The Auckland Plan

September 21st, 2011 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Mayor Len Brown has this morning tabled a $5.5 billion draft plan which he hopes will turn the city into the “most liveable city in the world”.

The 254-page plan, which was launched at the new Auckland Art Gallery by Mr Brown and Local Government Minister Rodney Hide, includes the $2.2 billion central city rail loop, $2 billion of further waterfront development and $1.1 billion for central city development.

Aucklanders will have until October 25 to submit their views to council on four weighty volumes of plans – the draft Auckland Plan – a blueprint to improve the city’s quality of life over the next 20 to 30 years – and the Auckland City Centre Masterplan for 20 years, the Waterfront Masterplan for 30 years and Economic Development Strategy for 10 years.

I’ve not yet had time to read the draft plan.  But with Auckland projected to grow by 600,000 people over the next few decades it is vital they start working on how to cope with this population growth. I am of the view the city needs to expand both upwards and outwards.

What I do want to comment on at this stage is the fact that there can now be a coherent plan for Auckland. Under eight different Councils, this was impossible. The new Council doesn’t guarantee that the plan will be a good plan, but it does give Aucklanders the opportunity to develop a good plan for their city.

I’m not generally a big fan of ten or twenty year plans. They remind me too much of the USSR. but when it comes to infrastructure planning and investment, you do need to be looking long-term. The danger is when you try to expand such plans beyond those things which need to be decided on a long-term basis.

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21 Responses to “The Auckland Plan”

  1. swan (665 comments) says:

    The council seems to be keen on putting health, welfare, and economic development on its own agenda. None of which should be the domain of a local authority. Its like theyve taken a whole bunch of stuff from London and just changed a few words. The spawl/intensification debate will likely take up most peoples attention, but I think this ‘scope creep’ should not be overlooked.

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  2. Manolo (14,029 comments) says:

    Comrade Len Brown cannot (and should not) be taken seriously. He’s pissing in the wind and time-waster supreme.

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  3. James Stephenson (2,223 comments) says:

    Time to start working on a plan to leave, I think.

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  4. dog_eat_dog (789 comments) says:

    Good old Len – focus on the CBD and to hell with the other parts of Auckland, where people actually live.

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  5. double d (225 comments) says:

    Hey Len, plan away bud, but figure out where the $$ are coming from and dont look at wellington for an answer ….. you want a train track, put your rates up.

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  6. Mike Readman (365 comments) says:

    It’s pretty simple to cope with population growth. Let developers build where they want and when traffic starts getting too busy, extend and expand the motorways.

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  7. s.russell (1,646 comments) says:

    The new Council doesn’t guarantee that the plan will be a good plan, but it does give Aucklanders the opportunity to develop a good plan for their city.

    Yes indeed. I’m sure there will be argument aplenty about the plan, good or bad. But at least there is now a possibility that the necessary (and desirable) things will actually get done. Under the old system, argument was all that happened.

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  8. trout (944 comments) says:

    More BS from the planners (do as I say not as I do) who from their rustic homes in Titirangi dictate that the great unwashed should live in high density housing around railway stations (to justify trains). They should spend some time in London and experience the problems inherent in high density housing. And of course the usual business stifling solutions (no cars, open space, restricted access). Planners who overview Auckland see urban sprawl; the people who live here see their own property and enjoy their own individual lifestyle in a detached house with a garden. Because of the size of Auckland (circumference) significant extra population can be easily accommodated without extending the boundaries by very much at all and yet retain a good quality of life.

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  9. ben (2,384 comments) says:

    Rodney Hide helping launch a 254 page central plan.

    That is everything that’s been wrong with ACT in a nutshell right there.

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  10. insider (1,028 comments) says:

    The stupid thing about a plan is it locks development in 30 years into today’s thinking. How can they possibly accurately foresee what trends will evolve over that time? They can’t even accurately predict the number of people using public transport or turning up to party central. So they’ll end up retrofitting 2030 Auckland into a 2011 plan.

