Tag: Workshop

Auckland Plan Committee – Unitary Plan Deliberations – Take 3

Third Round of Unitary Plan Deliberations


This Thursday after the conclusion of the Governing Body meeting the Auckland Plan Committee will meet for the second time to deliberate over the Unitary Plan workshop recommendations.

Apart from the Rural Urban Boundary issue which saw the workshop recommend the “Corridor” option for the South, there is not that much “heavy” stuff on there – well for me to pay attention to any how.

However I will still go sit in the public seating area and see which Councillors will go and grandstand this time around (after Brewer and Coney did last time much to extreme annoyance).

You can see the Agenda and Recommendations for the Committee including workshop recommendations below:


Looking at the Workshop Timetable I see the next round is the Local Board/APC Combined session where Local Board resolutions are forwarded on the Unitary Plan. After that a major workshop covering:

  • City Centre (possibly Manukau as well)
  • Place based Precincts
  • Education Precincts (Usually areas around Tertiary Campuses)
  • Industrial Zones (that is a biggie especially concerning the Penrose and Wiri heavy industrial complexes)
  • Retirement Villages / Converted Dwellings


Which reminds me, I need to get back to the Deputy Mayor in opening up one of those combined Local Board/APC workshops open to the media for observation.

Apart from that – some heavy stuff coming up with the Unitary Plan



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



Auckland Updates

All Quiet (on the Western Front) at the Moment


All is quiet at the moment in regards to the Unitary Plan and transport issues in Auckland after some recent fanfare in both departments recently. Needless to say there is still quite a bit of activity going on behind the scenes.

Unitary Plan

There is a workshop today around: Universal Design, GMO‘s and noise (wonder if we can file a noise complaint against grandstanding councillors wasting our time); with the RUB workshop held on Monday gone.

I have heard word that the Councillors and Local Boards now have access to ALL of our submissions ranging from pro-forma to 104 page monsters along with comments from the Planners in them (red pen anyone). Those submissions have not been released into the public domain as of yet.

Rather than idly speculator I have sent an enquiry back to Council on the updates in getting the submission released. Will know more as soon as it comes through.

Further updates or happenings with the UP

  • Still waiting on enquiry into the RUB workshop and interim direction setting given from it back to the Auckland Plan Committee (July 25)
  • Active consideration being given around Manukau
  • Active consideration in having two workshops open to the media (in some shape or form)


Pretty much quiet here too along this front. In saying that we do have the Auckland Transport consultation period under way for the Southern Auckland New Public Transport Network – which is pretty good.

At the same time all eyes are watching ATB’s launch of their Congestion Free Network which I commented on here: “ATB’s Congestion Free Network” yesterday.

This piece from Radio NZ‘s Morning report sums up the situation. Listen especially towards the end of Todd Nial’s piece on the hurdles ATB and Generation Zero face at this point in time with their proposal:

Alternative public transport plan proposes more for less


Again and still, all eyes front to see where this goes.


And as always anything else that comes my way I will publish up ASAP.



RUB Workshop Today

Change of Unitary Plan Workshop Dates


I noticed an “alert” from Councillor George Wood late last night signalling a change in the Unitary Plan Workshops. This Wednesday was meant to be the Rural Urban Boundary Workshop but, has moved to today (10-5) and is still a closed session. Wednesday will be the workshop on Universal Design.


Also as a reminder I will be in Town Hall today attending the briefing on your Rates for the 2013/14 cycle. I will write the commentary up on this later tonight.


Council Statement on Rural Workshop Today

From Council on Today’s Unitary Plan Workshop

All things Rural


Sorry folks media are not allowed into the workshops at the moment so we do rely on the statements that do come out. This is the latest one on all things Rural in Auckland.

Unitary Plan workshop supports protection of productive rural areas
Managing the effects of rural and countryside living, while preserving productive farm land, were among issues discussed by councillors and local board chairs at the third Auckland Plan Committee draft Unitary Plan workshop today.
Subjects raised for political direction included:
  • Rural subdivision
  • Countryside living lot sizes, location and extent
  • Mixed-rural zone
  • Second or subsequent dwellings on rural sites
There was general agreement with the direction of the Auckland Plan for rural areas to remain rural in character and future rural population growth to be focused in existing towns and villages.
These sentiments were reflected in much of the feedback so far on the draft Unitary Plan.
Suggested approaches discussed at the workshop today included:
  • No net increase in the number of rural sites, to protect productive land and avoid fragmentation
  • Investigate additional countryside living areas and potential for different lot sizes around rural towns and villages
  • Review the location of the mixed rural zones and whether additional mixed rural zones would be appropriate
  • Investigate providing for second or subsequent dwellings on rural sites
Council staff will continue to do further work on these areas.


All recommendations from the Rural workshop will head to the July 25 Auckland Plan Committee. Hopefully that Committee will not be treated as a joke by Grandstanding Councillors as yesterday’s one on the Mixed Housing Zone splitting.






The Next Steps for the Unitary Plan – All That Feedback and What Happens

A Series on this Round of the Unitary Plan before it goes to Formal Notification

Part Three: What happens to all that feedback?


The question actually is how do the planners, Local Board and Auckland Plan Committee members (the Councillors) wade through 22,700 pieces of Unitary Plan feedback.

I have not been to Level 22 of the Council building where the planners are busy trudging through all that feedback we sent in and either codifying our replies or sending the more “technical” stuff off for a further look. But, from what I have heard and been briefed on the task is a major undertaking and one I would not envy in a hurry.

