Dogs on trains?
The latest Planning Committee Digests from Auckland Council:
Auckland Council’s Planning Committee today considered a technical review of the Ports of Auckland’s Draft 30-year Master Plan supporting its general direction and future collaboration with the Port on detailed design, planning and implementation.
The committee noted that the Port’s proposals are aligned with existing council planning and delivery through the City Centre Master Plan, Waterfront Plan and Central Wharves Strategy. It is also consistent with recommendations of the Ports Future Study.
Councillor Chris Darby, Planning Committee chair, acknowledged the Port for the direction taken in its master plan and for listening to Aucklanders.
“The Port is embracing both the council’s and Aucklanders’ concerns on future development.
“This is evident in the reduction of the proposed Bledisloe wharf extension from 40 metres, recommended by the 2016 Port Future Study, to 13 metres in its current plan. Also with the proposed car handling building to remove cars from the wharves and free up space for new activities, such as new cruise facilities,” he says.
“But it’s the people of Auckland who own the future of the port and the port land and the council needs to keep the recommendations of the Port Future Study front of mind as a broad consensus of Aucklanders.
“Now is the time to take clear political leadership and for the council to keep its finger on the pulse of the Port and be at the helm of it to ensure that, together, future use of the port land achieves the best outcome for Aucklanders,” says Councillor Darby.
The committee also supported continued collaboration between the council and the Port on the next phase of design and delivery of its initial proposals, including improved engagement with mana whenua.
It also supported on-going collaboration between the Port, Auckland Transport, New Zealand Transport Agency and KiwiRail on adequate provision for freight on the rail network.
The Government has previously announced an Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy reviewing logistics, freight review and planning for the long-term future of North Island ports. Regular updates were requested by the committee.
Other decisions made at the Planning Committee were:
Pets on Public Transport
Councillor Cathy Casey’s notice of motion to allow people to carry pets on public transport was supported in principle, subject to having a consistent policy including appropriate health and safety guidelines.
Auckland Transport has confirmed that a review of the current rules, in consultation with public transport operators, is already planned for July to September this year.
It is intended to update the rules when the new north network goes live to bring all services together in October. The Wellington proposal will be used as a starting point and people will be surveyed through the Auckland Transport mobile app.
Council submission on the Draft GPS on Land Transport
The committee approved Auckland Council’s submission on the draft Government Policy Statement on Land Transport (GPS), released by the Government on 3 April 2018.
Auckland has one of the fastest growth rates in the developed world. Its population has increased by more than 250,000 people since 2010 with annual growth at more than 40,000 people which poses significant transport challenges.
The council’s submission is supportive of the GPS noting the stronger focus on increased investment in public transport, supporting growth, providing travel choices and improving road safety.
As part of its submission Auckland Council has requested that Auckland receives an appropriate share of the National Land Transport Fund and an appropriate level of funding of the Rapid Transit Network. Feedback is required by 2 May.
Council submission on the Local Government (Community Well-being) Amendment Bill
The committee approved the development of a council submission on the Local Government (Community Well-being) Amendment Bill.
The Bill, introduced by the Government, seeks to amend the Local Government Act (2002) to reinstate the purpose of local government to promote the social, economic, environmental and cultural well-being of communities.
It also looks to restore the power for local authorities to collect development contributions for a wider group of infrastructure projects. Changes to these were made in 2012 and 2014.
The Bill is currently before a select committee and submissions close on 25 May 2018. A working group consisting of councillors, Independent Maori Statutory Board member and Local Board chairs will finalise the submission for lodgement.
Local Board and Public Input
Franklin Local Board Deputy Chair, Andrew Baker and Rodney Local Board Chair Beth Houlbrooke addressed the committee about the council’s submission on the Draft Government Policy Statement on Land Transport.
Public input was received from City Hop founder Victoria Carter about the benefits of car sharing in Auckland and Lindsay Mackie from Archimedia on their master plan for the Ports of Auckland site. Anne Batley and the SPCA spoke about people carrying pets on public transport.
Today’s Planning Committee agenda is available on Auckland Council’s website and minutes will be added once confirmed. This meeting was also webcast on the council’s website and items are available on demand.