    They could save 200 pages of work and produce a document with some broad guiding principles and objectives, like “maintain the urban limit and accomodate projected population growth within it”, or “provide a high frequency, cost effective public transport system that provides residents with alternative to private cars” The 200 pages of detail will then be allowed to emerge over time as thinking matures and resources/constraints become clear.

    But much of this plan appears naive navel gazing and wishful thinking about things they will never have the opportunity or capacity to deliver. The housing one is a doozie – “Reduce the proportion of households which spend more than 30% of their income on housing costs from the national average of 27% in 2011 to 20% in 2040″ Since when is the council responsible for managing wage/cost ratios?

    “Increase the proportion of people who own their own home from 64% in 2006 to 75% by 2040″ Are they going to force people to buy? Is it a plan failure if people choose to rent? This kind of stuff is ridiculous

    Note: in contrast to the above I am yet to find anything about controlling rates rises and council costs – things the council really can control

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  11. jaba (2,146 comments) says:

    I live in Franklin and we were dragged yelling and screaming into the Super City. There was a map Of Akld in the Herald today with indications on what would be happening where .. didn’t pay much attention as the map stopped at Papakura. They want our rates to spend in Auckland on a train loop.
    We would go into Akld about 4-5 times a year .. Lenny B can piss off

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  12. thedavincimode (6,868 comments) says:

    jaba

    That’s only $3,666.67 each spread over 20 easy annual payments of $183. Where is your community spirit?

    Len’s also very generous in giving everyone a month to digest his latest mad hatter scheme.

    Rich justice that the stunted yellow canary got to stand up with mad Len when it was launched.

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  13. hj (7,060 comments) says:

    The problem of letting the developers make all the decisions and then sweep up with more taxpayer funded infrastructure is that the developer has more power than others in the community in that he can out bid most people as he stands to make a gain through greater density or turning farmland in to urban land for capital gain (using other peoples money). The developer is unlikely to be concerned about externalities which are worn by those in the neighborhood. Profit maximization produces a race to the bottom and living environment that is an assault on the senses for those on the bottom rung. What’s more it is a political decision to allow masses from overseas to move to Auckland under the guise that a bigger Auckland is a richer, better Auckland. The type of hyped up best city statistics are for wealthy mobile people not the dross.

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  14. lilman (965 comments) says:

    Len Brown, a exercise in glorious masturbation !!!!!!!!!!!

    This guy is an idiot ,only pushed in to secound by his supporters who are defunct of any common sense.

    LOVE AUCKLAND , LOVE NEW ZEALAND, WHAT A JOKE !

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  15. Joseph Carpenter (214 comments) says:

    You’re wrong DaVinci, for this wishlist it’s actually $23,000.00 per RATE PAYING PROPERTY on average.

    Three things must be done immediately to stop the destructive cancer of Local Government spreading:
    1) Amend the LGA to restrict the competence back from “general” to strictly only as defined in the LGA as used to be case up 2001. It’s crazy that a TLA can act as a business or any other crazy idea and have the unlimited power to levy property taxes to pay for it.

    2) Return the franchise back to how it was in 1988: only natural person rate payers have the vote – no representation without taxation.

    3) For a change actually enforce the penalty provisions on Local authorities for non-performance under the RMA and BCA. It’s totally unjust and outright malfeseance that the courts and DBH totally refuse to enforce these and in fact have never once done so in 20 years meanwhile poor old citizen not only has to obey every single arbitary pissant regulation but under both Acts it’s “strict liability” for Joe Blow (i.e. you literally have no defence). And how about just for f**king once get TLA’s to actually obey the law and respect “existing use rights” under the RMA instead of ignoring/pretending they don’t exist. In fact get rid of the RMA and go back to the old TCPA pre 1991 it was far superior by every measure except giving arbitary power to planners.

    Come on National keep all your pre-election promises! not just the ones you conveniently select.

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  16. Australis (101 comments) says:

    The plan is based on large dollops of funding which will be made possible by a stellar rate of economic growth over the entire planning horizon. And it even decides that all this prosperity will derive from “green growth” (undefined).

    We’ve all had reason to fear governments picking winners. But this one is different – just one winner, with all eggs in the same basket.

