Archive | Rodney growth

Rodney proposes safeguard for small business centres

Published 7 April 2010

Jurisdiction: Rodney District


Neighbourhood: Specified centres


Applicant: Council


Application detail: Variation 140, to introduce a small business centres policy area into chapter 9 – business, of the 2000 district plan, which is now partly operative


Notification date: 25 March


Submission closure date: Monday 3 May


The council said in advocating the proposal: “There is an increasing shift to intensification of development, including residential development, within business areas. While this is welcome in the larger town centres in Rodney District, such development in smaller centres has the potential to have adverse effects on the community focus & smallscale character of those centres without significantly contributing benefits that intensification can bring.


“The proposal introduces a new small business centres policy area that is applied to the smaller centres in the district, including some centres that are zoned mixed business, where the centre serves as a local community focal point.


“The policy area is applied to 2 groups of centres. The A centres include those smaller centres that are listed for further intensification in chapter 13 – future development & structure plans. The B centres include those centres not so listed. The small business centres policy area requires new buildings to be assessed as a restricted discretionary activity to ensure that new development is in keeping with the centre & nearby residential development, and restricts the height of buildings in the B centres to 9m.”


The centres affected include:


A centres:

 Retail service-zoned land at Red Beach, Manly Village & Huapai.


B centres:

Mixed business-zoned land at Leigh, Matakana & the corner of Beverly & Whangaparaoa Rds, WhangaparaoaRetail service-zoned land, Hill Top, Hibiscus Coast Highway; Manly, corner Manly Park Drive & Tulip Close;Orewa, corner of Grand Drive & Maire Rd; Parakai; Riverhead; Snells Beach, south of the playing fields; Stanmore Bay, 151 Brightside Rd, corner Brightside Rd & Whangaparaoa Rd, corner Vipond Rd & Cooper Rd; Waimauku (not subject to restricted activity 314); Waiwera, on the north side of Waiwera Rd.

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Attribution: Council notice, story written by Bob Dey for the Bob Dey Property Report.

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Rodney recoils from twin attacks

Published 31 August 2009

Rodney mayor Penny Webster was recoiling from 2 attacks on the Auckland region’s northern district last week – one the prospect of losing the top half of it to Kaipara, the other the designation of the Penlink toll road as an unfunded category 2 project in the national land transport plan.


Loss of the rural north would improve the focus of the Hibiscus Coast-dominated remainder, and possibly open the opportunity to slice off Rodney’s west as well, to be added to a west Auckland local board. But Mrs Webster said a decision not to proceed now with Penlink had far greater implications than simply speeding up traffic between downtown Auckland & the Whangaparaoa Peninsula.


The Rodney council has been working on a knowledge economy zone at Silverdale, at the entrance to the peninsula, which was forecast to contribute an additional $313 million/year to the district’s gdp and 3870 new jobs over the next 10 years.


She said the council had long argued that vitally needed development for southern Rodney was dependent on the early completion of Penlink, which would have drawn 58% government funding. The private sector & road users were to fund the rest of the $216 million cost through development contributions & electronic tolling.


Penlink would have provided a second access to the Whangaparaoa Peninsula and diverted traffic from the adjacent & increasingly clogged Hibiscus Coast Highway.


Now, Mrs Webster said, progress on housing developments in Silverdale was expected to be restricted: “Whilst the Silverdale development will continue, its dependence on Penlink means we cannot deliver the growth that is planned for the area. The growth was well planned, supported the regional growth strategy and was agreed by the NZ Transport Agency.


The fate of the top half of Rodney will become known on Friday, when the content of the third Auckland governance bill is released.


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Attribution: Council releases, story written by Bob Dey for the Bob Dey Property Report.

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4 Rodney plan changes to become operative

Published 24 August 2009

Rodney District Council resolved on 13 August to make 4 plan changes operative in part. They’ll all become operative on Tuesday 1 September.


The changes are:


Plan change (formerly variation) 58, integrated residential developments & high-intensity residential rulesPlan change (formerly variation) 60, township policy areasPlan change (formerly variation) 66, changes to residential zones relating to activities on reservesPlan change (formerly variation) 120, temporary signs.


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Attribution: Council notice, story written by Bob Dey for the Bob Dey Property Report.

