Tag: Draft Unitary Plan

Off to Another Unitary Plan Civic Forum

Dialogue and Discussion Time Again


On The Clunker



Unitary Plan feedback is well under way between Local Boards and their constituents if social media and public meetings are anything to go by currently. The cut off date for your feedback for the Draft Unitary Plan is May 31 so make sure you get your submission in if you want to influence how your city turns out through the 21st Century.


I have been invited to another Civic Forum on the Unitary Plan to which I am going to the Manukau session this Saturday. By the looks of the invitation we will be looking at with the Unitary Plan team:

Key things are:

  • how we create housing choices and more affordable housing

  • how we enable businesses to develop and grow

  • how we protect our region’s environment, heritage and character.



So residential, commercial and industrial matters which I have covered previously in these posts: “THE UNITARY PLAN, AND THE CMCP AND SLPD’S,” “THE CLUNKER AND BUSINESS ZONES,” and “THE CLUNKER AND RESIDENTIAL ZONING are going to be feedback sort after as well as; environment, heritage and character.


As Rural Urban Boundary specific feedback sessions are coming up next month (I believe) it would be a waste of limited time to go into that detail in great depth. However; zoning, choice, urban design, and those two new taxes are open for debate as well as me most likely pushing for Municipal Utility Districts (MUDs) as an option for consideration.


So off I go to the Manukau Civic building on Saturday (lunch is being served too) to discuss more Unitary Plan. 


Public Meetings on The Clunker

Preconceived Motions Do NOT Help Anyone


At times I have to play the devils advocate and go into bat for those I often would not. Last night at the Weymouth Public Meeting on the Southern Rural Urban Boundary and the Karaka-Weymouth Bridge, the poor planners pretty much got ambushed by some (not all – as I am being fair) of the Weymouth residents last causing the presentation to be cut short considerably. After talking to some of the other residents, then going one-to-one in front of the Unitary Plan maps with more interested residents  I can concluded (to my own opinion) some points out of that meeting:

  1. The majority of residents  have not read The Unitary Plan (I know it’s an 1854 page clunker but do what I do and read specifics to your area of concern (so anything south of Otahuhu)) at all including the Rural Urban Boundary Addendum. Meaning a minority have read at least some of The Clunker and (to be frank) showed in the line of questions they were asking. 
  2. Are not actually asking key players questions they might have on issues. The Karaka Bridge I would be hammering the AT Board for an answer until a resolution came out of there (sorry Christine I know that means more pressure but they need certainty in Weymouth)
  3. Someone in AT has shot their mouth off on the Karaka Bridge before the Board has made any firm decision on the bridge (I need to get a hold of that letter that particular resident had from AT)
  4. Majority of residents holding of preconceived motions – this comes from point one and they most likely not reading The Clunker. I really wanted to those residents holding a preconceived motions on the Karaka Bridge that at this point and time no FINAL decision has come out of AT (if it has then the Board is hiding something). Like the Eastern Highway the designation (if there is one for Karaka in the first place) has to be in the maps for all to see, this is in case NZTA decide to go run with the particular project and decide to build it. The only way to have the designation removed from a map for good is to get NZTA to remove the designation formally!
  5. If one does not know something, we will just go insult the planner anyway – not acceptable nor mature from residents who should know better. I don’t personally have time to rock up to public meetings to go learn something, talk to people, and enter dialogue if all some residents are able to do is fling insults. For your information South Auckland is anything south of Portage Road Otahuhu to the Franklin Local Board area in which it then becomes Counties Auckland. Overall the area is known as Southern Auckland! 


I wish I had my maps with me last night along with Councillor and AT Board Member Chris Fletcher‘s comment on the Karaka Bridge – as well as the RUB (as I had it in A4 colour) to help the planners. But I did not know the meeting would turn out the way it did, and I am hating to think how this is going to turn out in two weeks when the Mayor and Deputy Mayor trundle along.


