Tag: auckland region

Fire Restrictions to Start

Vigilance Called with Outdoor Fires


From Auckland Council:

Extra vigilance for outdoor fires required


A restricted fire season for rural areas in the Auckland region will be implemented from 15 December. Lighting an outdoor fire on rural land is still possible but a permit is required for fires in the open air.

A total fire ban is now in place for all Hauraki Gulf Islands.

With summer on its way the days are growing longer and warmer which means fire risk increases. All outdoor fires need to be carefully managed to prevent the spread of fire.

“Conditions are very windy for this time of year and last week there were a number of fire incidents around the region due to controlled burns getting out of control,” says Auckland Council Principal Rural Fire Officer Bryan Cartelle.

Council will be issuing fire permits in Auckland’s rural zones which include farms, forestry areas and large blocks of land. Permits are free of charge.

Auckland Council is introducing an Outdoor Fire Safety Bylaw to manage the risk of all outdoor fires in both rural and urban areas. The bylaw will continue with seasonal restrictions but also gives guidance on the types of fire and fuel allowed with an aim to protect people, property and the environment from the risk of fire. The bylaw is due to come into effect on 20 December.

For information on fire safety and tips for the safe lighting of open air fires call Auckland Council on 09 301 0101 or visit aucklandcouncil/ruralfire.govt.nz

Anyone who sees a suspicious fire should call the fire service immediately on 111.



It is a reminder if you cause a fire that results in the fire service attending the Fire Service can ping you for “costs”


Unitary Plan Hearings Under-Way

Day One Begins


From Auckland Council

Hearings on shaping Auckland’s development underway


New Zealand’s largest planning review gets underway in Auckland today with an Independent Hearings Panel beginning its deliberations on Auckland Council’s  Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan.

The hearing is before Environment Court judge, David Kirkpatrick who chairs the Panel, and seven panel members. There are also 15 mediators and facilitators who will help resolve issues through expert conference and mediation.

The Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan sets the rules about how the Auckland region will develop over decades, including what can be built and where, and how to protect the environment and Auckland’s built and cultural heritage.

More than 9500 submissions were made on the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan.  The Panel will consider the views of submitters – plus a further 3500 submitters who have responded to the original submissions – over 74 topics.

Judge Kirkpatrick said the hearing is the biggest ever in New Zealand planning history because it involves the Regional Policy Statement and both the Regional and District Plan documents all wrapped up  in one document.

“There’s been a huge number of submissions and a high level of public participation – and that’s a good thing for such an important document,” said Judge Kirkpatrick.

He said the requirements of the Local Government (Auckland Transitional Provisions) Act made this hearing different from the traditional adversarial planning hearing. The Act has a requirement that the Panel use pre-hearing processes and mediation to help identify the most appropriate planning position for the Auckland region.

“So there’s a large level of the ‘Good of the Auckland region’ objective here rather than simply saying which side wins and which side loses,” said Judge Kirkpatrick.

“With the complex issues involved we have to have a very clear high-level regard for the sustainable management of the resources of the whole Auckland region. If we adopted a solely technical approach to our task we would ‘miss the wood for the trees’.”

He said the Panel is working to an extremely tight timeframe to complete its report to Auckland Council by July 2016 on changes it thinks should be made to the plan.

The Panel will be working through a process ‘from the general to the particular’.  It will start with the Regional Policy Statement issues such as rural/urban growth, residential and industrial growth and higher level transport issues. It will then deal with the more specific rule-based issues and then move on to the site-specific changes.

“It’s important that we have integration between the higher-level objectives and strategy of the plan and the methods on the ground,” said Judge Kirkpatrick.

“We could compromise a policy very easily by simply by having exceptions to the rules which give away its validity.”

Judge Kirkpatrick said the Panel is endeavouring where possible to come to decisions on issues when the Panel hears from submitters.

“It’s better that we do it when we hear from people, but we acknowledge that as we go through we are likely to have to go back and reconsider some of the things we have decided.