As a recap from Part One of this series this is what essentially happens with your feedback:


In short three things can happen depending on what you sent in.

If it was pro-forma (and there was 6,500 pieces from 35 groups that did this) it is essentially tallied up and totals assigned to set “topics.” Stuff done on an Excel sheet.

If you wrote an individual submission it can land in one of two places in the codifying exercise. All individual submissions are collated, summarised and codified according to “topic” and will be sent for political direction – usually the Auckland Plan Committee. If in your individual submission you decided to go highly technical (and some did) then your piece is worked over by senior planners and topic experts at a finer level. Your technical points will then be “addressed” accordingly.

To make the point clear; it can be taken that for individual submissions that are collated will be presented and reviewed at direction setting workshops via The Auckland Plan Committee. Collated information is divided by topic and will be worked over by experts who will flesh out the concepts from the submissions and again presented for direction setting at the Committee. I do wish them luck trying to codify and collate my 104 page monster with it covering I think 10 different issues.


Now Council have pointed out that not all submissions (especially those pro-forma’s) will be raising unique points (hence how the top 5 themes are deduced). Because of this the Council is able to effectively and efficiently build a summary analysis of that particular group of feedback (a theme) which is then fed back to the workshops and Committee.

This codifying and summary analysis (as well as working on the technical and unique material (Manukau as a Second CBD is deemed a unique point)) allows for staggering the discussions of the Unitary Plan with high priority issues going first (currently height and centres). At each workshop the Committee and Local Board (chairs at the moment) have access to the relevant summary analysis material which guides their decision-making and recommendations for direction setting by the Auckland Plan Committee.

Meaning? Lots and lots and LOTS of meetings around tables drinking filter coffee and eating a pile of scones. It also means in reporting the Auckland Plan Committee meetings as they happen I am going to get a numb backside for sitting on a chair for six hours and me hating the cursed air conditioning in Town Hall which plays havoc with my eyes.

So that is basically this is what is happening with your feedback at the moment. I am getting snippets from Local Board Chairs after the workshops some issues that are cropping up. While the debate is robust and Councillors are behaving themselves, the most common issue I am getting is that the summary analysis on the feedback is lacking. That is the codifying has not advanced enough to get anything meaningful from our feedback to the Local Board Chairs so they can work on our points raised with the committee. An issue that will need to be looked at.


A Brief Insight to the Inner Workings?

A thought had come to  mind and I am going to email this to the Council tomorrow. Maybe the media could take a guided tour of the process from: those people codifying on Level 22 (some has seen it already but others not), to a snippet of a workshop (say 30 mins of the workshop in action and nothing confidential being discussed at that particular moment) then the Auckland Plan Committee (which is open any how) where the decisions are finalised up.

Why such a guided tour?

To get a snap shot on what goes behind out of the public sight (but not our minds) might go a small way in improving Council’s “comm’s” effort after its C rating by our Deputy Mayor this week. Also the snap shot would keep the city in the loop outside of media releases and help give a better understanding what is happening out of our sight and more to the point why.

Yes we know workshops should be full and frank discussions but for just a 30 minute glimmer the city might be able to just appreciate that little bit more the inner workings of an apparatus that consumes our money.

As I said I’ll email council and give it a crack. Can’t promise much though but one can try.


In Part Four of this series I shall take a look at the zoning changes (which is the number one theme in the Unitary Plan right now) as well as the Southern Rural Urban Boundary/


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



From Yesterday’s Workshop

Sorry Folks Have Not Got Much Here


Yesterday in my “The Next Steps for the Unitary Plan – Those Workshops” post I made mention that the Auckland Plan Committee and Local Board Chairs held their first workshop. The workshop was on “the principles of development” around our centres – in particular height (which is not being codified as a theme against from our feedback).

In the same post I also made mention that at the end of each workshop a public statement will be released for our consumption. Despite a small glitch from the Council I have that statement which reads the following:

Heights discussed at first Unitary Plan workshop
Today elected members of Auckland Council attended the first post-engagement workshop following feedback on the draft Unitary Plan.
Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse said the workshop brought together Local Board Chairs and the Auckland Plan Committee members to talk through the principles governing heights in centres and give interim direction on how changes will be made to the draft plan.
“The political direction that came out of today’s workshop is that, while we all agree we need a range of heights across our centres, we would like to see greater refinement to allow for variety within a centre where it is appropriate.”
The direction-setting workshops, which will be held over June and July, reflect the main topics in the 22,700 pieces of feedback Aucklanders gave over 11 weeks of engagement.
“We have started with centre heights as our first topic, as they set the framework for the level of development in other parts of Auckland. 
“Proposed height limits for Auckland’s metropolitan, town and local centres have been widely debated, with clear argument coming through from each side of the debate. Our challenge for heights is to get the balance right and I believe we can do that,” said the Deputy Mayor.
Work will now start to refine the principles relating to height in centres as directed. These will then be presented for discussion at the next Auckland Plan Committee.
For further details on the feedback and the next steps in the Unitary Plan process, please see the Shape Auckland site.


Sorry folks that is all we have right now. Unless a Councillor or Local Board Chair would like to make a further statement this is all we (the city) have to go with for now. And I am going to assume it will be like this until the July 2 Auckland Plan Committee where all the workings of the workshops reach the committee and are discussed in the “open.”

In saying that I will go and ask about the situation that arose to this comment yesterday:

  • Oddly, height (which doesn’t need speech marks because you know what it means) is not a theme submissions are being coded against….

Follow up to that bullet point and my Part Three post will come up later today.