This is Chris’s comment on the Karaka Bridge made recently:

Christine Fletcher There is strong opposition from the Karaka Residents I know to the proposed Weymouth Bridge. I am aware of a number preparing submissions in objection. It is a ridiculous proposal. It has no funding and does not appear in any planning document. Given that we don’t have sufficient funding for our existing and approved transport projects it is wrong to distress so many people on a proposal that will never go anywhere. Further evidence of the flawed thinking around the ill-considered Unitary Plan. You can imagine Penny Hulse and Roger Blakely playing with a big felt tip pen oblivious to the respective communities. I don’t think that I can attend that meeting but I will put you in touch with the independent planner consultant who is helping residents to draft their submissions.


I stress that Chris’s comment be read and taken into account. I also stress then grill the Deputy Mayor in two weeks on the bridge and how the heck it got there – but please residents; READ THE SOUTHERN RUB DOCUMENT FIRST PLEASE!


These are the maps on the Southern RUB last night that the residents would not have been able to see (yes you can print them):


I also stress the following point made in the maps:

  • Waste water treatment plant and transport link likely to be required


Emphasis on likely but not a “must” (although that treatment plant is going to end up as a “must”)


I am also going to reiterate what I said yesterday:

I have commented on this with my “THE RURAL URBAN BOUNDARY – SOUTH END“” post last week – briefly recapping:

Personally I am in favour of the Draft Southern RUB Options – Corridor Focus (Page 4 of the embed) which contains primary urban development to Drury and Karaka (Core’s K and D), along the State Highway 22 and North Island Main Trunk Line rail corridor, the North East Pukekohe flank, and the Pukekohe South East flank. This option keeps the main development either near existing development or along a transit corridor making infrastructure provisions (Drury and Paerata Rail Stations) and access more easier than the other options such as those that include Karaka North and West. Per The Unitary Plan there is an option to retain a green belt between Pukekohe and Paerata which would provide a wildlife corridor as well as park space. While development is kept away from the highly valuable Pahurehure Inlet which according to the maps contains colonies of wading sea birds. In any case that area slated as Karaka North and West if need be can be converted either into lifestyle blocks with strict covenants or over time into a new regional park and green lung for the ever-growing Auckland (which is what I would prefer Council would do (like an Ambury Farm or Puhinui Reserve set up)).

I have also noted as potential transport link from Whangapouri to Weymouth via a new bridge over the inlet as well as talk of a new waste water treatment plant. With me preferring the corridor option thus Karaka West and North not being developed – but actually wanting to be flipped over to lifestyle blocks or even better a regional reserve I can not see the need for a transit link through that area connecting to Weymouth. That link would create a rat-run from State Highway 20 at the Cavendish Drive Interchange, down Roscommon and Weymouth Roads (Route 17), over the new bridge, down the new transit link and through to State Highway 22 just north of Paerata rather than containing it to State Highways 1 and 22. That kind of rat running would lower the amenity of the new Greenfield developments and do nothing to solve congestion issues. As for the waste water treatment plant, well with Karaka North and West no longer under development you can away plop the new plant there out of the urban road but near the potential outfall site.


Submission wise I am going to follow through and “recommend” toAuckland Council that the Corridor Option for the RUB being the preferred southern Greenfield development options, providing there is:

  • A green belt maintained between Pukekohe and Paerata

  • New waste water treatment plant is built

  • That transit link over the Inlet is not built

  • What was labelled Karaka North and West either be allowed to be converted to Lifestyle blocks or even better a regional reserve seeming wading birds live in those areas

  • And that Auckland Transport will build the Drury and Paerata Mass Transit Interchanges (rail and bus station, and park and ride)



So what I am getting at in this post is the following:

  • Do your reading first and dump any preconceived ideas you have at the door
  • A submission simply opposing something is useless, you need to play the Council and AT at their own game and get an actual alternative across that is viable and a win-win for all. I have as seen in the above statement and is a card I am using in working with Council and the Unitary Plan that is a win-win for most (just not the land banker in Karaka West)


There is another meeting in two weeks time with the Mayor and Deputy Mayor being invited to be present at Weymouth School Hall. I will be present again and this with my maps and hopefully a clarification from Auckland Transport in that cursed bridge. In the meantime I am off to Milford tonight to go listen in on the intensification plans IN THAT AREA which is causing a certain amount of heart ache for residents over there.


