Tag Archives | Auckland Council

Bob Dey Property Report diary, week 15-21 October 2018

Several new consent hearings, environment committee has notable items on agenda

Several resource consent applications around Auckland have moved from the submissions stage through to hearings during the next 2 months. You can check the applications below.

The one Auckland Council scheduled to meet this week, environment & community, has a number of notable items on its agenda – no matter what your perspective on environmental issues.

They include the council’s draft submissions on changes proposed to the Residential Tenancies Act, healthy homes standards, the emissions trading scheme & the 3 waters review.

Other business before that committee includes quarterly updates on targeted rates for water quality & the natural environment.

The committee has a confidential item on the acquisition of open space in 3 Kings (precise address not given), and the chair of the Puketapapa local board has a motion before his board on Thursday regarding the council’s deal with Fletcher Residential Ltd over allocation of open space & development of sports fields in the company’s 3 Kings quarry project.
Link: Local board agenda

Several resource consent applications around Auckland have moved from the submissions stage through to hearings during the next 2 months. You can check the applications below.

The diary is updated weekly and lists auctions, council meetings & agendas, hearings & submissions, economic release dates, events, Parliament order paper items and securities.

Council links

All Auckland Council agendas can be reached via http://infocouncil.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/. The council livestreams (and archives) Town Hall meetings and some other meetings. You can check those at http://councillive.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/.

Auckland Council

As Auckland Council makes changes to its website, hearing & submission pages can be hard to find. This is the new link to the page for submissions on consent applications:

https://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/have-your-say/have-your-say-notified-resource-consent/notified-resource-consent-applications-open-submissions/Pages/default.aspx

Governing body

Governing body, Thursday 25 October at 9.30am, Town Hall

Committees

Environment & community committee, Tuesday 16 October at 9.30am, Town Hall:
9, Auckland Council’s draft submission on the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 discussion document
Recommendation
10, Auckland Council’s draft submission on healthy homes standards
Recommendation
11, Auckland Council’s draft submission on the NZ emissions trading scheme
Recommendation
12, Auckland Council’s early position on the 3 waters review
Recommendation
13, Water quality targeted rate – Quarter 1 2018 update
Recommendation
14, Natural environment targeted rate – Quarter1 2018 update
Recommendation
15, UNESCO Creative Cities Network update presentation
Recommendation
16, Summary of environment & community committee information – updates, memos & briefings
Recommendation
C1, Acquisition of open space land – 3 Kings (in confidential agenda)

Boards, forums & panels:

Rodney Local Board, Thursday 18 October at 2pm, Orewa, council service centre, 50 Centreway Rd:
11, Draft facility partnership policy (also being considered by other local boards)
Recommendation
12, Relationship agreement between Rodney Local Board & Ngati Whatua o Kaipara
Recommendation

Hearings:

Find hearings: https://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/have-your-say/hearings/find-hearing/Pages/find-resource-consent-hearing.aspx

Beachlands, 17a Bell Rd, application by Signature Building Ltd (Gavin Hunt) to establish & operate a childcare facility for 105 children & 17 staff, removing the existing dwelling & garage and constructing a purpose-built building comprising 678m² of floor area, 564m² of associated outdoor play area to the east & south, and 19 onsite parking spaces + manoeuvring area at the front; hearing Tuesday-Wednesday 6-7 November at 9.30am, Manukau, council service centre, 31-33 Manukau Station Rd

Epsom, 57, 61-67 Ranfurly Rd and 8, 12 & 14 Epsom Avenue, application by Epsom Village Partnership to expand the retirement village; hearing Monday-Tuesday 29-30 October at 9.30am, Town Hall

Grey Lynn, 859 Great North Rd, Western Springs Lakeside Park (Te Wai Orea), application by Auckland Council Community Facilities to remove about 200 pine trees and undertaking stabilisation & restoration planting, hearing Tuesday-Wednesday 11-12 December at 9.30am, Town Hall

Grey Lynn, 560 Richmond Rd, application by Drago Jujnovich (Jadren Trust) to remove dwelling and use the site for up to 13 parking spaces (staff & cars waiting to be repaired) associated with the West Lynn Paint & Panel shop at 570-580 Richmond Rd; hearing Friday 19 October at 9.30am, Town Hall

Grey Lynn, 11 Surrey Crescent, application by Surrey Crescent Cohaus Ltd for combined land use & subdivision consent for a 19-unit cohousing development & villa relocation, hearing reconvened to Monday 29 October (at 9.30am?) for applicant’s right of reply, Town Hall

Hobsonville Point, 258-268 Hobsonville Point Rd, application by Marlborough Precinct Holdings Ltd (Chris & Michaela Meehan, Queenstown) to construct 2 apartment buildings ranging from 3-15 storeys and a 3-storey terraced townhouse block, providing for a total of 101 dwellings, above 2 basement parking levels accommodating 147 spaces; hearing Wednesday-Thursday 17-18 October at 9.30am, Henderson, civic building, 6 Henderson Valley Rd

Onehunga, 1A Bamfield Place, application by Auckland Council Community Facilities for resource consent to build a coastal boardwalk running from Bamfield Reserve, Onehunga, to Taylors Bay Rd Reserve, Hillsborough; hearing Monday 19 November at 9.30am, Manukau, council service centre, 31-33 Manukau Station Rd

Regionwide, stormwater diversion, application by Auckland Council Healthy Waters Unit, hearing Tuesday-Friday 20-23 November at 9.30am, Town Hall

Rosedale, 54 Parkway Drive, application by Lucy Li (of Li NZ Investments Ltd & Kayes Development Ltd) to construct 3 5-storey buildings on a 7291m² site to provide a mixed-use development including 2169m² of commercial floorspace & 84 apartments; the site backs on to Sunset Rd and is beside the North Shore police station; hearing Wednesday 28 November at 9.30am, Takapuna, council service centre, 1 The Strand

Sandringham, 26 Aroha Avenue, limited notification of application by NJ Hart Trust to construct a 10-apartment building, parking, excavations including rock breaking for the building platform; hearing Wednesday 7 November at 9.30am, Mt Eden, Mt Eden War Memorial Hall 489 Dominion Rd

St Marys Bay, 10 Seymour St, limited notification of application by Craig & Kym Anderson to undertake dwelling additions & alterations, hearing Thursday 25 October at 10am, Town Hall

Westhaven Marina, application by Panuku Development Auckland to extend the north-western breakwater & causeway; hearing Tuesday-Thursday 23-25 October at 9.30am, Town Hall

