Tag: Draft Unitary Plan

Those Secret Papers are Back Again

Slow News Day?


I see Orsman is banging on about secret papers again with the Unitary Plan:

Mayor to decide release of secret housing zone papers

By Bernard Orsman


Auckland Mayor Len Brown is sitting on secret documents about controversial plans which would make up to three-storey apartments possible in half of residential Auckland.

The Herald asked Mr Brown on Tuesday to release documents used to draw up the mixed housing and terraced housing and apartment zones in the new planning rulebook, or Unitary Plan.

The request was made under the emergency provisions of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act so they could be made public before feedback on the draft plan closes on May 31. Last night, a spokesman for Mr Brown said the mayor’s office was working through the request and would provide a response shortly.

The documents were the basis for a political working party to develop heights and controls for the two zones that have a profound effect on more than half of residential Auckland. The working party, which meets behind closed doors, makes recommendations to the Auckland Plan committee which discusses issues in public.

A member of the political working party said officers provided no in-depth analysis on the two zones and had belatedly revealed the three-storey height limit in the mixed housing zone.


I was sure I have covered this before so I went for a look and found this:


Posted by BR:AKL_Admin01 on April 30, 2013 · Leave a Comment(Edit)

Where’s Wally?


You can go read the piece by clicking the respective hyperlink.


After digging that post up I went digging through the emails again as I remember a conversation about those papers. Yep the emails are still there from April 29. The emails gave rise to my particular post on April 30 and seem to give rise to this post today.


Now this presents an interesting situation which has two possible paths:

  1. There is more to those papers than I got led to believe on April 29. This means the mayor and deputy mayor might need to come clean here if this the case. While I have respect for the Deputy Mayor that respect can be lost fast if I was led to believe one thing when the opposite occurred. Trust and confidence applies here
  2. Orsman is full of crap again and rehashing a month old story. While that would be nothing particularly new I noted this remark “A member of the political working party said officers provided no in-depth analysis on the two zones and had belatedly revealed the three-storey height limit in the mixed housing zone” to which I can think of two Councillors who might say that. If that is the case then a leak perhaps to substantiate the claim. Otherwise the city is running around like headless chickens (cue the Julia Gillard headless chook experiment video which actually you should watch. Just replace Gillard with Len Brown and you should get the rest) to which Kevin Rudd‘s quip: “Everyone should take a very LONG cold shower” could very well apply to the Unitary Plan as it stands.


So what path we will all go down is now on apparently what the mayor is meant to release “shortly.”


The city waits




Government to Impinge on Council Sovereignty

The Housing Accord is an Affront to Auckland



The debate on the Housing Accord and Special Housing Areas is still happening live in Parliament as I wrote this. But the Government is bringing through the Legislative processes with the Housing Accord and Special Housing Area material announced today in Budget 2013.


I have posted my swift reactions against the Housing Accord and Special Housing Areas in my “THE MUCH-ADO-ABOUT-NOTHING ACCORD” and “HOUSING ACCORD RELEASED” posts. Today I noted this in regards to the Housing Accord:


“If passed, the Bill will allow the Government to intervene in instances where accord cannot be reached in establishing special housing areas and issuing consents for developments.”


I have noted the Mayor (Len) has also released his comments on the Housing Accord and the SHA’s:

More work needed on housing accord bill – Auckland Mayor


Auckland Mayor Len Brown has welcomed the introduction of legislation for housing accords, but says he will be seeking clarification on a number of points to ensure the final legislation is consistent with the draft Auckland Housing Accord.

“There are clauses in the bill introduced today that appear to be inconsistent with the Auckland Housing Accord,” says Len Brown.

“My expectation is that the Select Committee process will provide an opportunity to clear up these inconsistencies.

“Clearly, in relation to the accord, the point of the legislation is to give effect to the agreements we reached.

“The accord still needs to be considered and agreed by the Auckland Council’s Governing Body. Before we can do this we need to be certain that the legislation is consistent with the agreements in the accord.

Len Brown said he would be writing to Housing Minister Nick Smith to raise questions about the consistency of the accord and the current bill.

The Housing Accord is an agreement between Auckland Mayor Len Brown and the Minister of Housing aimed at tackling issues of housing affordability and supply in Auckland.

