Uni­tary Plan: good enough for now?

Central Leader - - OUT & ABOUT - SI­MON MAUDE

They may dis­agree on what shape Auck­land takes but out­spo­ken Uni­tary Plan com­men­ta­tors want the con­tro­ver­sial, ‘‘im­per­fect’’ blue­print passed.

In­ten­si­fi­ca­tion ad­vo­cates Gen­er­a­tion Zero and Orakei Lo­cal Board chair Des­ley Simp­son both say stick­ing points in the 7000-page plan that maps out Auck­land re­gion’s growth can be re­vis­ited af­ter its passed.

Massey Univer­sity pub­lic pol­icy com­men­ta­tor Grant Dun­can says it’s a ‘‘com­pli­cated’’ ques­tion whether or not it’s ‘‘naive’’ to al­low an im­per­fect Uni­tary Plan now in the hope it can be changed later.

Coun­cil­lors fac­ing re-elec­tion later this year af­ter the plan’s Au­gust 19 fi­nal vote will be mind­ful of a voter back­lash while deal­ing with cen­tral gov­ern­ment pres­sure on coun­cil to in­crease hous­ing sup­ply, Dun­can said.

Al­bany coun­cil­lor Wayne Walker said that once passed, el­e­ments of the Uni­tary Plan like zon­ing could be re­vis­ited by coun­cil­lors.

Auck­land coun­cil­lors started de­bat­ing on Wed­nes­day on what mea­sures rec­om­mended by the In­de­pen­dent Hear­ings Panel should be adopted or re­jected.

On Mon­day, the coun­cil’s reg­u­la­tory ser­vices di­rec­tor, Penny Pir­rit, said the coun­cil op­posed 14 ma­jor Uni­tary Plan rec­om­men­da­tions.

But Gen­er­a­tion Zero said now was not the time to quib­ble about how the plan’s five year process had ar­rived at a point where coun­cil was con­test­ing el­e­ments of the plan it orig­i­nally pro­posed.

Spokesman for the youthori­en­tated lobby group Leroy Beck­ett said there had been ‘‘plenty of op­por­tu­nity for demo­cratic in­put’’ from the pub­lic, lo­cal body politi­cians and in­ter­est groups.

Al­though the Uni­tary Plan had been ’’quite a con­fus­ing process’’ to fol­low, Beck­ett says, the ‘‘im­per­fect’’ plan was now back in the hands of Auck­land coun­cil­lors as a po­lit­i­cal process. Coun­cil of­fi­cers wanted min­i­mum apart­ment size rules kept, some­thing Gen­er­a­tion Zero and the hear­ings panel wanted re­moved to spur apart­ment sup­ply.

‘‘The coun­cil­lors have had Uni­tary Plan work­shops for the last year, the ones that turned-up should be fully versed in the plan . . . th­ese are the peo­ple we’ve elected to make a de­ci­sion on our be­half. The end process is here, we just have to get through it re­ally’’.

SI­MON MAUDE

‘‘The [Uni­tary Plan’s] end process is here, we just have to get through it re­ally’’, Gen­er­a­tion Zero’s Leroy Beck­ett says.

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