Submissions:

To find applications open to submissions: https://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/have-your-say/have-your-say-notified-resource-consent/notified-resource-consent-applications-open-submissions/Pages/default.aspx

Karaka, Laing Rd (lot 1, opposite 119 Laing Rd), application by Wayne Valder to undertake 9570m² of earthworks to establish a dwelling with a basement & driveway; the council notice says the site & surrounding area have recently been identified as a probable castle & moat volcano and have been recommended by a recognised specialist for consideration as an outstanding natural feature; the application includes an assessment of environmental effects and overall is a restricted discretionary activity; submissions open Thursday 18 October

Swanson, 5 & 7-11 Christian Rd, application CDL Land (NZ) Ltd for joint land use & subdivision consent to create 48 residential lots of varying sizes, generally in accordance with the subdivision overlay plan in the Auckland unitary plan (operative in part), associated standard infringements pursuant to the underlying large lot zone, overall non-complying, submissions close Tuesday 16 October

Te Arai, 205 Lake Rd, Auckland Council has previously notified a range of resource consent applications sought by Pacey Family No 2 Trust for the continuation & expansion of Lake Rd quarry; the proposed expansion of the quarry will involve the drainage & reclamation of 2 streams; the applicant & Auckland Council have confirmed that one of the streams earlier identified as ephemeral is an intermittent stream; this additional resource consent has therefore been applied for, seeking the removal of a 90m length of intermittent watercourse within the proposed quarry footprint; while the second stream is ephemeral, the resource consent application outlines that the proposal will also involve the drainage & reclamation of that stream; the applicant has also provided an updated ecological mitigation plan which includes restoration of an existing intermittent stream within the site to mitigate the loss of the intermittent watercourse; submission close Friday 26 October

Auctions:

Barfoot & Thompson, residential Tuesday-Friday at 10am & 1.30pm, 34 Shortland St
Bayleys, commercial, Total Property 7, Wednesday 24 October at 11am; residential, Wednesdays at 2pm, Bayleys House, Wynyard Quarter, 30 Gaunt St
City Sales, apartments, Wednesday 17 October at 12.30pm, 445 Karangahape Rd
Ray White City Apartments, Thursdays at 12.30pm, 2 Lorne St

Economy:

Building consents, September, Wednesday 31 October
Business demography statistics, at February, Friday 26 October
Energy use, 2018, Monday 15 October
Environmental reporting series – air indicators, Thursday 18 October
Household income & housing cost statistics, June year, Tuesday 30 October

Household labour force survey, estimated working-age population, September quarter, Wednesday 31 October
Household living-costs price indexes, September quarter, Friday 26 October
Migration, international travel, September, Friday 19 October
Population, provisional subnational estimates at 30 June, Tuesday 23 October
Property transfer statistics, September quarter, Tuesday 30 October
Trade, overseas merchandise, September, Thursday 25 October
Transport vehicle registrations, September – Infoshare tables, Wednesday 17 October

Events:

Architectural Designers NZ, annual conference, Thursday-Saturday 25-27 October, Rotorua

Australasian auctioneering championships, Monday-Tuesday 15-16 October, Q Theatre, Auckland, hosted by Real Estate Institute of NZ

Listeds – NZ:

Auckland International Airport Ltd, annual meeting, Wednesday 31 October at 10am, Manukau, Vodafone Events Centre
Fletcher Building Ltd, annual meeting, Tuesday 20 November at 10.30am, Eden Park, Kingsland, 42 Reimers Avenue
Heartland Bank Ltd, final court orders on corporate restructure moving shareholdings to new parent scheduled for Friday 19 October, implementation Wednesday 31 October, new Heartland Group Holdings shares to begin trading on the NZX & ASX Thursday 1 November
Metlifecare Ltd, annual meeting, Thursday 18 October at 2.30pm, Eden Park, Kingsland, 42 Reimers Avenue, South Stand
Steel & Tube Holdings Ltd, annual meeting, Thursday 25 October, Auckland

Parliament:

Provisional order paper for Tuesday 16 October [PDF 481k]

Government orders of the day:

1, Commerce Amendment Bill, second reading (report of the Transport & Infrastructure Committee presented 12 September)
2, Equal Pay Amendment Bill, first reading (introduced 19 September)
3, Education Amendment Bill, committee stage
5, Telecommunications (New Regulatory Framework) Amendment Bill, committee stage
6, Courts Matters Bill, committee stage
7, Tribunals Powers & Procedures Legislation Bill, committee stage
9, Employment Relations Amendment Bill, second reading (report of the Education & Workforce Committee presented 7 September; bill is to restore key minimum standards & protections for employees, and to implement a suite of changes to promote & strengthen collective bargaining & union rights in the workplace; the changes are intended to introduce greater fairness in the workplace between employees & employers, in order to promote productive employment relationships)
10, Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill (No 2), second reading (report of the Governance & Administration Committee presented 16 April)
11, Commerce (Criminalisation of Cartels) Amendment Bill, second reading (report of the Economic Development, Science & Innovation Committee presented 17 August)
12, Social Assistance (Residency Qualification) Legislation Bill, second reading (report of the Social Services & Community Committee presented 16 August; omnibus bill to alter the residential qualifications for NZ superannuation & the veteran’s pension to allow the requirement that a person also have 5 years’ residence & presence in NZ over the age of 50 to be met instead with residence & presence in NZ, the Cook Islands, Niue or Tokelau, or any combination of those countries & that territory)
20, Financial Services Legislation Amendment Bill, second reading (report of the Economic Development, Science & Innovation Committee presented 31 July)
21, Conservation (Infringement System) Bill, second reading (report of the Environment Committee presented 23 August; omnibus bill to amend a number of conservation-related laws and introduce an infringement system only to be provided to central & local government agencies, to deal with less serious offending in relation to public resources)
22, Ngati Tuwharetoa Claims Settlement Bill, committee stage
23, Ngai Te Rangi & Nga Potiki Claims Settlement Bill, second reading (report of the Maori Affairs Committee presented 21 November 2016)
24, Tauranga Moana Iwi Collective Redress & Nga Hapu o Ngati Ranginui Claims Settlement Bill, second reading (report of the Maori Affairs Committee presented 3 March 2017)
27, Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2), committee stage (to enable improved service delivery & infrastructure provision arrangements at the local government level)
29, Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary Bill, second reading (report of the Local Government & Environment Committee presented 22 July 2016; bill title change recommended)

