Category: Urban Planning and Design

Looking at Urban Planning and Design

Unitary Plan as Thick as a Brick

Unitary Plan On the Path to Already Fail


To quote me from Facebook:

“When the Unitary Plan appears to be thicker than your average Bible at home, you know there is something VERY wrong here – with our planners and planning process…”


Now hopefully that is not true; but after I asked this morning in Facebook to those who have seen the Unitary Plan in its preliminary stages, I am rather not looking forward to seeing the Unitary Plan thus far hopefully next week. The actual answer to my question on the thickness was this: “it’s so thick it’s stupid,” so confidence in the Unitary Plan has already gone down the toilet – cute…


Yesterday in my K.I.S.S post I said this in regards on the Unitary Plan and simplicity:

The Late Owen McShane taught me that any ‚Äúplan‚ÄĚ over a thumbnail in thickness (on A4 paper ‚Äď no cheating with A3) is a: dead weight, too complex, and albatross around the city and ratepayers neck.¬†I would be a case of Gin that the Unitary Plan is going to be thicker than my thumbnail to the point it is going to be thick as my fist (yes that means the plan makes a fist of things).¬†The K.I.S.S rule needs applied to the unitary plan, but to do that in benefit of the city, 3/4 of our bureaucratic and Stalinist¬†Planning Department¬†in Council would be all out of a job. Maybe that might be a good thing?

Thumbnail in thickness being the absolute maximum that ANY operating plan should be! Well it seems the Unitary Plan is going to fail that little test so I devised some crude measurements here.

I measured the thickness of thickest and largest Bible in the house; the NIV Life Application Bible standing at 48mm (4.8cm) and some 2385 pages in thickness. I also measured the thickness of my thumbnail which stood at 18mm (1.8cm) which means in theory the Unitary Plan using A4 paper (A3 for any maps – I’ll be generous there) should not be thicker than 20mm (2.0cm) at the absolute maximum. However again that does not seem likely.

So lets take a look at some pictures (and yes they are crude) for reference to thicknesses here folks:



9mm (94 pages) in thickness (or half a thumbnail) when both my submissions to the Auckland and Long Term Plans are combined. With 18mm being the thickness of my thumbnail (make it 20mm for a tolerance factor) and applying the K.I.S.S rule quoted above, the Unitary Plan should not be longer than 200 pages or both my submissions doubled up in thickness. But no we are seriously looking at a massive behemoth that is looking to be as thick as our largest Bible at home.

Heavens sake what is wrong with our planners Рdo they not understand thrift and simplicity? Obviously not or I would not be writing this post.


However I have some good news folks for all those who like simplicity, efficiency and wanting Council and planners to get the heck out of the our lives (and the road too).¬†I am off to the “Civic Forum to discuss the Auckland Unitary Plan” on Tuesday 23 October and Saturday 27 October at Auckland Town Hall. So ideas abound once I get my first glimpse of this Unitary Plan. And yes I shall endeavour to “shrink” the Unitary Plan so it is no thicker than one’s thumbnail in the line of two of my eight fundamentals for a Better Auckland:

  • Strong but no interfering Governance: Meaning Council¬† shows active and real leadership but does not interfere with the daily lives of residents and businesses
  • Stay out of my way: I believe in the following strongly ‚ÄúIndividual Freedom -> Individual Choice -> Individual Responsibility (oh and do not forget the consequences)‚Ä̬†¬† I am an adult who can make choices for myself (whether it was right or wrong), treat me as such rather than a child.


So lets hope that at this Civic Forum this crucial fundamental will apply:

  • Listen and Engage: God gave us two ears and one mouth. In my line of work you actively listen with both ears THEN engage¬†in dialogue¬†with your one mouth. Not the other way around as that is usually monologue and the fastest way to get your ears clipped. Same applies to civic institutions:¬† you actively listen with both ears THEN engage¬†in dialogue¬†with your one mouth unless you like getting your ears clipped‚Ķ Oh and remember some days all the person wants you to do is JUST LISTEN to their little piece ‚Äď as all we want some days is just to get it off our chests.


