17 Oct 2012

Dick Quax Welcomes Govt Proposal for Auckland Unitary Plan

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Published by: Scoop Independent News: Politics – 17 October 2012

Councillor Dick Quax has welcomed the government’s one-off process to improve the development of the Auckland Council’s first Unitary Plan.

“I was always afraid the Council would prevail with its view that there would be no appeal rights to the Environment Court.”

“Had those appeal rights been extinguished as proposed by the Council then Aucklanders would have had a Plan forced on them which may have ignored the aspirations of our many diverse communities.”

“The Mayor’s vision of a compact city with an additional 1 million people crammed with the current urban footprint is not widely supported out in the community.”

“The objection that I had was that the process was being hijacked by the Mayor’s office to accommodate his vision of a compact urban form. Overseas experience is that this urban form leads to greater traffic congestion, more pollution, less green space, more child obesity, less community engagement and housing unaffordability.”

The Minister’s proposal will still truncate the process, something that both the government and council want to achieve, but allow Aucklanders to have a real input into the Plan though a hearings panel that is being set up in consultation with the Council but independent of it. The Panel will hear public submissions and evidence through a process which will test evidence.

The panel will make recommendations to the Council which will accept or reject those recommendations. Those recommendations that the Council does not accept will have full appeal rights to the Environment Court.


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