Business not available for debate

Earthquake Commission Amendment Bill, second reading (report of the Finance & Expenditure Committee presented 27 September)
Local Government (Community Wellbeing) Amendment Bill, second reading (report of the Governance & Administration Committee presented 3 October; the bill’s main objectives are to restore the purpose of local government to be “to promote the social, economic, environmental & cultural wellbeing of communities”; to restore territorial authorities’ power to collect development contributions for any public amenities needed as a consequence of development; and to make a minor modification to the development contributions power)
Residential Tenancies (Prohibiting Letting Fees) Amendment Bill, second reading (report of the Social Services & Community Committee presented 3 October)
Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (CPTPP) Amendment Bill, second reading (report of the Foreign Affairs, Defence & Trade Committee presented 3 October; changes to ratify the Comprehensive & Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership)

Members’ orders of the day:

1, Education (National Education & Learning Priorities) Amendment Bill, Jan Tinetti, committee stage (bill criticised as pointless in minority statement from National Party members of committee)

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Bob Dey Property Report diary, week 1-7 October 2018

The diary is updated weekly and lists auctions, council meetings & agendas, hearings & submissions, economic release dates, events, Parliament order paper items and securities.

Council links

All Auckland Council agendas can be reached via http://infocouncil.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/. The council livestreams (and archives) Town Hall meetings and some other meetings. You can check those at http://councillive.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/.

Auckland Council

As Auckland Council makes changes to its website, hearing & submission pages can be hard to find. This is the new link to the page for submissions on consent applications:

https://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/have-your-say/have-your-say-notified-resource-consent/notified-resource-consent-applications-open-submissions/Pages/default.aspx

Governing body

Governing body, Thursday 25 October at 9.30am, Town Hall

Committees

Appointments, performance review & value for money committee, Wednesday 3 October at 2.30pm, 135 Albert St:
8, Quarterly savings target report
9, Update report for appointments to Auckland Transport, Regional Facilities Auckland & Tamaki Redevelopment Co Ltd
Recommendation
11, Forward work programme
12, Committee information report
Recommendation
C3, Shortlist candidates for director vacancies on Auckland Transport& Regional Facilities Auckland (in confidential agenda)
C4, Tamaki Redevelopment Co Ltd, director appointments (in confidential agenda)

Community development & safety committee, Thursday 4 October at 1.30pm, 135 Albert St:
11, Kia Whai kainga tatou katoa – the regional cross-sectoral homelessness plan
Recommendation

Planning committee, Tuesday 2 October at 9.30am, Town Hall:
8, Auckland Transport: Intelligent transport systems – key projects & initiatives
9, AMETI eastern busway update 
10, Unitary plan, proposed plan change – rural activities 
11, Request to make operative plan change 11
12, Auckland Council submission on the proposed Waikato district plan
13, Scope of policy work on affordable housing
14, Summary of planning committee information memos & briefings
Memo on mandatory change to the regional policy statement

Regulatory committee, Thursday 4 October at 9.30am, 135 Albert St:
10, Update report from resource consents department
Resource consent department presentation 
11, Summary of information items
Resource consents regionwide appeals report & register
Forward work programme
Urgent decision re delegated authority – plan change 4 [published separately]

Strategic procurement committee, Wednesday 3 October at 9.30am, 135 Albert St:
8, Information report
9, Update on financial year 2019 capex forward work programme 
10, Westgate multipurpose facility (integrated library & community centre) construction, status update (and in confidential agenda)
11, Update on category strategy for technical services (and in confidential agenda)

Boards, forums & panels:

Disability advisory panel, Thursday 4 October at 12.30pm, Town Hall
10, Te ao tangata – Universal design conference, update
Recommendation
Universal design conference – presentation

Hearings:

Find hearings: https://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/have-your-say/hearings/find-hearing/Pages/find-resource-consent-hearing.aspx

Avondale, Avondale racecourse, 2-18 Ash St, application by Avondale Jockey Club to subdivide a portion of land within the racecourse to enable development; hearing Wednesday 3 October at 9.30am, Town Hall

Beachlands, 40 Kahawairahi Drive, application by RJ Rentals Ltd (Vaughan Crang & Clinton Healy) to subdivide a 1725m² in a residential single house zone, Beachlands 1 precinct, into 5 residential lots ranging in size from 269-527m² and to construct 2 duplexes on 4 of the lots and a single dwelling on the remaining lot, hearing Monday 8 October at 9.30am, Manukau Civic Building, 31-33 Manukau Station Rd

Epsom, 57, 61-67 Ranfurly Rd and 8, 12 & 14 Epsom Avenue, application by Epsom Village Partnership to expand the retirement village; hearing Monday-Tuesday 29-30 October at 9.30am, Town Hall

Grey Lynn, 560 Richmond Rd, application by Drago Jujnovich (Jadren Trust) to remove dwelling and use the site for up to 13 parking spaces (staff & cars waiting to be repaired) associated with the West Lynn Paint & Panel shop at 570-580 Richmond Rd; hearing Friday 19 October at 9.30am, Town Hall

Henderson, 31B Garelja Rd, application by Solution Street Ltd (Gary Gordon) to construct 6 residential units & subdivide to create 6 freehold lots, hearing Thursday 4 October at 9.30am, Henderson, civic building, 6 Henderson Valley Rd

Hobsonville Point, 258-268 Hobsonville Point Rd, application by Marlborough Precinct Holdings Ltd (Chris & Michaela Meehan, Queenstown) to construct 2 apartment buildings ranging from 3-15 storeys and a 3-storey terraced townhouse block, providing for a total of 101 dwellings, above 2 basement parking levels accommodating 147 spaces; hearing Wednesday-Thursday 17-18 October at 9.30am, Henderson, civic building, 6 Henderson Valley Rd

Regionwide, stormwater diversion, application by Auckland Council Healthy Waters Unit, hearing Tuesday-Friday 20-23 November at 9.30am, Town Hall

St Marys Bay, 10 Seymour St, limited notification of application by Craig & Kym Anderson to undertake dwelling additions & alterations, hearing Thursday 25 October at 10am, Town Hall

Westhaven Marina, application by Panuku Development Auckland to extend the north-western breakwater & causeway; hearing Tuesday-Thursday 23-25 October at 9.30am, Town Hall

Submissions:

To find applications open to submissions: https://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/have-your-say/have-your-say-notified-resource-consent/notified-resource-consent-applications-open-submissions/Pages/default.aspx