Dialogue not monologue (from the bureaucrats and Councillors)!

BR:AKL will run commentary as I attend this Civic Forum on the Unitary Plan and the outcomes from it.


Stay tuned as I strive for you a Better Auckland – and hoping like anything the Unitary Plan does not become as thick or thicker than my Bible as that would be really thick!



Shining The Light ‚Äď
To a Better Auckland

Auckland 2013: YOUR CITY ‚Äď YOUR CALL


Papakura Set for ‘Large’ Housing Development

Upwards of 500 “Low Cost” Housing to be Built – In Papakura


We all know housing affordability in Auckland sucks with the Demographia Affordability rating being around 5.3 or “severely¬†unaffordable (affordable is at 3.0 meaning the total cost of a home purchase should not exceed three times the total annual income of the household living in it. Currently Rebekka and I sit around the 3.52 mark). All sorts of measures are trying to be taken to allow the average person to at least being able to afford their very own house to live in. In this particular case Housing New Zealand has put out a tender to the private sector for the construction of upwards of 500 new homes that are: state houses, social housing and full private houses. The NZ Herald explains:


From the NZH:

Big low cost homes job set to start

By Simon Collins

5:30 AM Friday Oct 12, 2012



Housing New Zealand is seeking a private partner to build houses on former Papakura army camp land.

Earthworks for Auckland’s biggest low-cost housing development in 25 years will start next month on land that used to be part of the Papakura army base.

Housing New Zealand is seeking a private sector partner to build between 450 and 500 homes on the 24ha site between Walters Rd and McLennan Park. Tenders close on October 16.

Its general manager of asset development, Sean Bignell, said the homes would be a mix of 10 per cent state houses, 20 per cent other social housing and 70 per cent for private sale at prices likely to be “in the high 200s to the high 300s” – putting most of them below the lower quartile mark of Auckland residential properties sold this year.

Finance Minister Bill English said recently that high land prices had skewed Auckland builders towards large, high-value houses, and there was “no housing being built for people in the lowest quartile of income”.

“That is clearly unsustainable,” he said.

A start on the Papakura project comes as Housing NZ bows out of another long-planned 10ha development next to the Weymouth child welfare home, which the new Social Housing Unit in the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has allocated to “third-sector” social and affordable housing.


If you want to know where approximately, check the map below


Click for full resolution


So between 450-500 new houses are to be built in the vicinity to where I live. Hmm means its going to be noisy and dusty for a while but I am not particularly minding too much. Look we need more “affordable” housing and if Housing NZ can take the lead in offering this affordable housing then so be it. If I was to have any concerns it is not around the fact “low-cost” housing is about to be built in my backyard; my concern is around the urban design factor which sets the future for this large-scale project for life.

I assume the houses will be a mix of 2-4 bedrooms on sections between 400-600m2? I need to go hit up my Local Board and take a look at the plans as they are not easily found online at the moment. The plans would tell me what kind of urban design work is being done and whether the urban design method chosen will be a benefit or a total hindrance to the future of this development. And something tells me the urban design of this development is actually going to be a hindrance more than a benefit here. How so?

Quick crude maths tells me the following:

  • My house is 110m2 on 520m2 – and I have a 3 bedroom home, so that means I have a front and back yard
  • The new development site is 24 hectares or 240,000m2
  • Divide the 240,000 into 500 houses and you get 480m2, however take into account roads, paths and berms and the average lot would be around 400m2
  • Divide the 240,000 into 450s house and the figures move to 533m2 and 450m2 respectively
  • This does not take into account parks, green spaces or “alleyways”

If we want the kids to at least have a decent backyard to play in and maybe grow the vegetable garden as well (although that is a lost art in Auckland) I would suggest 450m2 sections for three and four bedroom houses would be a generous and comfortable size. Anything smaller and we get no yard space for the kids and that can generate problems if there are no parks nearby. And no Bruce Pulman Park does not count unless you want to cross a very busy Walters Road while the McLennan Park is often used for sports. From what I have also gleamed from the graphic for this new development, thankfully the roads inside the new development are grid which promotes easy of traffic (foot and vehicle) flow while mitigating against the Fear of Crime perception that often comes about in urban development. However there are only two ways in and out of the development (so connecting to main roads) which could be a bit of a pain and isolating factor to this new development. In fact the lack of access to the main roads could isolate this new development and lack of accessibility can mean crime can fester inside the development.