It is subject to agreement by Auckland Council.

The streamlined consenting process outlined in the accord can only take effect once the council’s draft Unitary Plan is adopted for notification – expected to be September this year.



To me however, I see this as direct attack on Council Sovereignty and the Auckland region. My reasons are made very clear in my previous posts mentioned above (and with links provided) on why I see the Accord as an attack on Council Sovereignty. The further point made and illustrated in bold from TVNZ provides the fish-hook that makes my view clear on this attack from Wellington.

I also note my earlier comment on our planning history here in Auckland:

Of note that the National Government in the 90s decentralised planning and removed itself largely from it with the introduction of the Resource Management Act 1991. This would replace the Town and Country Act and hand over to Councils primary planning powers. Now in 2013 a National Government is seeming to want to re-centralise planning powers away from Councils with its Much-Ado-About-Nothing Accord – the Housing Accord.
Impinging on Council Sovereignty – A Stalinist Move, not a (Social and (Neo)) Liberal move that the Party was founded on in 1936


So the remark made a few days ago especially to Monty Python and Fish Slapping continues:

The heavy questioning will continue until all the straight answers are given about the Much-Ado-About-Nothing Accord and those Special Housing Areas that are satisfactory to the city – something we are not getting at the moment if the Facebook comments are anything to go by. I wonder if that is because there is no satisfactory answer to a process that is:

  • Anti-Democratic
  • Anti-Auckland
  • Rough-shodding the Unitary Plan Process
  • Short circuiting the Rural Urban Boundary process still under consideration and consultation (and being treated separate to the full Unitary Plan)
  • Does not answer about provision of employment centres that can not be expanded nor built until the Unitary Plan is in operation anyhow (so three years?)
  • Relate back to infrastructure provisions that Council can not provide for (more broke than the girls from 2 Broke Girls) not has a decent plan on (the Auckland Transport Integrated Transport Plan failure)
  • And how does this make things affordable when there are five major prongs to housing affordability:
    • Land
    • Construction Costs
    • Council Fees and Contributions
    • Financing and wages
    • Infrastructure provision

Ah dear – some people should honestly not meddle in things beyond their comprehension (Dr Nick Smith and might as well be the entire Government at this rate). As for the Councillors backing the Much-Ado-About-Nothing-Accord I invite you to Karaka tonight and listen in on what could very well happen in a Special Housing Area and how that has upset residents from all sides of the divide…

In conclusion? More Monty Python Fish Slapping still to come


And yes even as a Nat Party member I see the Accord as an affront to my home, my city and to liberal ideals…



Catch Up

After a Busy Day


Another one is in store


Yesterday was a busy day for me in the CBD with the Manukau as The Second CBD presentation to the Auckland Plan Committee, and the Generation Zero Unitary Plan Youth Event. Monday night was the Karaka Collective presentation on the Karaka North and West Rural Urban Boundary and THAT bridge which I also need to write up on.

As a result I need to catch up on a few emails and blog post of the events, as well as what is coming up next with the Unitary Plan


BR:AKL Commentary will cover today and tomorrow:

  • The Karaka Collective Presentation on Monday night (must request the presentation from Peter Fuller)
  • The Manukau as the Second CBD of Auckland presentation to the Auckland Committee
  • The Resolutions of the Orakei Local Board on Special Character Zones
  • The Generation Zero Unitary Plan Youth Forum
  • Post May 31 Consultation on the Unitary Plan
  • And for a Transport Issue – the Transport Committee discussing the Regional Public Transport Plan (RPTP)



BR:AKL: Bring Well Managed Progress

The Unitary Plan: Bringing Change

Auckland: 2013 – OUR CITY, OUR CALL


Manukau: The Second CBD of Auckland Presentation

All Complete and Ready to Go


Finally my presentation to the Auckland Plan Committee (May 14) is ready to go. I have sent both the Powerpoint presentation and the 41 page supplementary booklet to Council to be attached with the Agenda (which at the moment is embedded below) and can be seen below.


The Powerpoint Presentation (9-slides) which I will be speaking from can be seen here:


The Supplementary Booklet (41 pages) for your in-depth reading can be found here:



The presentation will be summarising three points:

  1. Is Auckland a Megaopolis?
  2. Does Auckland in fact have Three Metropolitan Areas?
  3. Can Auckland support two (if not three) CBD’s?