    Then to ram the point home, the City is to focus much of its energy on reducing CO2 emissions by 40% by 2030. That’s very much more ambitious than the national targets, and the City doesn’t even have an ETS. Perhaps it will adopt the Australian carbon tax!

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  17. thedavincimode (6,868 comments) says:

    Joseph

    Then that would make it 20 slightly less easy annual payments of $1,150. ;)

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  18. Owen McShane (1,226 comments) says:

    The Auckland Plan alone is 250 pages but that is only one of four draft plans just published.

    The Auckland Council has published a group of plans and invites submissions from citizens. Unfortunately, the documents are massive and are far more wide ranging in scope and content than the District Plans and Policy Statements we have grown accustomed to – or have learned to live with. The Draft Auckland Plan alone is 250 pages long.

    The Auckland Plan web page explains:

    · The Draft Auckland Plan will have a major impact on Aucklanders lives over the next 30 years.

    · Through four different plans the council has identified priorities for Auckland’s development, which aim to make it the world’s most liveable city by 2040.

    · The following plans will shape where we live, work and play and the transport that we use over the next 30 years:

    o The Draft Auckland Plan – read more>>(250 pages)

    o The Draft Economic Development Strategy – read more.>(107 pages)

    o The Draft City Centre Masterplan – read more>>(202 pages)

    o The Draft Waterfront Plan – read more>>(estimate 300 pages)

    · You can read an executive summary of the four above plans here (PDF 2.2mb).

    NOTE: The 300 pages for the Waterfront Plan is an estimate because each chapter is loaded independently and would take ages to download. The Introduction to the Plan itself is 13 pages, the Integration Chapter of the Technical Papers is 25 pages long, the Transport Chapter is 49 pages long and there are thirteen chapters.

    So the four sets of Draft Plans total at least some 800 pages.

    With twenty seven working days to make submissions, submitters have to deal with 30 pages a day, every day. That is a demanding schedule.

    Submissions close on the 25th October shortly after the Rugby World Cup finals. Many will find it difficult to focus on these documents and the news media will be similarly diverted.

    There are two strategies being discussed. One is to boycott the plan process. The other is to overload the Council with say 20,000 submissions. They can cope with only 3,000 within the present timeframe.

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  19. Owen McShane (1,226 comments) says:

    Where is the analysis of all the transport systems either available, or in the wings, that could address the range of transport problems in the Auckland region?

    Why has Council leapt straight to rail and trams (19th century technology) without considering such alternatives as Avego (Real-Time Ridesharing) FlexCars, ZipCars, CityHop, (all car sharing companies) Google Robot Cars, convoyed truck trains, (these self drive vehicles can multiply road lane capacity six to eight times) and SkyCabs, and Mini Maglev monorails.

    And now ULTra Pod Taxis are well established at Heathrow Airport. These seem ideal for serving an extended waterfront precinct, delivering people from car parks to venues etc. These laser-guided travel pods work without drivers or timetables. ULTra, the company that developed the system, is confident that the technology will prove popular. India recently announced it will pilot the system around Delhi and Amritsar and feasibility studies are currently in progress in Raleigh, North Carolina in the United States.

    Maybe the Auckland Council should take a look at competing technologies before committing so much to Rail.
    Investing in Rail today is like investing in Telex machiines and Gestetners in the seventies.

    None of these get a mention in these Auckland Plans. True to the “Mythical Conception” theories of Jonathan Richmond these urban planners identify a transport problem and leap to their single silver bullet for the solution. Then they sacrifice all the theories of urban development economics to making the Rail system work in spite of its obvious failings.

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  20. thedavincimode (6,868 comments) says:

    Owen

    Minor detail, minor detail. Focus on the big picture. Its a GRAND plan, and its in all the papers.

    Besides, Key has already told him to fuck off.

    BTW, did you actually think that the deadline for submissions was accidental?

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  21. KiwiGreg (3,259 comments) says:

    “these urban planners identify a transport problem and leap to their single silver bullet for the solution. ”

    @ Owen – i’m pretty sure they start with the solution “Rail is good m’kay” and work back to see what “problem” it can solve

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