In all that regard, I am going to have to go take a look at the plans to see what is exactly proposed. As I said nothing wrong with new development even in my backyard (I knew things like this would happen in Papakura when we chose to move here), but piss-poor urban design that turns this much needed housing into a crime-bed will not go down particularly well with me.


Now as for public transport access. This development is somewhat isolated from the main bus network which runs up and down the Great South Road. Rail-wise you have Takanini and Papakura Station both within 5-minutes of each other although 450 new houses will put pressure on Papakura’s existing Park and Ride which is already short of spaces. This new development would be the perfect time for Auckland Transport to haul arse and get the new Walters Road Rail Station along with a Park and Ride (with 450 spaces) and shuttle bus bay to serve Papakura north, Addison, Takanini east and the new development soon to be built. Trying to encourage public transport with Walters Road Station and Park and Ride would be a good start in improving public transport accessibility, especially for our new residents soon to move in.

Papakura Local Board as well as myself support and are advocating to AT on the Walters Road Station, this new development PLUS the continued development of Addison would be the perfect catalyst into getting our new station by 2015!

I have written in previous submissions as well as the current submission I am writing (the AT Regional Public Transport Plan) for the construction of Walters Road Station, and am making it an election campaign pledge to continue to have the station built sooner rather than later in the Local Government Elections next year!


But in the mean time, I shall go search those plans for this new development.


Quay Street Nuts


Quay Street Plans Are Nuts


Well so the Herald has pointed out this morning:


From the NZH:


Quay St boulevard ‘just nuts’

By Amelia Wade

5:30 AM Monday Oct 1, 2012


Anger has erupted over plans to turn Quay St into a pedestrian-friendly boulevard within three years – and the greatest upset has been caused by what critics say was lack of public consultation.

But Waterfront Auckland says it kept the community well informed about the “exciting project” and it “couldn’t have done more” consultation.

Waterfront Auckland’s plans, revealed in the Herald on Friday, could result in more crossing points, a wider footpath taking in a lane of traffic or two and opening up parts of the red fence to improve to the water’s edge.

The first stage – from the Viaduct to Britomart – is due to be finished by 2016.

But critics of the project say the Tamaki Drive Master Plan hasn’t been taken into account, the traffic plan is “just nuts” and the local board most negatively affected by the proposal was not consulted.

Tamaki MP Simon O’Connor said he was disappointed by the plan, which he said would take cars off the street in the name of beautification.

“This is a surprising development that does not appear to have been thought out …


It seems to be motived more by ideology than practicality.”

Mr O’Connor said Waterfront Auckland was pinning its hopes on the “unfunded, yet to be built rail loop and a new ferry service”.

Auckland councillor Cameron Brewer said the suggestion that Quay St was not a busy road outside rush hour was “just pie in the sky”.

“This is a critical piece of transport infrastructure that carries over 30,000 cars a day. Taking out lanes and directing more traffic down the likes of Customs St is just nuts.”

Mr Brewer said he had been given assurances that the community would be closely consulted before any decisions were made.

Orakei Local Board chairwoman Desley Simpson said Auckland Council‘s environmental strategy and policy planning manager, Ludo Campbell-Reid, had been to only one of the board’s meetings, during which he gave a short presentation on the original Quay St Vision.

“We were not encouraged or asked for any comment on input into these plans. He promised to workshop this with the board which has yet to happen,” Ms Simpson said.

