Mark Thomas - New Mayor for Auckland

New Unitary Plan If We Don’t Get The One We Need

We are three days from hearing the recommendations from the Unitary Plan Hearings Panel.

I am optimistic that there will be much in the plan which will be good for Auckland and will help us fix legacy planning and growth restrictions.

But the planning process has divided communities. We never really gave residents, businesses and other stakeholders the opportunity “to write” the Unitary Plan – as other cities around the world have done. Then with the draft plan that was finalised in September 2013, there have been many subsequent changes. The residential housing rules in particular have changed significantly.

This is an inevitable part of a Resource Management Act process and some of the changes will be sensible. But these changes, if confirmed by councillors, risk further alienating Aucklanders – when we actually need them to help us get on with the development.

I said when I announced my growth policies in May that my main priority if elected Mayor will be to accelerate Auckland’s housing building – particularly on the significant land holding council has around the region.

But I also said that if we don’t get the Unitary Plan we need, I will lead a rewrite of the sections that don’t work for us.

I am confident that we can do both.


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