CBD, Queens Wharf (northern end), application by Panuku Development Auckland for resource consent for upgrades to provide for the safe berthing of cruise ships up to 362m (Oasis class vessels), involving construction of 2 mooring dolphins 49m & 82m (to the centres of the dolphins), to a total length of 90m, from the end of the wharf into the coastal marine area, a gangway connection to the wharf including hydraulic retractable gangway & security gates, strengthening of the southern end of the wharf, 7 new additional wharf bollards on the eastern side at the southern end of the wharf, and additional fender clusters on the eastern side at the north end of the wharf; overall it is a discretionary activity; submissions close Monday 8 October

Epsom, 38 Ferryhill Rd, limited notification of application by Jason Liu to demolish a special character dwelling and replace it with a new dwelling, submissions close Monday 8 October

Hobbs Bay, 1121 Whangaparaoa Rd, limited notification of application by Bryham Investments Ltd to convert a house into a childcare centre for up to 65 children, submissions close Friday 5 October

Mission Bay, 75-79, 81-87 & 89-97 Tamaki Drive, 6, 8-10, 12 & 14 Patteson Avenue, 26, 28, & 30 Marau Crescent, application by Drive Holdings Ltd (Urban Legacy & Partners Ltd (Haydn & Mark Staples) for resource consent to demolish all existing buildings and construct 7 multi-level buildings extending across the entire area, providing for retail, food & beverage, entertainment (cinema) & residential activities; submissions close Wednesday 10 October
Earlier story, 13 August 2018: New Urban Partners scheme for Mission Bay a $200 million project

Mt Eden, 443-445 Mt Eden Rd, application by Samson Corp Ltd (Michael Friedlander & family) to demolish the front building on the 548m² site (occupied by Circus Circus café & Ray White real estate agency) and remove the about-1900 villa at rear, and construct an office & retail building with ground-level parking, a 3-storey face to the west & 2 storeys to Mt Eden Rd; submissions close Tuesday 2 October

Swanson, 5 & 7-11 Christian Rd, application CDL Land (NZ) Ltd for joint land use & subdivision consent to create 48 residential lots of varying sizes, generally in accordance with the subdivision overlay plan in the Auckland unitary plan (operative in part), associated standard infringements pursuant to the underlying large lot zone, overall non-complying, submissions close Tuesday 16 October

Te Arai, 205 Lake Rd, Auckland Council has previously notified a range of resource consent applications sought by Pacey Family No 2 Trust for the continuation & expansion of Lake Rd quarry; the proposed expansion of the quarry will involve the drainage & reclamation of 2 streams; the applicant & Auckland Council have confirmed that one of the streams earlier identified as ephemeral is an intermittent stream; this additional resource consent has therefore been applied for, seeking the removal of a 90m length of intermittent watercourse within the proposed quarry footprint; while the second stream is ephemeral, the resource consent application outlines that the proposal will also involve the drainage & reclamation of that stream; the applicant has also provided an updated ecological mitigation plan which includes restoration of an existing intermittent stream within the site to mitigate the loss of the intermittent watercourse; submission close Friday 26 October

Auctions:

Barfoot & Thompson, residential Tuesday-Friday at 10am & 1.30pm, 34 Shortland St
Bayleys, commercial, Total Property 7, Wednesday 24 October at 11am; residential, Wednesdays at 2pm, Bayleys House, Wynyard Quarter, 30 Gaunt St
City Sales, apartments, Wednesday 3 October at 12.30pm, 445 Karangahape Rd
Colliers, commercial, Wednesday 10 October at 11am, SAP House, 151 Queen St
One Agency, mortgagee auction, Tuesday 2 October at 2pm, Parnell, 272 Parnell Rd
Ray White City Apartments, Thursdays at 12.30pm, 2 Lorne St
Ray White Commercial, Wednesday 10 October at 11am, on site at Henderson, 144C Central Park Drive

Economy:

Accommodation survey, August, Wednesday 10 October
Building consents, September, Wednesday 31 October
Business demography statistics, at February, Friday 26 October
Dwelling & household estimates, September quarter, Friday 5 October
Electronic card transactions, September, Wednesday 10 October
Energy use, 2018, Monday 15 October
Environmental reporting series – air indicators, Thursday 18 October
Food price index, September, Thursday 11 October
Household income & housing cost statistics, June year, Tuesday 30 October
Household labour force survey, estimated working-age population, September quarter, Wednesday 31 October
Household living-costs price indexes, September quarter, Friday 26 October
Migration, international travel, September, Friday 19 October
Population, provisional subnational estimates at 30 June, Tuesday 23 October
Property transfer statistics, September quarter, Tuesday 30 October
Trade, overseas merchandise, September, Thursday 25 October
Transport vehicle registrations, September – Infoshare tables, Wednesday 17 October

Events:

Architectural Designers NZ, annual conference, Thursday-Saturday 25-27 October, Rotorua

Listeds – NZ:

Auckland International Airport Ltd, annual meeting, Wednesday 31 October at 10am, Manukau, Vodafone Events Centre
Fletcher Building Ltd, annual meeting, Tuesday 20 November at 10.30am, Eden Park, Kingsland, 42 Reimers Avenue
Heartland Bank Ltd, final court orders on corporate restructure moving shareholdings to new parent scheduled for Friday 19 October, implementation Wednesday 31 October, new Heartland Group Holdings shares to begin trading on the NZX & ASX Thursday 1 November
Metlifecare Ltd, annual meeting, Thursday 18 October at 2.30pm, Eden Park, Kingsland, 42 Reimers Avenue, South Stand
Steel & Tube Holdings Ltd, annual meeting, Thursday 25 October, Auckland

Parliament

Parliament resumes sitting on Tuesday 16 October

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Argument erupts over speaking rights on marinas

Auckland Council’s management of its non-existent marinas policy is going from bad to worse.

At the council planning committee’s meeting a fortnight ago, chair Cllr Chris Darby allowed opponents of marina sales time to speak in the public input slot but rejected the speaking request from Empire Capital Ltd property & development manager David Boersen for being too late with his request.

Anyone wanting to address that committee on marinas was going to be late with their request, because the council didn’t post the relevant material on its online agenda until the morning of the meeting.

One group that did provide input to the planning committee, the Auckland Marine Users Association through chair Richard Steel, applied the previous Thursday to speak, but had less than 24 hours to prepare its presentation because of the lateness of the marinas report.