She said the plans also didn’t take into account the Tamaki Drive master plan, in development since February, which includes safety improvements at the intersection with The Strand.

Waterfront Auckland’s general manager of development, Rod Marler, said the Tamaki Drive plan was outside its area of control and influence but it had been working with Ms Simpson and consulting the local board about its plans.

Mr Marler also said there was three months of consultation for the waterfront plan last year and included in that was the Quay St project.

“All the projects that we proposed for the waterfront had wide consultation, on general public bills, with key stake holders. It’s been through council, it’s been through local boards – there was plenty of opportunity for people to discuss those initiative … I don’t think we could have done too much more, from a waterfront plan perspective.”

Mr Marler said there was a roadshow for the plans, to which all the affected parties were invited, and there were also workshops with the council.

Waterfront woes

Tell us what you think about the plan.


Might get some feedback to the Herald on this if I can be bothered getting round to it (lunch first) ūüėõ


Now this was from Facebook this morning in regards to Councillor Cameron Brewer replying to the Herald’s “Nuts” piece (comments also included):


  • Local MP¬†Simon O’Connor, local board chair¬†Desley Simpson, and the local councillor went out to bat for their eastern bays constituents who woke up on Friday to the surprising news that the Quay Street boulevard is supposedly done and dusted!

    Quay St boulevard ‘just nuts’ – National – NZ Herald News

    Anger has erupted over plans to turn Quay St into a pedestrian-friendly boulevard within three years – and the greatest upset has been caused by what critics say was lack of public
    • Ben Ross¬†And for the rest of us, this morning in today’s edition of the Herald. Give me a second to check the CCMP and what that says on this
    • Jan O’Connor¬†Quay St is crucial for the successful operation of all North Shore bus services – these services all connect with others at the Britomart Transport Centre. Are they mentioned at all? And how will the cars from the East ever get to the carparking in the Viaduct or Downtown. Ferries from the East – highly expensive operations.
    • Jules Clark¬†If a lot of the through traffic using Quay St are trying to get to the motorway north, then they should just use the Stanley St city bypass. I’m actually happy to see that a transport decision is this time not “car-centric”. There are plenty of Aucklanders who would love to see Quay St made pedestiran friendly. I know this next comment will raise hackles, but perhaps all those in the Eastern Bays who are up in arms should stop driving into the city every day with only one person per vehicle. Stop being selfish and try public transport once in a while – or carpool and use the T2 lane!
    • Ben Ross¬†Still looking through the CCMP…
    • Ben Ross¬†From Page 90 of the CCMP
      Changes to Quay Street need to be considered in the context of the wider road network and public transport improvements, such as the restructured bus network and the City Rail Link. from entering the city centre, although access to the surrounding area. It will also have a critical role as a diversion route during construction of the City provision for pedestrians will naturally encourage freight and unnecessary freeing up Quay Street for an enhanced pedestrian environment with reliable public transport. Consideration of the surrounding road network, especially Customs Street, will be vital to ensure elsewhere in the city centre.

      Okay not good – although I thought in my presentation to Council said that the above was extremely fool hardy if not stupid… someone forgot to give Ludo and the Planners the memo ūüėõ

    • Ben Ross¬†I think the problem is that this part of Quay Street flipping over to a boulevard is somewhat too soon without actual alternative in place. Stanley Street and State Highway 16 is not somewhat of an alternative heading from the east seeming our engineers can not phase traffic lights for peanuts
    • Jan O’Connor¬†The boulevards are wide enough already. Just going there now to inspect & see if I can count more than 30 people braving the weather between the Viaduct & Britomart.
    • Ben Ross¬†Right I have gone through the CCMP with a fine tooth comb and if I am reading this right I have nothing but bad news (which I wish wasn’t). According to the CCMP in three different¬†sections and the LTP, it seems Council and the CCOs have (now I am being neutral here so no opinion on being a passer on on what I am seeing) gone on limb here and consulted when submissions were asked for when the City Centre Master Plan was up for consultation. The CCMP also stated that part one of Quay Street works is due to begin now as stated.
      I remember so as I put the boot into the hearings panel (Ludo was present as I have a letter from him acknowledging my submission) on Quay Street, the CRL and Parnell Station while singing the praises and passing a few ideas of Wynyard Quarter. 

