Mark Thomas - New Mayor for Auckland

City Limits Likely To Stay In Auckland Plan

Auckland mayoral candidate Mark Thomas said there wasn’t a ‘snow balls chance in hell’ that the Hearings Panel will recommend abandoning all urban planning limits.

“This idea has formed no part of the work council has done to date, which has been based on conventional zoning planning, and there is only one acknowledged city in the world with this status.”

Thomas is the only mayoral candidate who has been involved in the Unitary Plan’s development.

“Those calling for urban limits in Auckland to go have missed being part of the Unitary Plan discussions over the last 3 and a half years and are absent important detail.”

Thomas said the Hearings panel’s first determination last year was that the new Rural Urban Boundary needs to be more flexible and, although that could change, that seems a more likely compromise.

“Houston in Texas is the only city in USA with no “limits” but it has a series of other rules and limits that some have described nearly as meddlesome, as pro-sprawl as zoning in other American cities.

“These rules regulate design, restrict land use, designate historic aspects and even allow householders to set local rules.”

“Proponents of no limits should have been talking about what these rules would be for Auckland three years ago.”

“There are ideas within the Houston model and coming from Phil Twyford that I do support. I have included the idea that developers are allowed to determine and fund more of their developments within my growth policies released yesterday.”

“However a much bigger issue for Auckland is that even if we get the most ‘intense’ plan possible from the Panel and councillors approve it, it will take longer for Auckland to reach our housing targets without council directing more funding to infrastructure and being quicker at processing.”

Thomas said his growth policies address these issues.

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