At the weekend, Mr Boersen was listed to address the council’s finance & performance committee tomorrow about the planning committee’s marinas recommendation – and the Marine Users Association has fired off a letter to the mayor & all committee members, arguing that his request shouldn’t have been granted.

Mr Steel said in his objection it was inappropriate for Mr Boersen to address the finance meeting without an opportunity for input by other interested parties because the first part of the recommendation (to hold a workshop) was a planning committee matter, and the second part (not to proceed with the sale of any marina land pending completion of the forward plan) wasn’t a finance committee agenda item.

Mr Steel wrote: “If the finance & performance committee meeting wished to consider this recommendation on 18 September there is no reason why it should not have been on the main agenda and other interested parties given the opportunity to speak as a part of public input.”

Against the association’s less than 24 hours to prepare, Mr Steel said Mr Boersen had been given a fortnight.

Mr Steel said the finance committee should decline Mr Boersen’s speaking request, or allow other interested parties to speak at the same meeting.

My comment:

  1. Public input at the council isn’t confined to what the council has on its agenda.
  2. The 2 committees are essentially the same people (all councillors, a possible change in Independent Maori Statutory Board representation). People wanting to provide public input are sometimes sent to a committee which the council thinks is more relevant, but not always.
  3. The public input section of council meetings is not about debate, although more than one side might address the same topic at the same meeting.
  4. Auckland Council owns marinas and needs policies & strategies on both ownership & operation, and therefore on sale.
  5. Separately, the council needs policies & strategies on waterfront use, including marinas it owns & those it doesn’t own.
  6. Empire Capital, as an owner of marinas, has been advancing development scenarios for several years. It’s sensible for the company’s position to be understood.

Earlier story:
4 September 2018: Council wades into deep water in marinas debate

Attribution: Committee agenda, Marine Users Association.

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Assessment of north-west community facilities shortfall nears decision time

An Auckland Council report on community facilities in the north-west – and recommended action – will go to the 4 relevant local boards this week.

The area investigated covers 150km2, represents just 3% of the region and had an estimated population of just 34,230 last year.

But that population is expected to balloon by 350% through to 2046. In the east at the moment, the new Millwater subdivision out from Silverdale is hemmed in by the Northern Motorway. From there to Kumeu at night, all is pitch black, but that won’t last much longer.

The council investigation area included parts of the Rodney, Upper Harbour & Henderson-Massey local board areas.

Report authors principal policy analyst Antonia Butler & southern community policy team leader Elizabeth Fitton-Higgins said the north-west’s population was growing faster than the Auckland average, which would put pressure on existing community services & facilities and create demand for new services.

Council staff investigated the provision of community facilities across the north-west over the last financial year to identify gaps now & likely in future.

Their key findings:

  • The baseline population is aging but new developments are bringing in younger people, families & increasing ethnic diversity, which will impact service needs
  • Economic & geographic disparity restricts access and creates barriers to participation for some residents, particularly those in rural areas and in lower socio-economic areas such as parts of Westgate & Massey
  • A pool & additional sport & recreation space are priorities for many residents, and
  • There is some capacity within existing facilities and opportunities to better target services to increase participation in low user groups.

The recommended key moves to address the findings are:

  • Address condition issues at Kumeu Library to maintain service levels
  • New aquatic provision from 2026, ideally near Westgate
  • Additional recreation/leisure space in Rodney by 2026 and further recreation space in the longer term (2036) in the Henderson-Massey or Upper Harbour area to support 4 additional indoor courts
  • Potential additional multi-purpose community space in Whenuapai from 2026 and Kumeu from 2036, subject to the impact of new provision in Westgate, the rate of growth across the area and the needs of emerging communities.

The local boards will be asked to endorse the report’s findings & consequent next steps – to assess options, start strategic cases for change and develop an indicative business case.

Links:
Rodney local board agenda item
North-west community facilities provision investigation summary report
Bob Dey Property Report diary, week 17-23 September 2018

Attribution: Council committee agenda.

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Corrected: Council asset disposal policy up for Penlink-related argument

Published 16 September 2018, corrected 17 September 2018 (it’s not a reserve):
20 years after a Whangaparaoa Peninsula section was acquired for widening of the peninsula’s main road, nearly 3 years after the Auckland Transport board determined it was no longer needed for that purpose and 2 years after the rationalisation process began, an Auckland Council committee will determine on Tuesday whether the site will be sold.

That’s the easy question. The more difficult one – which the council’s finance & performance committee is most likely to reach to maintain consistency – is that the return from the sale should go into the general council pot, not to a local preference.

Through the 8 years of the super-city Auckland Council, the council has determined that funds from asset disposal should be assigned to priorities wherever they occur in the region, not necessarily to the locality of the disposal.

The property up for a disposal decision on Tuesday, 8 Hiwi Crescent in Stanmore Bay, was bought by the former Rodney District Council in 1998 to enable widening of the main peninsula road. It’s 100m uphill from a busy new supermarket – and from the start point for the long-mooted Penlink crossing of the Weiti River, which gets on to transport infrastructure priority lists from time to time and then gets knocked off again.

Correction: I wrote initially that the vacant 809m² section was declared a reserve while the roadworks were awaited. That’s been questioned and I can’t find any reference to the reserve status tonight. Council property arm Panuku Development Auckland has a disposal budget to meet ($24 million by 30 June next year), has undertaken consultation and has concluded it’s time for this asset to go. A neighbour has expressed interest.

The Hibiscus & Bays Local Board endorsed its sale, but asked that any sale proceeds be allocated to a relevant Penlink transport infrastructure budget, and will make a presentation to the council committee’s Tuesday meeting to argue that point.

The committee’s advice is that such an allocation wouldn’t accord with council financial policy.

Links:
8 Hiwi Crescent, Stanmore Bay property information    
Finance & performance committee, Tuesday 18 September at 9.30am, Town Hall:
8, Disposal recommendations report September 2018
Recommendation
30R Birmingham Rd, Otara, property information 
8 Hiwi Crescent, Stanmore Bay, property information 
Bob Dey Property Report diary, week 17-23 September 2018

Attribution: Council committee agenda.

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Council wades into deep water in marinas debate

Published 5 September 2018
After receiving a brief report on a marinas strategy on Monday, Auckland Council’s planning committee shambled through a debate yesterday on 3 recommendations & how to replace them with something more appropriate.

Writing resolutions by committee, on the trot, is a no-no for good governance. And planning does, as the word hints, involve aforethought.

