
Decisions on the Panel’s recommendations will be made by the Council in meetings open to the public from 10 to 18 August. The Council’s decisions will be publicly notified on 19 August.
Councillors will be briefed on the Panel’s recommendations and in the afternoon the media and public will be able to view all of the information provided by the Panel on the Council website.
10 –18 August
The Council will make its decisions on the Auckland Unitary Plan.
Decisions and the decision-making process on the Auckland Unitary Plan will be fully transparent with the Council’s decisions being made in meetings open to the public. These meetings will be available for viewing on the Council’s live streaming service.
The Council’s decisions will be publicly notified on the Auckland Council website.
The Unitary Plan Processes thus far
I would like to take this moment to thank Judge David Kirkpatrick of the Environment Court who chaired the Independent Hearings Panel alongside the other panel members for their role in the Hearings process. With their duty discharged at 4pm today the onus now goes back to the Governing Body of Auckland Council to make the final decisions on what will become the operative version of the Unitary Plan.
The Hearings (including evidence writing and presenting to the Panel) would have intimidated a lay submitter if it were not for Kirkpatrick and the Panel making the process more comfortable to sit through. I gave three presentations on three separate topics and while the preparation was long enough the presenting itself I was at ease with with a Panel that is friendly but professional.
Thus I thank the Panel for what is not an envious job to have (or now had).
So 1000 pages of recommendations are back along with the recommended version of the Unitary Plan that stands at a rumoured 7,000 pages long including the maps. What is in it? We will soon find out Wednesday afternoon.