Tag: Facebook

Update on Unitary Plan Submission Counts

Thought You Might Want to Know


I just picked this up on Facebook (after the Great Facebook Crash of 2013) from Orakei Local Board Deputy Chair Mark Thomas in regards to an update on some of the Unitary Plan feedback and themes. While Mark has posted it on his page I will repost it here so it is a bit easier to read.

Update through on unitary plan submission numbers/issues.

They are still being collated but in terms of local board submissions, it’s now:

  • 2,074 from Devonport-Takapuna with 1,167 pro-forma; (56% pro-forma)
  • 1,663 from Orakei with 181 pro-forma; (11% pro-forma)
  • 1,468 from Albert-Eden with 46 pro-forma. (3% pro-forma)
  • Then Kaipatiki and Hibiscus & Bays on 1,354 and 1,314 (897 and 692 pro-forma). (66% and 51% respectively with Pro-Forma)

Counted numbers are at 15,710 but total is apparently around 22,000 (including social media comments!). Of course it’s quality that counts (!)

And the top “themes” submitted on are:
  • “Rezoning requests”,
  • followed by ‘Natural Environment”,
  • “Residential”
  • and “Transportation”.
  • Oddly, height (which doesn’t need speech marks because you know what it means) is not a theme submissions are being coded against….

And that is the latest at hand with the feedback and top themes so far.

Of course Mark’s post did attract comments including from me:


  • Ben Ross I’ll comment about the Pro-Forma’s later. But for the rest of it Mark it is a case of WTH? Okay so they are not codifying height so then I ask why is there an entire workshop around that particular issue today? Desley and Penny?

    As for Rezoning Requests can someone ask for Council to be extremely specific here. It is those in residential and rural zones wanting a change from say Mixed Housing back down to single housing, and Rural Zoning to full urban zoning. Is it Business zones being changed? Or are the Centres being asked to be up or downgraded from their current UP categories?
  • Desley Simpson Ben ask Penny- still on principles an hour late already – lots of discussion
    • Ben Ross Ask her to check her FB please then as I have tagged her. And an hour late already? Somewhat expected although still that deserves my  face
  • David Thornton Thanks for the update Mark – as I have been preaching from day 1 ‘Zoning is the critical issue’ because every piece of land in Auckland has been re-zoned in the draft UP, and that is a recipe for chaos.
  • Desley Simpson And officers still not able to feedback as we request for useful 
    input/ discussion
    • Ben Ross Yeah a bit pointless when not all 22,700 pieces (including Social Media (of which I made up around now 12% of total Social Media comments (ooops))) have been codified yet
  • Desley Simpson Indeed!!!


And at that I shall leave you with Captain Picard’s double face-palm moment – for when one face palm will simply not cut it



Unitary Plan and that Twitter Spam

Not bad for an individual

And for Auckland – Our Auckland


While my main internet is down and I have let rip back to Telecom for taking 6 days to restore my internet (even though it is Chorus which probably deserves something placed under their backside) I have hooked up my 2-Degree Mobile to the main PC. Okay the connection is slow but it is working (and thanks to 2-Degrees for carry-over data. All that spare data will be going to use) 😀


This major pain for me in not having my main internet does show the reliance on the Digital Age. But what the Digital Age does show is that some of us will use it to its full and utter potential.

This morning I got mentioned in the Council/Local Body Chairs’ workshop on the Feedback for the Unitary Plan (that closed May 31) that I was the top Tweeter on the #shapeauckland (shapeauckland.co.nz) feed amongst other things. Apparently I dropped 250+ Tweets over the 11-week feedback period. 

So what was the numbers of that feedback for the UP:

  • 22,700 pieces of feedback (both individual and Pro-Forma)
  • 2,000 News items (1,150 on the internet)
  • 6,500 Social Media pieces from Facebook, Twitter and blogs to which I provided the following:
    • 250+ Tweets
    • 104 blog posts
    • 208 combined Facebook posts via the Blog
    • 100 individual stand along Facebook posts not connected to the blog
    • 10% of all Social Media “feeds” and “posts

Not particularly bad for me running this all on my own from Talking Auckland.