      However as I said above: the problem is that this part of Quay Street flipping over to a boulevard is somewhat too soon without actual alternative in place. Stanley Street and State Highway 16 is not somewhat of an alternative heading from the east seeming our engineers can not phase traffic lights for peanuts

      Emphasis on the last past with engineers, lights and peanuts!

      Look why I am giving a damn here when this is affecting Waitemata, Orakei and North Shore Wards and not Papakura is a case of who knows. But there is a way around this for Quay Street west (the Britomart end) I am just trying to think of something (Quay Street East is not affected yet).

      In the mean time I seriously need more coffee – I don’t get paid enough for this – wait I dont at all ūüėõ

So from what I can gather unless my English and interpreting documents some what out of whack, these incoming changes have been signalled well in advanced in three sets of plans (The Auckland Plank, The City Centre Master Plan, and The Long Term Plan 2012-2022). Whether I agree with the changes or not is a different story although it can be seen above in my comments to the Facebook thread.

In short I have no issue with the Quay Street works, but as I said:

“I think the problem is that this part of Quay Street flipping over to a boulevard is somewhat too soon without actual alternative in place. Stanley Street and State Highway 16 is not somewhat of an alternative heading from the east seeming our engineers can not phase traffic lights for peanuts”¬†


Outside of that issue, I am not having major issues here with Quay Street (west) although I am looking at alternatives here (not whole scale Quay Street west – just some minor tinkering to smooth the works transition). As for Quay Street east, I already drew up a plan for that and submitted on it. However works in that sector are not due to after the CRL I believe, so still time to keep the dialogue going there.


Oh if you are wondering what I meant about sticking the boot in at that particular Hearings Panel; it means I strongly disagreed with Parnell and do not want that station built, was not overtly fond of Quay Street work so soon in the game, and as for the CRL – well you all know how I advocate for that mega project on a delayed timetable. But as I said, there was both constructive criticism and as I said singing the praises too. So I am not always a grumpy old fart ūüėõ

Due credit is give when it is due – such as Councillor Wood is about to find out. ūüėÄ


Unitary Plan Problems

Could The Unitary Plan Actually Hinder Auckland?


Meaning to get on top of this particular topic for a while but have been busy dealing with literally a million other things.


Recently there was a Herald article from our Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse on the logic and reason behind the current tact of the writing up of the draft Unitary Plan before it goes out for consultation next year. Whale Oil – Cameron Slater has been keeping a close eye on this Unitary Plan development, especially around the fact that we could lose the right of appeal in the Environment Court on Unitary Plan decisions.


Lets take a look at Deputy Mayor Hulse’s remarks in the Herald:


From the NZH:


Penny Hulse: Plan will boost Auckland’s growth

By Penny Hulse


Council is working with Govt to speed implementation and ensure consultation.

This month, Auckland Council is starting extensive engagement on the region’s new planning rulebook – which will set out where and how our city grows for years to come.

It will determine how we protect our wonderful environment and built heritage and how we improve urban design.

This rulebook, called the Unitary Plan, is the next step in bringing the region together, replacing the various district and regional plans of the old councils with one document focused on delivering the vision of the Auckland Plan.

The plan’s role in protecting our environment, character and heritage, while helping meet our growing housing needs, is clear. Perhaps less obvious is just how essential it will be to our economy. And that’s important, because our economy needs action, fast.

Yes, there are many excellent, productive businesses across many industries employing many highly-skilled people throughout our region.

But consider a few basic truths. Our GDP per head is three-quarters that of Sydney or Melbourne: we’re each generating nearly $10,000 less – every year.

We lose too many talented workers overseas. Business growth is held back by too little space.