“We need to make sure that our decision-making has been consistent throughout and that the recommendations we are making to Council produce an integrated set of planning provisions.”



The Hearings’ Order Paper


The Unitary Plan Independent Hearings Panel website can be found here: http://www.aupihp.govt.nz/


Talking Auckland will keep a roving update from the Hearings Panel as relevant information comes to hand


It’s About the Jobs – Again

Strong Economic Growth – Just not where it is needed


A release from Auckland Council‘s Chief Economist today on how the Auckland economy continues to do rather well:

Auckland’s housing market boosting wider economy
Strong house price growth across the Auckland region is boosting other parts of the economy including construction, finance and real estate industries, according to latest economic figures for the region in the first three months of this year.
Economic activity is now more sustained and broad based, with 17 out of 20 sectors recording gains in the quarter. Auckland grew at a rate of 3.2 per cent in the year to March; along with Christchurch, these two cities are underpinning growth across the country, said Geoff Cooper, Auckland Council’s chief economist. Mr Cooper said activity in Auckland’s construction, finance and property sectors will likely spill over into other parts of the region’s economy, and with time, other areas of New Zealand.
“Auckland house prices continue their upward march, which is buoying consumer confidence and further stimulating demand,” Mr Cooper wrote in the latest Auckland Economic Quarterly, released today.
“We’re already seeing a pick-up in activity across the finance, property and real estate and construction services sectors. As building work gathers pace, it will act as a catalyst for growth in various downstream sectors, particularly domestic manufacturing and retail.”
The median Auckland house price was $562,000 in March 2013, up 12.5 per cent from March last year. Signs that migration is rebounding, amid the slowing Australian economy, are likely to support house prices in the medium term.
Some 4,764 residential building consents were lodged with Auckland Council in the 12 months ended March 31 this year. While that’s down from the 10-year average of 6,631, it is up from the year-earlier figure of 3,976. This represents the early stages of a construction upswing in Auckland, which will need to continue before house prices ease.
Auckland’s consumers are among the most optimistic in New Zealand, spurred on by activity in the housing market. Westpac McDermott Miller reports a consumer confidence score of 119.0 for Auckland, well ahead of the national average of 110.8, and up 13.7 per cent from Q1 of last year. Retail sales rose 1.1 per cent from the final three months of 2012, and new car registrations increased again to just shy of the 10-year average.
Still, lack of job growth continues to weigh on Auckland’s recovery as unemployment remains high at 7.3 per cent. With business employment intentions in positive territory and economic activity looking more sustained, job seekers have more reason for optimism in the year ahead.



Okay some renewed strength in the house building sector is good as that will get the supply up. Although still not fast enough for sustained Unitary Plan levels if the population growth remains to be high.

The issue though is emphasised in red although the rest in black could be good news if job growth increases..

However, this shows the crucial nature to which the Unitary Plan needs to get right on employment centres. Those main centres being our City Centre, (Super and) Metropolitan Centres, heavy and light industry, and supported by good Town Centres.


Forget focusing on you house and everything within 25 metres around it like our NIMBY‘s and shills are. Attention needs to focus on our higher end commercial and industrial centres to make sure the land and infrastructure is in position so that entrepreneurs like me can create jobs.

With the failure that was the Consensus Building Group just announcing their report on transport funding over the life of the current Integrated Transport Program; I believe emphasis will be placed on a more decentralised front with employment centres. Decentralised like running two CBD’s and multiple industrial centres so that people have the option live local and work local rather than cross city commute or funnel into one point as the mayor wants.

i will work up the plan and subsequent language around Manukau, Wiri and Southern Auckland and its potential development front through the life of the Unitary Plan as part of ongoing work in this area.

If we need jobs and our transport boffins are rather inept on getting Auckland moving (and no, Auckland Transport are absolved of this. They are the ones who need to carry this all out) the we better look for some alternatives quick


The CBG Final Report