Information used in the booklet will also go into my feedback for the Unitary Plan by May 31

I will also be attending the Generation Zero Unitary Plan forum event on Tuesday evening after the presentation to mix and mingle and discuss well – Unitary Plan


All go on Tuesday



BR:AKL: Bring Well Managed Progress

The Unitary Plan: Bringing Change

Auckland: 2013 – OUR CITY, OUR CALL






What Your Town Or Metropolitan Centre Might Look Like

3D Mock Ups of Potential Maximum Development

Apologies for not getting this particular post up earlier as I have been busy focusing on my new company of recent.

Auckland Council via Shape Auckland have released 19 You Tube videos showing potential growth in 19 of our Metropolitan and Town Centres per the draft Unitary Plan. Unfortunately You Tube and WordPress don’t like embedding each other which somewhat makes it a pain so it has to be the links.



Unitary Plan 3D modelling videos

Auckland Council has developed a 3D model of Auckland to help develop the draft Auckland Unitary Plan.

This included modelling possible growth in 19 metropolitan and town centres around Auckland.

While largely an internal tool to help inform planning decisions, the resulting videos give a useful indication of how centres might grow over 10, 20 and 30+ years.

The model has this week come runner-up at the ALGIM GIS Project of the Year Award (Note: the winner was also from Auckland Council, its Capacity for Growth Study).

It’s important to remember that these are indicative only: clearly actual growth is down to what landowners decide to build and will of course be subject to design assessments. The videos demonstrate the protection of heritage buildings and show that high-rise buildings (9 or more storeys) will be restricted to metropolitan centres.

The videos can be viewed on youtube.com/aklcouncil and the 19 centres are:

Albany Botany Browns Bay Glen Eden Henderson
Highbury Manukau Manurewa New Lynn Newmarket
Otahuhu Papakura Point Chevalier Pukekohe Remuera
Sylvia Park Takapuna Three Kings Warkworth


You should be able click each of the individual centres above and see the video.


Of course as a reminder this shows the maximum development that could occur if economic conditions are right. Note the English carefully I have used as it is rather specific.



BR:AKL: Bring Well Managed Progress

The Unitary Plan: Bringing Change

Auckland: 2013 – OUR CITY, OUR CALL

Figures on Auckland Land Use

What Percentage is Our Land Used For


I sent a question to Auckland Council on what proportion of our land was used in what per Unitary Plan definitions. After the council geo-spatial specialists crunched some numbers this is what was sent back to me:

From Shape Auckland (shapeauckland.co.nz)


Our Geospatial specialists have looked into this for you. I’ve included the breakdown of all the zones since it makes quite interesting reading.
Unitary Plan Zone (%)


  • Single House 2.89
  • Mixed Housing 3.52
  • Terrace Housing and Apartment Building 0.49
  • Large lot 0.77
  • Rural and Coastal Settlement 0.39
  • Neighbourhood Centre 0.03
  • Local Centre 0.04
  • Town Centre 0.09
  • Metropolitan Centre 0.08
  • City Centre 0.11
  • Mixed Use 0.20
  • Business Park 0.02
  • General Business 0.05
  • Light Industry 0.94
  • Heavy Industry 0.37
  • Rural Coastal 16.66
  • Rural Conservation 2.52
  • Rural Production 47.41
  • Mixed Rural 1.79
  • Countryside Living 5.84
  • Marina 0.04
  • Minor Port 0.01
  • Mooring 0.30
  • Public Open Space – Conservation 7.24
  • Public Open Space – Informal Recreation 1.76
  • Public Open Space – Civic & Community 0.02
  • Public Open Space – Sport & Active Recreation 0.64
  • Special Purpose 1.08
  • Future Urban 0.28
  • Strategic Transport Corridor 0.59
  • Road 3.84


A thank you and appreciation to Auckland Council and their geo-spatial specialists for compiling that data. And yes it does make for an interesting read, especially when road dwarfs out quite a bit of the individual urban zones.


I shall tell a look at these numbers some more and ponder over them but for the most part, well over of 60% of our land is not urbanised.