Tag: Mark Thomas

Checking in on Height and Metro Magazine

Enquiry away with Council

And Apparently I got a mention in the July Issue of Metro


I have sent an email away to Council seeking clarification around the “themes” to which our submissions are being codified against. This has been done after a comment was raised by Mark Thomas of Orakei Local Board in regards to the issue of height and my comment on the first workshop that looked at height in particular.

The said comments were reflected in my “Update on Unitary Plan Submission Counts” in particular Mark’s comment:

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….


The extract from my email back to Council outlining the query and reason for the clarification around the issue:

Okay this is leading to confusion amongst my readers and even myself. Here we had the workshop on “principles of development” in regards to our centres in particular height yesterday.
Yet at this point in time knowing that height was a major issue right across the city (including where I live in Papakura and where I often conduct business in Manukau) (not just three particular areas that were in the MSM) it is not a theme in which submissions are being codified against – unlike zoning which is a theme (the biggest one) and being codified for.
Further more I know from blog correspondence that quite a few individualised submissions (that is those that were not pro-forma) when mentioning height as a “theme,” those particular submissions often had alternatives for the heights that were recommended in the Draft UP (including my own submission).
So height is not as a theme submissions are being codified against – yet we have individualised submissions talking about it as a theme and often with alternatives in contrast to the UP?

Once I get a reply back from Council in regards to issue I will post it back into the blog. Seems things have evolved from being just a blogger and commentator to now blogger, commentator and investigative journalist. Ah well such as the nature of the beast that is social media.


As for Metro Magazine; apparently I have received a mention in the editorial section of July’s issue of Metro Magazine. I believe it might be in relation to my Unitary Plan Twitter Spam but, will have to check. I shall get my copy of Metro today and take a look and if so inclined stick it up on the blog tomorrow.

In saying that make sure you get your July issue of Metro for some winter reading (Simon the invoice is being sent to you for that little spiel later today 😉 )


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