20 days to de­cide next 30 years

Central Leader - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - TOM CARNEGIE

It’s es­ti­mated it would take a speed reader nearly two months to read the rec­om­mended Unitary Plan.

Auck­land Coun­cil­lors have been given 20 days to come to grips with it.

The moun­tain of text and the tight time­frame is now caus­ing con­cern for some coun­cil­lors.

The long-awaited rec­om­mended Unitary Plan for the su­per city was made pub­lic on July 27 and the coun­cil now has un­til Au­gust 19 to de­cide whether it ac­cepts the rec­om­men­da­tions.

‘‘This im­pacts the city for the next 30 years and we have 20 days to try un­der­stand it be­fore we have to make key de­ci­sions,’’ coun­cil­lor Mike Lee says.

‘‘I am cer­tainly try­ing to un­der­stand it to the best of my abil­ity and will give it a good crack but of course it is not suf­fi­cient time.’’

The Unitary Plan has nearly 7000 pages and Auck­land Uni­ver­sity busi­ness school lec­turer and ‘power read­ing’ ex­pert Nick Read es­ti­mates it would take 55 days to speed read it.

To deal with the work­load, coun­cil­lor Denise Krum says she has been fo­cus­ing on the ar­eas she’s in­ter­ested in and re­ceiv­ing help from coun­cil staff.

‘‘It is a very large, com­plex doc­u­ment and we can­not be ex­pected to know all of it when it comes to the de­ci­sion process. But in say­ing that I will feel very an­gry if we feel pressed to rush de­ci­sions dur­ing this pe­riod,’’ Krum says.

The Unitary Plan will fol­low a stan­dard de­ci­sion-mak­ing process which is car­ried out by the Auck­land De­vel­op­ment Com­mit­tee, and chaired by deputy mayor Penny Hulse.

Coun­cil­lor Cameron Brewer says be­cause of the extraordinary na­ture of the Unitary Plan it should be con­sid­ered by the Gov­ern­ing Body, which Mayor Len Brown chairs.

‘‘I am furious that the mayor re­fuses to chair the many days of de­lib­er­a­tion and in­stead has given it to the deputy mayor to chair,’’ Brewer says.

Brown has pre­vi­ously stated the re­lease of the pro­posed Unitary Plan is a ma­jor mile­stone for Auck­land.

‘‘We’ve had four years of de­bate and ev­ery­one has had am­ple op­por­tu­nity to have their say,’’ he said.

‘‘The process from here is that we as a coun­cil need to con­sider the panel’s rec­om­men­da­tions and make fi­nal de­ci­sions.’’

BE­VAN READ

The great tower of pa­per that would be re­quired to print the en­tire Auck­land Unitary Plan.

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