A Moment from a Veteran Councillor
OK there is two parts to this post; the first being Councillor Lee’s tantrum at the end of the clip when Deputy Chair of the Auckland Council Future Vision Committee – Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse “calls” Cllr Lee as the agenda needs to be moved on. The second is (if you can get through Cllr Lee’s monotonous ramble) is about productive land verse Greenfield development as Auckland expands and grows to two million people by 2032.
First some background though
The meeting on which this video transcript was taken was on the 17th February when the Auckland Council Future Vision Committee was continuing deliberations into finalising The Auckland Plan. Now at the time of the video (around 15:06 so some five hours into the meeting) the Committee were discussing in length Chapter Seven (Rural Auckland) of The Draft Auckland Plan and in particular from Councillor Lee’s ramble it was the debate of productive land verse Greenfield development – and how according to Councillor Lee, the Draft Auckland Plan maps had left out “productive land” for readers to view.
Now this brings me to my first point – productive land
Now granted – The Draft Auckland Plan did not include “productive land” in its maps – what it should have included was a rural Auckland land use break down on what the rural land was being used for (actually I think the draft plan did (can’t be bothered to look at this moment)). That is because I follow Straight Thinking writer Owen McShane’s philosophy is that it is human investment into the land on whether it is productive or not. For example, the rich red soils of Pukekohe are great for potato growing but useless for sheep and cows, and mushrooms. The flood plains near Clevedon would be hopeless for horticulture but great for agriculture or maybe forestry. Someone barren soil near Drury would be useless for nearly everything except gorse and mushrooms. Worn out soils can be restored through intensive regeneration and pastoral care or retiring to forestry. Many different uses – all productive land one way or the other including a paddock full of gorse as the bees go bloody crazy over their yellow flowers (and hello we need bees for food). So effectively it is our efforts (including gorse growing and bee keeping) that will determine the productivity of the land (or lack thereof).
And personally I have turned some weed infested nutrient poor clay soils into extremely productive vege gardens with tomatoes, beans, corn and boysenberries literally overflowing the main freezer. So again it is what we do with the land is whether it is productive for our uses or not.
Now to the back-end of this nice video thanks to Councillor George Wood and Facebook.
If you can get through the six odd minutes of the worse monotonous drone on Chapter Seven I have ever heard you hit this little gem.
The Deputy Chair politely if not rather apologetic about the request calls Councillor Lee to wrap up his piece and the Committee move on with the agenda. From here you can see Councillor Lee get very upset, mumble something about Councillor Quax “taking all day” then storming out of the room as the Deputy Chair explains Cllr Quax’s actions and the reason behind her call. Now I can understand Councillor Lee’s passion about Chapters 7, 8, and 11 (rural, urban, transport) of the Draft Auckland Plan as they are my very passions (and what my submission was on) as well – and the reason why I started VOAKL. However Councillor in the eyes of this ratepayer – your actions were childish, indefensible and down right disgusting as an elected representative of Auckland Council – especially on such a critical issue as Chapter Seven. Now I do not know what Councillor Quax as up to but from the remarks of the Deputy Chair he was legitimately asking questions into the day’s agenda. You sir Councillor Lee for someone who has served Auckland for such a long time – should have been mature and more civilised on the matter.
I wonder if I ask for time off from work and prepare to sit through Chapter Eight (urban Auckland) deliberations as that should be some fireworks in that meeting (remind me to bring two lunches, coffee and some cash to visit a bar later).
Tomorrow the next round of deliberations begin with transport being discussed.
Sadly not expecting much there as if the agenda is anything to go by then Auckland Council (and Central Government) have missed the one opportunity in getting Auckland free from her traffic constipation…