And our city’s sprawling layout and choking congestion means too much of our time and productivity chugs out of exhaust pipes on motorways.

On top of that, our shortage of affordable homes means too many families are spending too much of their money on rent or mortgages rather than seeing that money circulating through the productive economy or invested in new businesses.

So what can we do? Plenty.

A simple example. A refurbished train station will benefit existing homes and businesses. But if we enable more homes – and a wider choice of housing – near that station, along with more business development, more retail and other local facilities, then the bang gained from our buck will be far greater.

And that’s what we’re looking at, right across the city. Auckland Council has planned the biggest infrastructure investment in the city’s history, in everything from regional transport to local community facilities. As we develop the “compact city” that Aucklanders have asked for (loud and clear, through 18 months’ consultation on the Auckland Plan), we’ll ensure more people and businesses benefit from each piece of that investment.

It will mean “communities with stronger local economies: more customers for more local businesses, more people closer to more jobs, more sustainable facilities and livelier neighbourhoods.

We need to ensure land is available for development, with an extra 1400ha of business land needed over the next 30 years – the equivalent of 46 rugby fields a year. So one of the commitments we made in the Auckland Plan is to ensure an average of seven years’ forward supply of land, zoned and with bulk infrastructure in place.

All the evidence shows that bringing businesses closer together boosts productivity. Having related industries side-by-side stimulates the exchange of ideas and innovation, which itself creates more jobs and higher-paying jobs, while more attractive locations will be a magnet for further growth. This in turn will boost our city’s competitiveness in global markets. Our ongoing partnership with businesses is therefore essential as we develop the plan and then seek to implement it.

Then there are the other benefits of a simpler, consistent set of planning rules: less cost, less time and less hassle. Around 20,000 pages of existing plans – many more than a decade old – will be replaced by one, user-friendly online e-plan.

And, meanwhile, the economic boost from a building industry expanding from 2500 homes a year to our expected growth demands of nearer 13,000 – will be huge.

So we need to get on with it, but we also need to be smart. Which is why we want all Aucklanders to play their part, to help ensure the Unitary Plan protects what makes our city special, while delivering opportunities for growth. We are working with Government to find ways of speeding up the plan’s implementation and ensuring people can contribute. The last thing Auckland needs is for the plan to be held up in long legal processes where those with the deepest pockets tend to do best.

We have been developing the plan over the last 18 months, with input from businesses, environmental and community organisations, technical experts and other stakeholders.

This month begins a year of wider engagement. The intensive burst of workshops and forums over the next couple of months – with significant input from the local boards – will test the plan before its draft release in March, when we’ll be consulting right across the region.

I cannot stress just how important it will be for Aucklanders to have their say.

This is our chance to ensure the Auckland our children and grandchildren inherit will not only be more inclusive, sustainable, vibrant and beautiful – but also stronger and more prosperous as a result.

Penny Hulse is Deputy Mayor of Auckland.




And from a Right-Wing perspective – Whale Oil’s perspective of our Deputy Mayor’s article


From Whale Oil:



by Whaleoil on September 26, 2012

Hypocrisy is a deadly label in politics.  These days hypocrisy oozes from every rotten pore of Auckland Council.

Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse is doing her boss’s bidding in Granny Herald, arguing for shit-box apartmentsaround train stations:

‚ÄúA simple example. A refurbished train station will benefit existing homes and businesses. But if we enable more homes ‚Äď and a wider choice of housing ‚Äď near that station, along with more business development, more retail and other local facilities, then the bang gained from our buck will be far greater.‚ÄĚ

This is a case of ‚Äúlive where I say, not as I live‚ÄĚ.¬†¬†You see, Penny herself does not live on the fourth floor of an apartment building above the train station at New Lynn.¬†¬†She lives in tranquil Swanson, and a quick surf of Google Maps¬†illustrates the kind of compact city living that she calls home.

