Tag: Richard Burton

Rethink the Housing Accord says Auckland 2040

Rethink or NIMBY‘s Striking Again?


Auckland 2040 released a press statement on Monday about the Housing Accord. This will be due to that Auckland Council is giving their submission to the Accord today after deliberations yesterday at the Auckland Plan Committee that I sat in and observed.

This is the press release from Auckland 2040

Rethink the Housing Accord says Auckland 2040

Monday, 10 June, 2013 – 11:41

Auckland 2040 says linking the Auckland Housing Accord to the notification of the draft Unitary Plan (DUP) will put pressure on the Council to ‘fast track’ the plan ignoring around 14,000 submissions.

The coalition has written to Housing Minister Nick Smith requesting that he reconsider tying the Accord to the DUP notification and providing an alternative solution. It’s concerned that Aucklanders have just had their first look at the DUP, invested considerable time in preparing submissions and that the planners won’t have the time to read, consider or adopt the suggestions.

Auckland 2040 spokesperson and planner Richard Burton says there are serious shortcomings in the DUP and it’s important that the Council is not forced to notify the Plan before it is ready.

“We do not believe that Auckland Council has the time or the resources to consider the large number of submissions received, to rethink the Unitary Plan and rectify the problems by the target notification date of 1 September. Much more time is needed to prepare a quality Plan.

“There’s also an easy solution that will take the pressure off the planners and make sure Aucklanders have not wasted their time making submissions. We suggest Council identify Special Housing Areas (SHAs) and then prepare Structure Plans. These will also ensure better quality housing,” said Richard.

The current Auckland Housing Accord makes no mention of requiring Structure Plans for SHAs which Auckland 2040 argues is a serious omission. It says that structure plans will avoid haphazard unplanned development by matching the level of development intensity to infrastructure capacity, including roads, waste water and other services. It would also integrate residential development with reserves, community facilities and schools. Community consultation is another component of a Structure Plan and would allow greater consideration of the interface between SHA’s and adjoining communities. Qualifying SHA Developments would then have to comply with the Structure Plan.

“Requiring Structure Plans in the Accord legislation doesn’t need to be overly time-consuming. Auckland Council could quickly identify a number of SHAs and then commence planning. The other advantage of this approach is that neighbours and affected parties will have a say in the process. Without meaningful consultation and a right of appeal, the potential for abuse is high,” says Richard.

Auckland 2040 is a coalition of local non-political groups passionately concerned about the long- term implications of the draft Unitary Plan (DUP). It wants Auckland Council to ‘ReThink’ the Plan in order to balance intensification with infrastructure capability and urban character values. The group opposes random high density multi-story apartments haphazardly scattered throughout Auckland, poor planning and provision for infrastructure, and inadequate community involvement in the Plan. For more information go to http://auckland2040.org.nz/.



All seems good doesn’t it? On paper it does look good what Auckland 2040 is suggesting with Special Housing Areas and these Structure Plans. These Structure Plans could end up similar to my proposed Semi-Liberal Planned Districts for greenfield areas and Centralised Master Community Plans for brownfield areas.

However, there is a catch. My SLPD and CMCP’s take effect when the Unitary Plan is in operation. Meaning it has been thrashed out and the Rural Urban Boundary options firmed up after research and further consultation.

Auckland 2040’s idea would take effect once the Accord was in operation which would not bother me per say. But, in knowing Auckland 2040 they would clam up in any Brownfield Special Housing Areas being put forward (especially on the Isthmus and North Shore) and dump the entire lot in the Greenfield areas out in the south.

In Auckland 2040 would like to suggest a Brownfield area on the Isthmus and North Shore that would have significant development then let me know in the comments box your location choice below. Otherwise your subsequent silence would imply pro-sprawl behaviour down here in the south. Of which I believe the NIMBY term applies.


What is wrong with lugging significant developments in the greenfield areas now? We of the south are still going through the Rural Urban Boundary processes at the moment. Currently in the Unitary Plan feedback process that closed last month we got to choose one of three options we would think best for Greenfield development under the UP. Council is now considering this and hopefully are doing capacity and infrastructure studies on the options. Once done it is meant to be reported back and a more informed selection can be made by us in the formal notification stage at the end of the year.

What Auckland 2040 are doing is effectively short circuiting the RUB process away from Southern Auckland. It can also be implied through some of the NIMBY aspects of Auckland 2040 that they would want the bulk of the SHA’s in the greenfield zones.

I’d rather have the RUB processes done fully and properly first. As I have mentioned before if the wrong section of land is opened up down here in the South the unintended consequences are large. That being the Karaka-Weymouth Bridge which has upset a lot of people here.


So what do we do now?

Sit and wait for the council to finish the southern RUB work. Lets see how many houses we can get, what infrastructure is needed and at what cost, and what employment centre bases will also be needed as well. Suggesting SHA’s down here now would be beyond pointless when we and the area are simply not ready.

The RUB Addendum 1/2

The RUB Addendum 2/2


2040 Has an Alternative

Thoughts and Comments?


2040 Auckland and the Character Coalition have released a statement and letter on their alternative for the Unitary Plan. Please not I am not endorsing or disagreeing (yet), just seeking YOUR thoughts on what they have to say.

From 2040 Auckland and the Character Coalition

Auckland Mayor Len Brown and Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse meet Auckland 2040 Group for

Urgent Talks about Unitary Plan


Auckland 23 May 2013


In response to mounting public outrage following Auckland 2040’s disclosure of the implications behind critical elements of the draft unitary plan, Auckland 2040 Founders Richard Burton and Guy Haddleton met this week with the Mayor, and Deputy Mayor for intensive discussions.