Auckland Council has had nearly 8 years to put some thought into marinas policy, and some of its predecessors had plenty of time to ponder policies on them too.

The Bayswater marina’s original developer, the late Martin Jones, spent over 25 years developing the basin and working on plans & consents for a village beside it.

Now Simon Herbert, who bought the Bayswater marina from Mr Jones and has since acquired the Westpark (now Hobsonville) marina and Pine Harbour marina at Beachlands, is pursuing apartment plans for all of them.

Sale opponents form group

In June, users of 5 marinas (including the 3 now controlled by Mr Herbert through Empire Capital Ltd) set up an organisation to oppose what they saw as Auckland Council’s agenda to sell community-owned waterfront land at the marinas.

The Auckland Marina Users Association drew support from users at Pine Harbour, Bayswater, Hobsonville, Gulf Harbour & Westhaven.

Association spokesman Euan Little said in June that Panuku Development Auckland, the council development arm, was operating as the council’s agent and had already begun the sale of marina assets using “highly questionable legal & subversive tactics…. All of these activities are being conducted under the guise of council extracting value – undisclosed cash settlements – from ‘non-strategic land assets’.

“How can Auckland Council justify a ‘non-strategic’ classification for marina waterfront land in the City of Sails?”

At the council committee meeting yesterday, Marina Users Association chair Richard Steel

Users group says define the scope first

Marine users association chair Richard Steel said in the public input section of the meeting the council had come up with a token strategy to enable Panuku to sell marina land.

He said boat use had doubled in New Zealand in the last 20 years, and the new association believed the council should stop marina land sales until it had completed a strategy.

“There’s been a significant erosion of trust in the boating community because of the approach taken so far. Serious consideration should be given to the independence of those scoping because both the council & Panuku are conflicted.”

He said scant consideration had been given to feedback, and this feedback from users wasn’t reflected in reports before the council.

Mr Steel said the council’s first task should be to define the scope of its inquiry, then set a timeline. He said Auckland had 12 marinas, all community assets & paid for by users, and they had waiting lists for marina berths, but the council was only looking at how to deal with those in which it had an interest, although the council had control of waterfront activity: “How can you rule out 50% of the marinas in Auckland and call it a strategic plan when council has control of all these functions?”

Mr Steel said Nelson City Council had formulated a marina strategy in about 6 months last year, and it was a good document: “It actually combines marina strategy with placemaking strategy. It’s quite a visionary document. It was also conducted by an external supplier. Interestingly in Nelson, they concluded there was a better outcome for Nelson if they retained ownership of the marina.”

Council debt iceberg in background

Perhaps with the council’s high debt level, and the requirement on Panuku to achieve $100 million/year of land sales, mayor Phil Goff asked Mr Steel where the costs should lie if facilities for marina users were intensified. Mr Steel: “I think that’s an issue really to be addressed by the strategic plan.”

A second question from the mayor: “To the extent there is a private use of marinas, to what extent do you think the users are prepared to bear a fair share of the costs of that development?”

Mr Steel said that, under lease arrangements, berth holders paid for parking and would be responsible for redevelopment of the marine infrastructure.

Newman says start with empowering acts

Cllr Daniel Newman added, during debate, that the overlay of empowering acts for marinas hadn’t been revoked: “The first thing I want is what Parliament said. One, you can’t dispose of boat harbours unless for the purpose of providing boat harbours. Secondly, we have a quite unhelpful situation re these marinas, we have a unitary plan which contradicts what Parliament said in the first place. Third, I do have an issue about the role & scope of Panuku. I don’t engage real estate people necessarily to devise masterplans.”

Deputy mayor Bill Cashmore asked Mr Steel how important the public transport role was at marinas. Mr Steel said one reason put forward for developing apartments at marinas was to get ferry users, but the ferries had plenty of passengers without those apartments.

Cllr Mike Lee said the answer was to consult before a strategy was formulated, and Cllr Desley Simpson tried to get the debate on track toward developing a strategy.

From a workshop on 22 August (council workshops are closed affairs, although at least one local board has recently opened the workshops it holds), staff set out the scope for preparing a strategy, and Auckland Plan strategy & research general manager Jacques Victor said direction could be drawn from the Auckland Plan.

Mr Victor said in his report for yesterday’s committee meeting that “a new set of principles/criteria may require a relaxation of Panuku’s imperative to extract monetary value from these assets, in exchange for broader community & other outcomes”.

As there was a December timeframe for completion, he said there would be limited ability to engage on the approach, so council staff would work with Panuku & Auckland Transport on it.

As the committee scrapped the first 3 recommendations on how to go about this, Mr Victor proposed a committee workshop “to develop a forward programme using the process proposed by staff, the input from the Auckland Marina Users Association and work done by Panuku Development Auckland as a starting point”.

He said no 2 marinas were the same: “To think you can resolve this in one workshop is just not realistic. Decide what you want to see on a marina, that context is set by you and then we get public input. If you do that once, then all the development plans, masterplans, it’s something you don’t have to do 6 times over for each marina. Panuku then have to show how they will accede to those outcomes.”

The point of the exercise: marina land sales

The mayor felt there was no need to write in a clause preventing sales while a strategy was written, as several on the committee were suggesting, “because any sale has to come to the finance committee (the same people as on the planning committee) anyway, and we’d look pretty stupid if we sold anything before having a strategy”.

But that was the precise point which brought the whole question to the fore. Some at the council, and the berth users, saw negotiations underway which would lead to apartment development. So, a full circular argument had been achieved.

Cllr Simpson suggested the council form a steering group with stakeholders, then bring the question back to the planning committee within 6 months.

Cllr John Watson said the council had “sustained some reputational damage” through this whole process, including during public engagement sessions at the Westpark & Gulf Harbour marinas: “At Westpark over 90% of the public who’ve engaged have opposed the sale process & what’s proposed by Panuku. At Gulf Harbour it’s been unanimous opposition of the sale of the marina. The public, the berth holders, the ferry users all saying the same thing, and that’s a very unusual thing.

“Nelson have got a very good strategy. Surely the super-city can come up with a strategy (for council-owned marinas & otherwise), but let’s start with owned.

The outcome of it all is that the committee will hold a workshop to discuss a strategy & a forward plan regarding the future of Auckland’s marinas, and to stall land sales until that work (which mean writing a final strategy) is done.

