The Draft Auckland Plan Series
Over the next two to three years up until just after the 2013 Local Election (where Auckland elects its second council and mayor), I will be writing a series on issues that will be or are affecting Auckland.
The Draft Auckland Plan Serial
The first in my series will be looking at The Draft Auckland (Spatial) Plan – the visionary document setting out Auckland’s goals and visions until 2040 and my submission on the Plan.
The Draft Auckland Plan can be found HERE with accompanying information on dates and the process of the plan through to implementation early 2012. The combined length of all the documents that make up the Auckland Draft Plan is over 800 pages long, however a simple basic Executive Summary can be found HERE and is more manageable at 36 pages long. Have a quick glance through it when you have a spare moment, the upcoming Long Term Plan (draft) which also sets the rates ratepayers pay (amongst other things) will “action” the ideas from the final version of The Auckland Plan, so you might like to know what you are in for.
My Submission (A Quick Summary)
The Draft Auckland Plan had called for submissions into it. For the first time ever I had taken pen to paper (well fingers to keyboard) and wrote a submission to a (local) government document. However time and resources would prove to be one major limiting factor in producing my submission. In a perfect world I would have had nine months and a small army of assistants conducting research, analysis and assisting writing the submission on every key aspect of the Draft Auckland Plan. However this is the real world; where it was just me juggling work and home life (while still trying to have a social life as well) and only having (even after Councillor Cameron Brewer was successful in getting an extension) around 6-8 weeks (with a Rugby World Cup right in the middle of it) to write the submission.
In the end I did compile a submission and one I was quite proud of (being my first one). The final document was 58 pages long with two accompanying documents 33 and 4 pages respectively. The following PowerPoint presentation to the Draft Auckland Plan Hearings Panel was 12 slides long.
In my submission (and will be the focus of this series) I developed a goal where I would like Auckland to be by 2040 and the three chapters of the Auckland Draft Plan I felt most passionate about in getting Auckland to achieve that goal. The goal was:
To accommodate employment and economic activity in supporting a healthy social and physical environment for over two million residents by 2040. In doing so The Plan has to follow the objective of being: Simple, Efficient, Thrifty, and restoring Affordability to residents and businesses while still making Auckland ‘The Most Livable City.
The three chapters I focused on were Chapters Seven (Rural Auckland), Eight (Urban Auckland) and Eleven (Transport)
After the completion of the submission I elected to have my submission heard at a Panel Hearing in front of Auckland Councillors. So after so work I produced a very simple 12 slide presentation as a summary (brief at that) in which I presented to the panel which included Councillors Brewer and Wood.
This is the presentation I gave
Now the presentation embedded here is extremely brief and I did not include transport (10mins plus questions is not a lot of time so I hammered home my main point which was land use).
The full submission can be found HERE
With the supporting documents Tamaki Reconnection and Wynyard Quarter being available by clicking the blue hyperlinks
You can see in the presentation I acknowledge that the car and hydrocarbon based fuels will be around for the rest of century (approximate) and as a result to maintain affordability, all planning should recognise that fact and in sake of affordability you will find people switching to alternative fuel sources as natural progression happens (in other words do not force) and switching to mass transit will also happen naturally (with a small amount of encouragement) as well.
For the rest of the presentation (and the bulk of the submission) I focus on Land Use before moving to Transport.
In brief with Land Use, I had developed a dual model for what would become the LADU – Land Allocation/Development and Utilisation. The two models would be:
- Centralised Master (Community) Plan
- Semi Liberal Planned District
Both would follow what would be called the R-LADU-P – Regional Land Allocation/Development/Utilisation Philosophies that would guide the LADU process (regardless of which model) and not be as inhibiting as previous District Plans in Auckland were.
I also advocated for a 60:40 split on intensification / urban sprawl approach to growing Auckland although I am supportive of the 50:50 approach a minority of councillors are advocating for.
Transport wise I developed a three-tier priority system for major transportation projects in Auckland. The rational of my transport idea is quoted below
My Transport Rationale
Maps 11.1 and 11.3 in Chapter Eleven of The Draft Auckland Plan illustrate the Auckland Transit Network and projects through to 2040. In this submission I am tweaking around Council‟s vision into something I believe more viable (economically, environmentally and socially) for the city. My rational acknowledges the fact that I do not agree entirely with the compact city ideal of The Draft Auckland Plan. Rather than this 75:25 split between brownfield/intensification and greenfield split which I see as driving affordability out of households and businesses reach, I advocate (which is also constant with my Land Allocation/Development/Utilisation section of my submission) more of a 50:50 split between the two LADU fields. This 50:50 split would achieve the following: choice of housing and business locations, affordability and economic progress – so as a result transport would be moulded around the 50:50 split.
Apart from a few major things/changes, again I agree mostly with The Draft Auckland Plan‟s vision for Auckland Transport system. Therefore the transport section of this submission deals with those major things/changes and my priority system of what should be done over the next thirty years in Auckland. Again for brevity, this submission focuses on the Central Business District and south (but including areas near the Eastern Rail Line).
The three-tier system as below
Priority One (To be completed by 2018)
- Building of the Eastern Highway (to the Sub-Regional Standard Option as mentioned in Section 3.5 of the EASTDOR Final Report
- Realigning the Westfield Diamond
- Relocating or adding rail stations
- Re allocating bus routes, improving bus feeder systems to rail stations or bus RTN systems
- Feasibility Study of the Airport Rail Line including freight option
- Starting the bus RTN roll out especially along State Highway 20, 20A and 20B
- South-to-Manukau Rail Link Completion
Priority Two (To be completed by 2025)
- Completion of Inner City Rail Link
- Third Rail Line from Port to Papakura
- Airport Rail Line (if deemed feasible)
- Second Harbour Crossing
- South West Rail Line (if freight is still moving to Northland)
- Rail Electrification to Hamilton (not mentioned or included in this submission)
Priority Three (To be completed by 2040 or optional)
- Botany Rail Line
- North Shore Rail Line
- Upgrade Eastern Highway from Sub Regional Function option to full Regional Function option
As you can see with both land use and transport, I go for a multi-prong best of both worlds progressive approach in getting things done for Auckland while not breaking the bank AND still able to realise The Goal that I mentioned earlier.
It will be interesting to see what the Auckland Council adopts into its final version of the Auckland Plan and how it will influence the Long Term Plan.
I wait with anticipation in the New Year to see which way the Council takes Auckland
In my next post on The Draft Auckland Plan Serial, I will begin expanding on Chapters Seven and Eight of the Draft Auckland Plan (Rural and Urban Auckland) and my submission onto those chapters.
In the mean time be on the look out for “Shout-outs” and “Leisure” posts – adding some variety to ones day.