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Zoning debate forces Council meeting

Disagreement over plans for Auckland’s intensification has forced the Mayor to call a special meeting on the issue.

Thursday, February 18th 2016, 4:10PM

by Miriam Bell

Auckland Mayor Len Brown has announced an extra-ordinary meeting, next Wednesday, to discuss issues raised by a campaign to withdraw the Council’s proposed Unitary Plan zoning maps.

The decision follows meetings last night and this morning at which five councillors opposed the Council’s proposals.

Brown warned councillors not to expect big changes to the proposals as a result of the meeting.

But one of the councillors involved, Mark Thomas, said the five councillors represent a majority on the Governing Body and a majority across Auckland.

“The Mayor should direct the upsizing resolutions be revoked and that council return to arguing its previously consulted and negotiated position.

This option already includes significant intensification and up zoning.”

He said Development Auckland work underway shows there is significant housing development possible in Takapuna, Northcote, Henderson, Manukau and Onehunga.

“Auckland has the potential to move forward quickly in these areas to boost housing supply and put pressure on prices without proceeding with the poorly justified and non-consulted recent changes.

Another of the five councillors, Cameron Brewer, said it wasn’t about who supports residential intensification and who doesn’t.

“All councillors support the need to intensify Auckland where it can be sustained.

“Our concerns are about process and ensuring property owners retain some form of natural justice. Our calls are about ensuring greater transparency and accountability.”

Residents lobby group Auckland 2040 welcomed the Mayor’s announcement and hopes that the meeting will lead the Council to change its plans. 

But, while the campaign against the zoning proposals has been vocal and highly publicised, there is significant high-level support for the proposals too.

The government, the Productivity Commission, and the Property Council, among others, all support the Council’s plans for greater intensification of Auckland.

On Tuesday, the Property Council slammed the campaign against the zoning proposals.

“The councillors who have withdrawn their support to rezone and upzone suburbs to allow for more houses have done so at the expense of Aucklanders, because they want to come back after the local elections.”

Youth lobby group Generation Zero also believes Auckland needs more intensification and a number of younger people have publicly spoken out in support of the zoning proposals.

The extra-ordinary meeting, which will be held Wednesday 24 February at 9.30am, will be open to the public. Members of the public can apply to speak.

The Independent Hearings Panel will make its recommendations on the Unitary Plan in July, and the council will vote on the final decisions later this year, prior to the October election.

« Politicking bad for supply shortageFree Investment Property Showcase Events: Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch »

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AIA 5.35 4.49 5.25 5.55
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HSBC Premier 5.49 4.39 5.15 5.39
HSBC Premier LVR > 80% - - - -
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HSBC Special - - - -
ICBC 5.25 4.29 5.09 5.35
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Nelson Building Society 5.95 4.95 5.85 -
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SBS Bank Special - 4.19 4.85 4.99
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Median 5.45 4.55 5.25 5.52

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