Links:
29 November 2017, Nelson City Council marina strategy

Earlier stories:
27 October 2015: Herbert buys Pine Harbour business & land
7 February 2014: Herbert freeholds Bayswater reclamation, says development becomes more viable
6 August 2012: Bayswater hotel – harbour’s business edge or backwater anomaly?
11 March 2009: Court rejects intensive residential development for Bayswater marina land
12 June 2006: Intransigent opposition stops Bayswater marina workshops
27 March 2006: Herbert agrees Bayswater access strip, talks new design round marina
9 April 2003: Council environmental specialist responds to Bayswater judgment article
7 April 2003: Judge uses bizarre reasoning to keep Queen’s chain at Bayswater
2000: Boutique hotel, more apartments in redesign

Attribution: Council committee meeting & agenda.

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The wheels are turning down the southern rail corridor

Published 3 September 2018
The wheels are turning and transformation down the southern corridor to Hamilton is on the way. Alternatively, transformation is on the way up that corridor, from Hamilton to Auckland.

Presumptuous? For Auckland there’s a serious adjustment: Instead of looking at Hamilton as a place to extend to, Auckland needs to see the Waikato is an active & growing part of a larger matrix, where change will occur at many stops in multiple directions.

The NZ Transport Agency has a Hamilton-Auckland corridor plan – and it has another for Hamilton-New Plymouth. Auckland, if it sees a triangle at all, sees one encompassing Tauranga/Mt Maunganui.

Image above: The corridor, running 5km each side the rail line between Hamilton & Auckland.

It’s all very hard to keep with, but consider these points of discussion & action, in the last few days and into the next week.

Tomorrow, Auckland Council’s planning committee considers the Hamilton-Auckland corridor plan & its role in this. The recommendation is to endorse participation, and the new Auckland Plan 2050 development strategy as the basis for staff input.

The corridor plan stemmed from calls from Waikato councils for investment in a commuter rail service between Hamilton & Auckland.

Urban development authority ideas also enter picture

The committee will also need to start thinking hard, and quickly, about the Government’s plans for an urban development authority – not just as a twinkle in the eye but something likely to be in place this year.

Ideas for such an authority have been around for the last 3 years, promoted by former Housing Minister Nick Smith and sent through a consultation process in 2016-17 by the Minister of Business, Innovation & Employment (MBIE), and taken up by Phil Twyford, now Minister of Transport and also of Housing & Urban Development.

Natural development will cross the Auckland-Waikato border – Pokeno as an Auckland suburban outlier on top of being a growing Waikato business & dairy production centre is an example.

Report notes interdependencies

As Auckland Council senior transport advisor Szening Ooi says in her report to tomorrow’s committee meeting: “There are significant interdependencies between Auckland & the Waikato that cross local government boundaries. However, previous spatial planning along the Auckland-Hamilton corridor has largely been confined within these administrative boundaries.”

She said the plan was initiated by the Government, aiming to investigate opportunities to unlock & shape growth along the rail corridor, unlock the potential to connect communities and provide access to jobs in Auckland & Waikato towns along the corridor.

The corridor plan went to a ministerial briefing on 25 June, aimed at getting all partners in it to agree on the project scope, purpose, objectives, deliverables, timetable & ongoing partnership. That was followed by a 3-day enquiry-by-design workshop in Tuakau on 27-29 August, where the project partners developed a draft integrated spatial plan for the corridor.

The NZ Transport Agency board is due to consider the business case for the Hamilton-Auckland start-up passenger rail service in October. That ties in with electrification of the Auckland rail line to Pukekohe, building the third main rail track along the southern line and completing the city rail link.

Maori roles & gains

Ms Ooi said Waikato Maori – Tainui, Ngati Paoa & the Hauraki Collective – were partners in the project, and it presented investment opportunities for Tamaki Makaurau iwi as well: “Additionally, Maori will benefit if the project’s aims of improving housing affordability, providing employment opportunities & enhancing the quality of the natural environments along the corridor are achieved.”

Auckland Council staff have recommended the establishment of a mana whenua–iwi steering group to sit in parallel with the project’s steering group.

Pressure on urban boundary structure

A pressure point for the Auckland council is the Government desire to see more land released for housing both inside & outside the rural:urban boundaries agreed in the brand-new Auckland unitary plan, to improve housing affordability. This is expressed in the just-released Cabinet paper, Urban growth agenda: Proposed approach (see link below).

Ms Ooi said: “Through the project, central government has indicated that it aims to provide spatial plans that are more ‘minimalist’ and allow the market to ‘fill in’ & sequence development where possible, rather than through regulation.

“There is a risk that, through this project, central government could apply a top-down approach to addressing growth management in Auckland & the Waikato that could undermine Auckland Council’s approach to urban growth and be contrary to both the Auckland Plan development strategy & the unitary plan.

“The project’s focus is also to connect communities & provide greater access to jobs in Auckland & Waikato towns along the rail corridor. The project does not aim to displace growth from Auckland to Waikato but may have this effect as it provides growth opportunities along the corridor. This is not an issue in itself, but the potential impacts & subsequent responses need to be better understood.”

The timeline now:

September: Refine the plan and further test with key stakeholders, amend as required
Late October: Governance leaders consider proposed plan
Mid-December: Governance leaders consider the partnership design & refined list of projects; formal consultation & endorsements & implementation to follow.

The Waikato lead

Future Proof, created by Waikato public bodies, says on its website: “We estimate that there will be nearly half a million people living in Hamilton and the surrounding Waikato & Waipa districts by 2061. That means we will almost double our population in the next 50 years. We want to know our future by planning today.”

The Future Proof partners have produced ‘Future proof strategy, planning for growth, November 2017’. This updates the 2009 strategy & implementation plan. The partners are now working on the second phase of the update.

Links:
Auckland Council planning committee, agenda item 4 September 2018:
11, Hamilton-Auckland corridor plan
Recommendation
Attachments
Outcomes of the Wellington ministerial briefing on 25 June  
Cabinet paper, released in August 2018: Urban growth agenda, proposed approach
Future Proof, Hamilton to Auckland corridor study, December 2012
Future Proof
Future Proof strategy 2017 – summary
Future Proof strategy 2017 
Background reports

NZ Transport Agency, transport corridor plans:
NZTA, 31 August 2018: $16.9 billion investment in the future of NZ
NZTA, 31 August 2018: National land transport programme, 2018-21
NLTP regional summaries
Auckland land transport plan summary

Attribution: Council committee agenda, Cabinet paper, Future Proof.