The meeting was constructive, with the Mayor willing to consider proposals put forward by Auckland 2040 for amendments to the plan. He also expressed a commitment to have a fair and meaningful dialogue with Auckland 2040 over the next few months, stating that the Unitary Plan would not be notified in September until 80-90% of the issues were resolved.


Following the meeting, Auckland 2040 has submitted their proposals in a letter to the Mayor and is now awaiting feedback.


Comments Richard Burton, “I look forward to the healthy public debate that will emerge from our proposal and our participation in on-going discussions with Council”


Letter to Auckland Mayor below:


22 May 2013


His Worship the Mayor


Our thanks to you and Deputy Major Ms P Hulse for taking the time to meet with Auckland 2040 and the Character Coalition yesterday. We were very pleased to read in the NZ Herald that you agreed with much of what we said.


A fundamental issue in looking at the future growth of Auckland is the extent to which Auckland is likely to grow over the next 30 years. That Auckland is growing and will continue to grow is undisputed; it is the rate and extent of growth which is at issue. Significant under or over estimation can have profound effects on future planning. We request that Auckland City:


  • Be completely transparent in revealing the statistical justification for Council’s 1,000,000 population increase forecast for the next 30 years


  • Reconsider the Auckland population estimate of 1,000, 000 additional population over the next 30 years to align with Statistics NZ Medium estimates. Overseas cities generally adopt the Medium estimate in planning for growth and then monitor that estimate over time, with adjustments up or down depending on actual growth. The High estimate as used by Auckland Council may overstate actual growth by as much as 50%. Overstating the population increase has serious implications on infrastructure and the need for high density intensification and or greenfields development.



The Draft Unitary Plan has been prepared on the basis of an additional 1,000,000 population over 30 years. Even if Auckland reaches such growth levels, it will not happen overnight but rather in a progressive incremental manner. It is thus logical to release land for intensification and green field’s development in a staged manner. To zone immediately 56% of Auckland’s residential areas for unrestrained, scattered apartment development is neither logical nor staged. Neither would immediate release of greenfields land sufficient for 400,000 people be logical or staged. Fortunately no-one is suggesting the latter.


We are not opposed to intensification, nor apartment development. We are opposed to scattered, un-planned, uncoordinated developments with no or inadequate consideration of urban character values, heritage values or infrastructure and no community consultation.


Certainty in an urban framework context is of fundamental importance to most people living in or buying into neighbourhoods. While alteration or addition of dwellings is largely accepted, structures introducing a different, more discordant building form are strongly opposed. Many residential areas have a mature character with established dwellings and streetscapes. Some have a dominant heritage character. Many of the most popular areas have had significant infill, but the infill is of a similar character to the existing housing so is accepted, albeit reluctantly in some quarters. Apartment buildings are a very alien building form in those streetscapes and the uncertainty of whether this form of development will occur in “my street” is what is galvanizing Aucklanders to object to Council’s proposals.


Auckland 2040 and the Character Coalition request that Council approach the Unitary Plan in a more planned and staged manner. Specifically Council should reduce the amount of land zoned for apartment development and instead have a more targeted focus providing development opportunities while preserving most of the existing residential areas.


If demand indicates more apartment zoned land is required, Council can undertake the appropriate neighbourhood or town centre studies with meaningful community involvement prior to release of more land for redevelopment. If full structure planning is required prior to release of greenfields land then why should not the same apply to intensification proposals within the existing urban area?


The following proposals should be considered in the context of the above statements. We request the Auckland Council give consideration to the following proposed amendments to the Unitary Plan:



  1. The introduction of a new residential Infill Zone which allows one and two storey buildings only and permits infill at a density of one unit per 350m2 net site area. This zone to be applied to the majority of the residential areas and in particular to residential areas which:
    1. Retain a strong residential character of 1 –2 story dwellings ,or
    2. Have significant heritage values, or
    3. Are close to sensitive environments such as the coast, lakes, volcanic cones, or
    4. Have been subject to considerable infill development, but which retain predominantly stand-alone housing, or
    5. Have topographical challenges which would tend to increase the adverse effects of apartment buildings


  1. The Mixed Housing Zone be restricted to areas in close proximity to town centers or selected arterial routes with good roading, public transport and infrastructure and which do not have the characteristics in (1) above.


  1. The Terrace House and Apartment Zone be confined to areas immediately adjoining inner city or Metropolitan Centres, plus the major town centres subject to (5) below.


  1. Development controls to be reconfigured to address adjoining property effects, and height limits to be restricted by full discretionary activity status, including public notification and affected party’s consents for exceeding height.


  1. That Metropolitan, Town Centre and neighbourhood studies be undertaken with community involvement to determine the most appropriate zoning mix after due consideration of existing urban character, heritage values, infrastructure and traffic. That Council reconsider town centre studies undertaken by previous council’s or Environment Court decisions affecting specific areas and incorporate the principal findings of those studies/decisions into the Unitary Plan.



  1. That should Council determine that additional intensification is warranted in the future due to increased demand, Council undertake structure planning of the areas where intensification is planned. Such structure planning should be similar in scope to that required for greenfields planning and have an aim of achieving a significant degree of community consensus.



We would welcome the opportunity to discuss these proposals in a constructive manner with Council and senior staff.





Yours sincerely,


Guy Haddleton, Auckland 2040

Richard Burton, Auckland 2040

Sally Hughes, Character Coalition



About Auckland 2040


Auckland 2040 is a newly formed grass roots organization of non political residents passionately concerned about the future planning and shape of Auckland. Its web site is www.auckland2040.org.nz


Comments and thoughts in the comment box below