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Rodney works on business improvement district policy

Published 24 August 2008

The Rodney District Council & the Rodney Economic Development Trust have jointly developed a policy for business improvement districts (the wider-ranging version of mainstreets).


Under these proposals, businesses within a specific zone are levied a targeted rate that is collected by the council and transferred to an incorporated business association to be used for a defined business purpose, usually promotional activity.Rodney’s only mainstreet is for the Orewa commercial zone, operating under the association’s name of Destination Orewa Beach.The council’s strategy & community committee adopted a draft policy on business improvement districts on 7 August and the council is seeking feedback before finalising the policy Thursday 25 September. The feedback period closes on Thursday 11 September.


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Attribution: Council release, story written by Bob Dey for this website.

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Rodney mayor says rates proposal pragmatic

Published 2 March 2008

Rodney District Council approved its draft annual plan for public consultation on Thursday. Submissions will open on Friday 14 March and close on Monday 14 April. The annual plan will finalised in June and become operable on Tuesday 1 July.


New mayor Penny Webster said the financial programme for 2008-09 was “fiscally responsible & pragmatic….. consolidation rather than innovation”.But she added that it was put together in face of large infrastructure problems which the council couldn’t cope with on its own: “I believe the people realise that, in Rodney, we have issues such as the provision of wastewater services to 15 or more sizeable towns it is impossible for local ratepayers to fund. That’s why we are pushing hard for central-government funding for these sorts of projects.”"In the meantime we have to work with what we have, and to bring the people of Rodney in to have their say about what they want, within what we can afford. That’s why the draft is so important for people to read and comment on before we make our final decisions.” She said the rating base was disproportionately skewed to residential & rural ratepayers: “I think we would all like to broaden the burden on rates, but at the moment we haven’t got the commercial sector we need to do that.”The proposal is for residential property rates averaging about $2500 for serviced properties. Mrs Webster said average increases across the district were higher than she would like, but contended this was again a case of the council needing to do so much with so little. The Council’s total expenditure for the year is expected to be about $230 million, or just over $5500/property.


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Attribution: Council release, story written by Bob Dey for The Bob Dey Property Report.

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Forums lift Rodney’s economic gameplan

Mayor highlights definite steps to boost district

Rodney’s new mayor & councillors had a game plan to lift the district’s economy when they took over from Commissioner Grant Kirby in April, and they’re succeeding.

They’ve met more in their first seven months than most would have thought reasonable, holding workshops, seeking information & making resolutions over a wide range of economic & environmental issues.

With a mostly new lineup of council business managers under chief executive Wayne Donnelly, the district council has also shaken up its own processes.

They don’t profess to have reached a point where they can relax yet — environmental services group manager Geoff Mears is still holding frequent meetings with private sector negotiators on plan change 62 (the financial contributions formula), for example — but the attitude of positive advancement is apparent.

Business-style innovations

John Law (left) introduced business-style innovations when he became mayor, adding to innovations already under way through the appointment of Wayne Donnelly as chief executive. Some parts of the committee structure are operating traditionally, but others are tied firmly to that advancement process instead of to bureaucratic regulation. A series of working parties was set up to deal with specific issues, report regularly to committees until their work is done, then disband. Some have been disbanded or their remaining work handed over for finalisation by a committee.

The greatest opening for innovation & economic growth was through the council’s regional & economic development committee, headed by Cllr Rob Thompson (right).

Cllr Thompson embarked on a series of economic growth forums which brought more than 100 people to the council for ideas sessions on the first three occasions, and slightly fewer to the fourth forum on Tuesday. Smaller groups held sessions on growth possibilities for various sectors.

The sessions have been semi-formal — an opening by former Herald business editor Rod Oram, a mixture of presentation, question & discussion led by development services group manager Kaaren Goodall.

Out of the discussions, contacts & subsequent negotiations, a long list of growth possibilities has been derived.

Knowledge economy zone isn’t just a phrase

A “knowledge economy zone” was discussed during the forums, and Cllr Thompson said it was proposed for Silverdale North. Cllr Thompson is also looking at an events centre to seat 600. As well as reviewing development at Silverdale North, the council is reviewing most of its structure plans (and associated catchment plans) early.

Mr Law said the council was taking its search for investment overseas: the council’s finance & support services group manager, Vijaya Vaidyanath, is with Technology Minister Paul Swain on a mission to Singapore & India with the intention of attracting investment to Rodney.