This same double standard is practiced by Len Brown, who talks a good game: apartment living … compactness … public transport …. blah, blah, blah.  The only issue is another quick surf on Google Maps illustrates the spatial living arrangements that the Mayor enjoys, replenished with double garages (not a train station for miles).

So Penny and Len are involved in a game of seduction.  But it isn’t a seduction of ratepayers in Swanson or Flat Bush.  It’s called the seduction of Environment Minister Amy Adams, and the proposition is the removal of appeal rights, and the prize is a squalid Auckland based defined by tiny apartments.

The deputy mayor is all too keen to stress the importance of public input into the compact city plan.  But privately the strategy is to do the opposite: denying people appeal rights so they will be forced to live around train stations.  She figures it is better to crowd the masses on top of one another rather than have them migrate near those leafy retreats where hypocritical councillors live.


My reaction to all this? Rather scathing actually for many reasons. I will run another post of the Environment Court and the Unitary Plan later on (as I want to see this play out some more over the rest of the year first) but for the most part I disagree strongly with the following:

  • Compact City
  • Smart Growth
  • UN Agenda 21
  • “Solid” Urban Limits
  • Anything that will contravene my mix urban development ideals and proposals seen in my submission to The Auckland Plan

Why? Again for a more fuller explanation check my submission to The Auckland Plan, but in short it is these reasons found in my¬†What Do I Stand For and Believe In ‚Äď For a Better Auckland page – mainly the:

8) Stay out of my way: I believe in the following strongly ‚ÄúIndividual Freedom -> Individual Choice -> Individual Responsibility (oh and do not forget the consequences)‚Ä̬†¬† I am an adult who can make choices for myself (whether it was right or wrong), treat me as such rather than a child.

And that rule extends to where I want to live and in part Auckland’s urban development and choices as well (mainly people should (within reason) be free (yes I know of limitations) where to live and work).


I am awaiting for the Unitary Plan to come out in which I will be looking over with a very fine tooth comb before writing up an extensive submission back to Council on my thoughts of this “rule book of Auckland planning.” Needless to say that my submission to the Unitary Plan as well as any other submissions I have done since 2010 to either Auckland Council or Auckland Transport will also form the backbone of any policies for my campaign to Papakura Local Board next year.


But in the mean time you can (again) check my submission to The Auckland Plan below where I adopt the Liberal K.I.S.S rule for urban development, as well as this piece about Democrats against Agenda 21 (by the way if I was a US vote I would be a Democrat supporter and voter).


Submission to The Auckland Plan



Democrats Against Agenda 21





Note: My method while I do have ideology, values and beliefs is one: consensus, action and best of both worlds (if possible). Divisiveness is not my style but if a strong hand is needed especially in leadership РI can and am known to show it to see something through.




Follow Up To Mayor Has a Moment

Following Up on Milford and The Mayor


After comments both here at BR:AKL and BR:AKL’s Facebook Page (by the way I checked three times over – The Auckland Plan is Operative or we have a a few Councillors and bureaucrats giving out wrong information here) I thought in doing a follow-up post to the MAYOR HAS A MOMENT¬†(AGAIN?) post published on Monday.


The actual post is still being composed (got a few other tasks at hand taking up scarce time) but what I will cover is the following:

  • Difference between Low, Medium and High Density in regards to developments
  • Why I think Milford can support some taller residential buildings (not as tall as what is proposed in Takapuna)
  • Some replies to the comments generated from the Moment post
  • And observations around current situation with the Unitary Plan and The Environment Court


So stand by while I get the post composed (should be up tomorrow)



Shining The Light ‚Äď
To a Better Auckland

Auckland 2013: YOUR CITY ‚Äď YOUR CALL

Waterfront Issue Back Again

Auckland Apparently Wants Their Waterfront Back – Again


It must be another slow news day at the NZ Herald with them running a story based on a survey about Auckland’s Waterfront. Either that and credit is due to keep this matter at the front of civic leaders minds.


From the NZ Herald:


Aucklanders’ plea: Give us back our waterfront

By Michael Dickison

5:30 AM Monday Sep 24, 2012
Wynyard Quarter and the World Cup gave us a taste of harbour fun… now we want more.