One final thing: I know what the residents in Weymouth are staring down as I am staring down the exact same thing with the Mill Road corridor and the consequences it will cause (rat running being the main one) on the transport side. With intensification I also know what the Weymouth residents can be staring down as my house is up for re-zoning from Residential-1 to “Mixed Zoning”  (see my:  ) and the fact I am only 100 metres away from the Papakura Metropolitan Zone which allows buildings to go up to 18 stories high (economic conditions permitting). RUB wise I can also share the Weymouth residents concerns and the impacts that can actually cause. For me it affects the trains and State Highway One transport wise as more people need to be moved from the south. To the north of me I could be staring down 15,000 new houses if the RUB at Addison gets moved eastwards despite it being a floodplain. So Weymouth and Papakura are in the same boat here with The Clunker in all regards. I can understand anger and frustration but I do not tolerate preconceived motions nor insulting planners who are the messengers. You have a beef; take it with the Councillors and the Mayor…




The Unitary Plan is a Clunker

1854 Pages?


I have mentioned in the past that the Draft Unitary Plan was around 500 pages and it was larger than our largest Bible at home. Well it seems I got that number wrong as the Draft Unitary Plan actually stands at 1854 pages and takes Councillor George Wood two car trips to get the sole Council copy of this clunker to a public meeting.


1854 pages? What the flying heck Auckland Council, that is not a plan but just an actual dead weight to anyone and everything in the city. Maps aside, the idea was to get this clunker down to 100 A4 pages so that it was easy for everyone to read to access. Not just be a play thing for city planners and Environment Court Lawyers that costs us more money.


Bernard Orsman for the NZ Herald had this to say on the Clunker this morning:

Struggle to access copies of city plan

By Bernard Orsman @BernardOrsman

5:30 AM Thursday Mar 28, 2013


Navigating complex document online and finding a printed version proving difficult.

Many Aucklanders are struggling to find out if their neighbourhood is earmarked for high-rise apartments, heritage protection or the status quo in the new planning rulebook for the city.

The 1854-page draft unitary plan includes provisions for high-rise and multi-rise apartments and the nuts and bolts of what people can do with their properties.

But people are complaining about difficulty using the online version of the plan and trying to access 29 hard copies at local board offices, Auckland Town Hall and some libraries – about one copy for every 50,000 people.

At a public meeting in Mt Eden on Tuesday night, there was no material for locals to take away on the changes proposed for the suburb, only a single copy of maps to browse.

Birkenhead resident M. Carol Scott said in a letter to the Herald that she found the online document a “tortuously clunky process” and all she got from her local library was a brochure inviting her to “shape the world’s most liveable city”.

“Clearly, creating a Super City planning rulebook is a huge task, but how democratic is this process?” she said.

The Auckland Transport Blog said unlike the Auckland Plan – the 30-year blueprint for the city – the new rulebook was not a nicely worded document, but a complex, hard-to-use resource management document.


You can read the rest over at the Herald


Personally I am not finding the e-document that easy to use and I regard myself as tech savvy. Even with Bookmarks applied in Chrome and until I saved the PDFs to my hard drive, it would take several attempts floundering around different parts of the Unitary Plan site to get to the two areas I am focusing on at the moment: The Rural Urban Boundary addendum, and the Zoning Rules in an effort to get them simplified even further.  What is not helping is that you can read the PDF like the RUB material in question, but then you have five different maps showing “options” for the RUB rather than consolidating it as one PDF file. Thankfully I consolidated those maps into a single PDF and stuck it in Scribd last night – but heck that is annoying to do what the council should have done in the first place.


As a result in the Unitary Plan being a clunker and at over 1854 pages making it impossible to print – even if I did get the entire thing as a single PDF, getting a meaningful submission in is going to be an interesting task ahead.


However, I am off to the Papakura Local Board Unitary Plan session next month to see if I can make heads or tails of The Clunker before getting my submission in.



And now that I have that little rant off my chest this morning, my next Unitary Plan post will be on residential zoning. It’s Sim City meets Auckland Unitary Plan – here at BR:AKL



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To a Better Auckland – (OUR City)

Auckland 2013: YOUR CITY – YOUR CALL