While things have calmed down for now with Unitary Plan posts, it will ramp up again most likely when the UP goes for formal notification. And that notification is a three-year period :O

But hey, Civic and Professional Duty here in traversing both sides of the spectrum and being your Number One leading and independent Unitary Plan commentator 😀

Job well done (okay patting myself on the back here)



Talking Auckland: Blog of TotaRim Consultancy Limited

TotaRim Consultancy
Bringing Well Managed Progress to Auckland and The Unitary Plan

Auckland: 2013 – YOUR CITY, YOUR CALL


Lets not Play Silly with the Unitary Plan

Work with what we have please

I saw this from the much respect Councillor Fletcher this morning in regards to the Unitary Plan (it also has comments on it as well as it comes from Facebook):

The Unitary Plan should be withdrawn and replaced with a carefully staged approach that takes into full account critical infrastructure and the cost of growth. I hope the Mayor and CEO of Auckland Council will be willing to consider this with submissions on the ill conceived plan closing today. It would be throwing good money after bad to keep fiddling with this fundamentally flawed document. Better to scrap it and start again.
  • Matt van Tuinen Hear hear
  • Ben Ross While I hear you Christine have you asked the respective Ministers back in Wellington if such an exercise can be done? You of all people know that the UP is a creature of the Local Government Act (Auckland Governance) 2010 and procedures must be followed set out in that Act (let alone the RMA).

    Yes we might want to restart the UP again but is it “legal” to do so
  • Sharon Stewart I agree with Christine Fletcher the information the public have been asked to submit on has so many mistakes.. The question that needs to be asked is it legal to ask the community to submit on something with so many mistakes. Cameron BrewerDick QuaxGeorge Wood
  • Ben Ross So anyone going to ask the Local Government Minister, the Minister for the Environment and the Attorney General for a legal opinion on all this?
  • Sharon Stewart I am sure this will happen
  • Ben Ross Let me know when it does please 
  • Sharon Stewart Needs to be done before we waste more rate payers money. This is so important for Auckland to get it right.
    • Ben Ross Please do so ASAP. I have a 110 page submission sitting here on the UP as well as Clients’ submissions. None of us want our time (and money wasted) under taking the work we have done only for it to be “pointless” due to a total rewrite ordered
    • Sharon Stewart Better to rewrite and get it right.
    • Ben Ross Waiting
  • Gayatri Jaduram Do we have a legal definition for “Draft, Draft” ! 


So a pile of umming and ooo-ing over the Unitary Plan as the 5pm deadline comes and goes today on this feedback round. Thus far the Councillors pushing a rewrite seem non-committal to actually doing what I stated and contacting the relevant Ministers if they seriously want rewrite.

As I said “Please do so (get a rewrite ordered) ASAP. I have a 110 page submission sitting here on the UP as well as Clients’ submissions. None of us want our time (and money wasted) under taking the work we have done only for it to be “pointless” due to a total rewrite ordered”

Having just got my own submission and and helped my clients get theirs in I think we would be rightfully annoyed if a total rewrite was to occur now.

Councillors if they wanted the rewrite should have asked for one on March 16 when the plan was released. Not on May 31 when the first round of feedback is about to close (as I write this).\

I have said the Councillors have been particularly slow in some aspects of the UP. I am wondering if this call for a rewrite is them being slow again.

Not good enough if it is and was…

I and my clients do not appreciate our time being wasted due to slowness from the Governing Body…

This and That – AGAIN

Not Again…


Where is Progressive and REASON with The Clunker Debate



You know when something gets flagged on Facebook more than three times it is worth considering rather urgently. I had commented on the polarisation and slack Main Stream Media report on The Unitary Plan in my “This and That” post:


From One Extreme To The Other


With The Clunker?


While most commentary and interaction with The Unitary Plan (The Clunker) continues as May 31 approaches at a more civilised level, unfortunately extremes can crop up that skewer the debate. This can either be extreme commentary from a particular group or individual (which I will comment on below), the media being particularly lazy as they are and only covering one side of the debate which they are doing with The Clunker for the most part (that will be bringing me to my second part).