More than three-quarters of Aucklanders questioned in a Herald poll want more wharf space opened up to create world-class public areas on the waterfront.

Local authorities have responded by saying bringing Aucklanders to the harbour area around the end of Queen St will be the next chapter in the city’s development.

A thousand Herald readers have given their views on the waterfront, presenting a wide range of ideas that reflect their pride in the Waitemata Harbour.

Ninety-six per cent of respondents said the waterfront was important for the city.

The Herald today starts a five-part series investigating options for a more vibrant, people-friendly waterfront.

Tourism Industry Association chief executive Martin Snedden, who oversaw last year’s Rugby World Cup tournament, said this was the city’s chance to get it right.

“Right here, right now, Auckland has a wonderful waterfront opportunity,” he said.

It needed people’s support to give it “character, heart and buzz”.

Reader views focused on bringing more public attractions to Queens Wharf and its vicinity.

More than three-fifths did not like the wharf’s current facilities. It has the Cloud and Shed 10 for generally exclusive events – but otherwise is mostly vacant space.

About the same number wanted the adjacent Captain Cook Wharf to become public space.

Ideas for the waterfront stressed the importance of making it accessible to everyone, including families and pedestrians.

Suggestions for achieving this ranged from markets, parks, festivals, walkways and fishing spots to sports fields, art galleries, convention centres and stadiums.

“It’s entirely understandable that people want more access to the waterfront, and over time we’ll make more wharves available,” said Ports of Auckland spokesman Matt Ball.

“It is our ambition to release Captain Cook Wharf and to open Marsden Wharf for public access.”

But the ports company would have to replace the existing facilities on the wharves first, Mr Ball said, and that could take 10 years.

The Auckland Council’s policy planning manager, Ludo Campbell-Reid, said authorities acknowledged that the waterfront had a problem where the city met the sea.

“The surprising thing is there’s no place on the waterfront that’s necessarily for pedestrians,” he said. “You have to go left or you have to go right. You don’t go down the middle.

“We’re competing with the world every day for jobs and investment, and the waterfront is our biggest opportunity.”

The central wharves would be the next area to be worked on, following the opening of the Wynyard Quarter.

Auckland architect and urban planner Graeme Scott said Waterfront Auckland, the council’s waterfront agency, had listened to submissions and put together a good blueprint.

One problem was having too many passive concrete areas, he said.

“Queens Wharf is a good example of what’s wrong with hard paving and buildings. If there are thousands of people on Queens Wharf, it’s fantastic. But if you walk out there mid-week or Sunday morning, it’s not a very nice place to be.”

The Herald poll was taken during the first week of September, assisted by Nielsen Research.

Last year’s opening of Wynyard Quarter and Rugby World Cup festivities opened the eyes of thousands of Aucklanders to new waterfront possibilities.

Since then, local authorities have been issuing plans sketching out possible developments, in line with Mayor Len Brown’s plan to make Auckland the world’s most liveable city.

And a review of the waterfront’s long-term future is being made after a public outcry against expansion of port facilities.


You will need to see the actual Herald article for the graphic attached at the bottom of their story.


But my question is ‘Why are we raising this again – when this has been asked in The Auckland Plan and subsequent documents despite their apparent short-comings?’


Never-mind as to be honest Thank You NZH for keeping the issue bobbing along and in our minds – because it needs to if we want our Auckland Water-Frontier.


The Herald is asking for ‘your views’ on this as well. Well my views can be seen here at BR:AKL through The Auckland Waterfront Index which lists my commentary on both the Port of Auckland and opening our Waterfront to turn it into our Auckland Water-Frontier. The work and graphics on both my projects is still a work-in-progress but none the less you can see what I am pitching so far.

Yes it is bold, but we need bold here for the sake and vibrancy of a 21st Century Auckland.


Now then, time to pester the Herald with my¬†indexes¬†again ūüėõ