The district is starting to see a number of pine forests reach maturity and has started to encounter conflicts over roading & infrastructure. Mr Law said this problem would be greatly reduced through contact arising from the forum — the chief executive of West Australian State Forests had been in New Zealand and provided a document on work already done.

“The whole thing’s been documented. All we have to do is New Zealandise it. We’ll save about $100,000,” Mr Law said.

He said the council was revising its policy on campervans, and last week welcomed a convoy of 120 campervans to the reserve at Orewa.

Shopkeepers in the coastal town bemoaned its decline after the motorway was extended to bypass Orewa, but Mr Law said a policy of welcoming campervans would bring plenty of customers.

He said the council was recently approached by a large overseas investor, who made his decision to buy in Rodney on the basis of the new-look council & the forums.

Uplift for Helensville

At Helensville, Mr Law said Cllr Arnold Gosling was revisiting whether the town could become a “dry dock railhead” — an inland port for container storage for Ports of Auckland. It could possibly do the same thing for Northland Port.

Separately, new council employee Sam Marshall has been working on a programme to revive Helensville. A riverbank project is underway, cleaning up the banks of the Kaipara River, to be followed by creation of a landscaped pathway network. A riverside historic village and an entertainment centre are planned, there has been an influx of curio shops and the town, which has historically turned its back on the river, is being made more aware of the waterway.

Mr Marshall said business interests wanted to build on an arts theme — there are 25 artists in the area — possibly turning their interest into a business incubator, provided they can find a commercial outlet.

Four councillors have been appointed to work on marine farming potential and Green list MP (and unsuccessful electorate candidate) Sue Bradford will join the working party — with the blessing of Rodney MP Lockwood Smith.

Ambassadors, media support, communication links

Mr Law said the council had approached about 30 people in Australia & New Zealand to be ambassadors for Rodney and — as a former advertising manager at the NZ Herald — he had been working on more media promotion locally.

“For all this to happen you need strong media,” he said. Local papers would run pages on buying locally, promote the district as organic-friendly and, he hoped, run regular pullout economic sections. The small Rodney-based television station, Family TV, will erect two new transmitters to improve its service.

Cross-border relations positive

During development of the northern/western sector agreement of the regional growth strategy over the past 18 months, Rodney was regarded as being inhibited by having no political representation for a year and also by changes in senior staff.

But Mr Law said the council was now actively pursuing cross-border relations with North Shore & Waitakere cities. One of those activities, outlined by Clyde Rogers of Enterprise Waitakere, is the creation of an “organic cluster” which already has seven strong participants in Waitakere & Rodney.

Wine trail

Another cluster is the wine trail at Matakana — now recognised as a wine region after early vineyard operators struggled to win consent for a change in land use. Mr Law said linking in this way was more than customer-oriented — “It’s helping this business stay in business. I’ve seen so many businesses fail because of isolation.”

Tourism was frequently cited during the forums as a major potential earner for the district. Said Mr Law: “The cheapest way to increase tourism is to get your one-day stayer to stay three days, and the only one way to get them to do that is if there is something to do. We must link our communications.”

Rodney, under the guidance of former general manager Brian Sharplin, was also the council which planned to produce a formula to establish developer levies for reserves & infrastructure, the plan change 62 process which is still going on.

“The challenge for us now is that we don’t impede progress by regulation & legislation,” the mayor said.

New approach to district plan rollout

The council has taken a lot of the steam out of the district plan submission progress by talking to submitters, eliminating some issues & overcoming repetition before the hearing of submissions begins.

Forward planning manager Peter Vari said the council had to get agreement soon on the last High Court appeal over plan change 26 on residential density. On plan change 55 for rural Rodney, two of the remaining four appeals should be heard in February and the other two soon after.

Pre-hearings on the 2000 district plan should speed up that process and make it more transparent. Mr Vari said the council would not wait to complete the whole submission process to finalise the new district plan, but would issue decisions on five priority matters as they were done — minor household units, signs, cafés within 50m of housing, high-density housing, and parking for restaurants.

As I left this forum on Tuesday, another participant told me that when he first entered the council building to get a building consent it was with fear. Although he still harboured suspicions about the bureaucracy, this time he left with a smile on his face.

Another forum meeting is envisaged early in 2002.

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