After thinking that kind of situation was to be buried and we all move on with the Unitary Plan feedback and all keep our heads and maturity. Guess I spoke too soon when this was flagged to me:

Councillor backs ‘village idiots’ blog

A blog calling residents “delusional village idiots” for opposing apartment plans in Milford, Browns Bay and Orewa is backed by Albany councillor Michael Goudie. The councillor posted a Facebook link to the anonymous “I hate NIMBYS” blog that labels unitary plan opponents “soulless geriatric time bombs”. Mr Goudie, who prides himself as being the voice of youth on council, says the blog is “brilliant” and encourages people to share it. “I am glad people power is finally taking a stand against the loud minority.”

Hibiscus Bays Local Board member Gary Holmes says Mr Goudie holds passionate views but should step back from debate while the council is consulting on its draft unitary plan. Mr Holmes says it’s “unfair” to pit old versus young generations during discussions on Auckland‘s intensification. “It’s not generational. People have been through battles and understand what is at stake.” Browns Bay and Orewa residents have already fought hard to restrict heights, he says. “In 30 years they will thank us,” Mr Holmes says. If Auckland had listened to members of the older generation such as former mayor Sir Dove Myer Robinson the region would have a widespread rail network. Mr Holmes says there is support for some apartments, particularly around transport routes, but some of today’s character needs protection. “You can’t look at every area in the same way.”

Mr Goudie says on Facebook that the issue was about attitude not age.


It is about attitude and not age as I can attest to through my work on the Unitary Plan thus far. It is the reason why (and for my views of THAT blog see my “This and That” post) I can be scalding of St Heliers but in the same breath reach out to RIGHT ACROSS THE SPECTRUM age and demographic wise (except the NIMBY’s) with everything thus far with the Unitary Plan. And heck you need to reach out across that spectrum as the old adage states: united we stand for divided we fall (or more simply put divide and conquer).

While an age polarisation debate might have kicked off on The Shore and the Isthmus, down here in Southern Auckland I see: people young and old, workers and entrepreneurs, urban and rural folk alike somewhat if not united in concerns, voices, and ideas with the Unitary Plan. I could go a far as saying Southern Auckland knows growth is going to happen but, it needs to be done right with all negative consequences mitigated against. Then again we always want things done properly. This is what we are fighting for down here in the South with The Unitary Plan – making sure as Dene Andre said “Liveability from international best practice is executed.”


So again my conclusion:




All this brings me to the conclusion which seems inevitable in this Clunker debate. The two extremes facing off and firing broadsides against each other which will polarise the debate and entrench views. This action goes and buggers up the middle ground from both sides (those pro-sprawl, and those pro-intensification) who are actively working together and working a compromise in bringing this city forward for the next thirty years. The extremes are trying to force either change or no change, while the middle favours more progression. Progression and change are two very different things and have very different consequences to people and the city.


I just ran these words through a thesaurus to get the synonyms that we can more relate too:

  • Change: transformation, revolution (which then implies upheaval), conversion
  • Progress and Progression: development, evolution, growth, advancement, improvement


Now look at those words and think to yourself which basically scare the living daylights out of you. Those that are NIBMY-ists don’t bother answering as I am rather not interested in hermits or fossils (one which is a relic of a by-gone era) as nothing is static in this universe. For me I am more inclined towards Progress and Progression over “Change” even though I am a social liberal and can tolerate some “change” as defined above.

But look at the language of the Unitary Plan (and Auckland Plan) and you see the language I classed under the ‘Change’ department (especially transformational). I admittedly have parroted that same language although that has been scaled back in more recent submissions as I swing more to progression rather than transformational. Then again you often have to speak the language of the council (so transformational) to get them paying attention (oops there goes a secret of mine). The language Council is using in the Unitary and Auckland Plans through “change” is pretty much enough to go make most people (even those progressive) rather hesitant in what is being pushed forward. Probably won’t help matters is when Council goes and bollocks up the communications process and people really do start running around clueless through no fault of their own (although communications with the Unitary Plan has been “basic” but not flash).



Well I expect nothing from the MSM in reporting both sides of the coin in a more balanced manner so blogging continues and my main outlet. But moving the language from change to progression will be more the theme as I continue and sell my alternative to The Clunker. A story is being told, this is my story on our city


BR:AKL:  Bring Well Managed Progress

The Unitary Plan: Bringing Change 

Auckland: 2013 – OUR CITY, OUR CALL