Councillor demands evidence on the draft Auckland Plan

Press Release – Dick Quax

Howick councillor Dick Quax has requested information under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987, which he describes as “crucial evidence” in the ongoing debate about whether Auckland should be the ‘quality compact city” …

8 January 2012

Councillor demands evidence on the draft Auckland Plan

Howick councillor Dick Quax has requested information under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987, which he describes as “crucial evidence” in the ongoing debate about whether Auckland should be the ‘quality compact city” as described by Mayor Len Brown.

Auckland Council is due to make decisions on the Auckland Plan when council resumes in February. The spatial plan, a requirement of the Auckland Council legislation, proposes a compact city development. Some councillors are questioning both the viability of the compact city proposal and the process used to justify it.

Cllr Quax said his request for information has been denied, so it was necessary to use the law to request the release of evidential analysis that will be instrumental in determining whether 300,000 additional dwellings can be built within the existing urban area of Auckland.

“Council officials have advised me that they have commissioned independent research and analysis which will be crucial in determining whether the so-called 75:25 intensification ratio proposed by Mayor Brown is feasible. I don’t think that shoebox apartment living, wall-to-wall townhouses and the denial of suburban living is a viable option for Auckland’s future, and if Council officials have information that reflects the same conclusion, councillors need to see it.

“I am calling on the Council to release information prepared by StudioD4 and Jasmax. I am also calling on the Council to release analysis prepared by CB Richard Ellis, which is fundamental to the debate about what we can realistically achieve under the draft Auckland Plan. I am disappointed that I have to use an Act of Parliament to obtain information from my own council, but this debate is too important to allow officials to delay the release of evidence,” Cllr Quax said.

The Howick councillor said the process for determining what the Auckland spatial plan should look like needs to be evidential, and it needs to reflect the aspirations of every community within the Auckland region.

“Concepts like ‘vision’ and ‘aspiration’ have been the domain of the Council’s public relations machine for nearly a year. But the Local Government (Auckland Council) Act requires us to produce an evidential spatial plan, which is based on rigorous analysis, not assumption.

“Under the co-governance model, the Council also has a duty of care to sign off on a spatial plan that is reflective of the views and wishes of the 21 local boards. Each of the boards will have a view as to whether shoe-box apartments and townhouses in neighbourhoods and town centres throughout the region are an appropriate course of action for Auckland over the next 30 years. Let’s have a debate that is informed by all of the evidence,” Cllr Quax said.

End.

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