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Council wants overlay precedence over zone rules, even after court findings

Published 31 August 2018

The Environment Court has ruled against Auckland Council planners’ view that special character overlays should take precedence over sometimes-conflicting zone rules, but the council is adamant that its view should apply.

That will mean a rewrite of the unitary plan section relating to special character areas residential overlays, which could take another 12 months.

The court found that the overlay shouldn’t take precedence, and that both the overlay & zone rules should be applied together.

As the court’s view holds sway, the council said on Wednesday it had begun contacting about 430 property owners to alert them to a potential issue with decisions made on their resource consent applications in 2017.

Of the 430 owners, 137 have also had a building consent issued and might have site works underway. “These consent holders are a priority for the council to resolve any issues,” Mr Smallburn said.

The resource consents, decided between 1 December 2016 & 19 December 2017, relate to properties zoned single house where the special character areas residential overlay also applies.

Council regulatory services director Penny Pirrit & resource consents general manager Ian Smallburn said the council had sought external legal advice, which supported the council view of precedence, but the court had opted for the conflicting view of no precedence in a series of decisions that started last December.

The special character areas residential overlay is one of 27 overlays in the Auckland unitary plan, which replaced the district plans of the 7 territorial councils merged into the super-city Auckland Council in 2010, and also incorporated the regional policy statement previously managed by the 8th entity forming the new council, the Auckland Regional Council.

The unitary plan largely became operative in November 2016.

The court bench that considered the issue – through a judicial review relating to a dispute between neighbours on Seymour St, Ponsonby – comprised Principal Environment Judge Laurie Newhook, Environment Judge John Hassan & 2 environment commissioners, Ross Dunlop & Ian Buchanan.

The course the council has taken

Mr Smallburn said the final unitary plan wording of the rules for special character overlay areas & single house zones were inconsistent in places and created some uncertainly about which should take precedence: “To ensure we were making the right decisions, the council obtained external legal advice once the unitary plan was in place. Our initial approach was consistent with that advice.

“Even with that advice, the council continued to receive a number of queries about how to apply the rules. To clarify the rules, we then sought a declaration from the Environment Court on the correct interpretation to provide certainty for property owners, developers & planning professionals.

“The court agreed with the council that the unitary plan rules were not clear, but it disagreed with our approach, ruling that both sets of rules – the special character areas overlay rules and the underlying zoning rules – should be considered equally.

“Once the Environment Court made its decision, we took immediate steps to implement the correct practice in December 2017.

“Because Auckland Council did not consider the underlying single house zone rules when determining the resource consent, they are vulnerable to judicial review from a third party.”

Mr Smallburn said the council would contact all affected resource consent holders in the next 3 weeks.

“We are strongly recommending that all resource consent holders apply for a new resource consent as soon as possible and contact the council’s planning department.

“The council will be helping resource consent holders to manage this issue as best we can, including all processing & pre-application fees being waived for a new consent.

“In addition, we will offer consent holders advice as to how they can amend their design to reduce any amenity impacts of the proposed development and facilitate mediation between consent holders & neighbouring property owners if needed.

“We will be providing additional resources to ensure we can cope with the extra work that will create, and not affect the business-as-usual process of the consenting team.

“We are committed to working with all affected parties to ensure that the issue can be dealt with as quickly as possible.”

Differences between overlay & zone

The court, in its interim decision issued last December, gave examples of how the overlay & zoning rules treated similar tasks differently. One example is that the overlay specifies, as a permitted activity, minor alterations to the rear of buildings that use the same design & material as the existing building, whereas the zone classifies alterations to an existing dwelling as a permitted activity subject to specified standards on height, height:boundary, building coverage, yards, impervious areas, landscape treatment, fences & walls.

“The converse applies for demolition. It is a permitted activity in the zone but a restricted discretionary activity in the overlay. Similarly, additions in the zone, internal & external alterations & new accessory buildings are each permitted subject to compliance with specified performance standards, whereas they are restricted discretionary activities in the overlay.”

Most restrictive rule generally wins

The standard in New Zealand planning law is that the status of a proposal will be determined by the most restrictive rule which applies to it, and that standard is contained in the unitary plan.

Judge Newhook wrote: “That would mean, for example, that activities such as demolition, alteration or other building activities would be restricted discretionary activities on land to which the overlay applies, despite being classified as permitted activities in the zone. Conversely, minor alterations that are treated as permitted activities in the overlay but that would contravene specified zone-permitted activity standards would generally be rendered a restricted discretionary activity.”

In addition, an activity classed as a permitted activity but that does not comply with one or more of the standards applying to that activity is a restricted discretionary activity unless otherwise specified by a rule applying to the particular activity.

In the unitary plan, every special character area (other than Howick) is supported by a statement identifying the key special character values of the area. They relate to built form, streetscape and adverse effects of subdivision, use & development.

In the single house zone, the focus in equivalent explanatory statements and related objectives & policies is predominantly on amenity values.

The council produced a revised set of development standards in the overlay and argued it would be inefficient & impractical to apply both the overlay & zone performance standards and would result in anomalous outcomes.

In response, counsel for the affected neighbours in the Ponsonby dispute, Alan Galbraith QC, submitted that the council’s approach amounted to treating the overlay as a replacement zone, which would give rise to significant amenity & other effects for neighbours – including removing their ability to have their concerns considered, particularly when the council’s approach resulted in a non-notified application.

Judge Newhook said Mr Galbraith had noted particular concern about the council’s practice note, “in effect to misguide its officers & independent commissioners to take a narrow, restrictive & unsound approach to the relationship of the overlays to the zones”.

Suzanne Janissen, appointed an amicus curiae for the judicial review, said that, from her consultation with potentially affected interest groups, a commonly expressed view was that the true effect of the unitary was that overlays don’t supplant zone or Auckland-wide rules, but supplement them.

The court agreed, as Judge Newhook wrote: “We find that the interpretation of the relevant unitary plan provisions proposed by the council in its opening submissions is unsound in being contrary to statutory interpretation principles.

“Fundamentally underpinning the council’s interpretation is its assumption that the overlay’s performance standards for its specified classes of activity are ‘a complete set of development standards’ which represent a ‘replacement package’ for corresponding standards in the single house zone. That assumption is flawed in that it fails to account for the immediate context of related general rules and objectives & policies.”

Possible to subordinate rules, but judge says nothing in plan supports it

Judge Newhook wrote that the court accepted “it is at least conceptually possible for a district plan to set amenity values as subordinate to other values such as special character, including in a residential environment. However, while we understand that theory to be part of the council’s argument in support of the initially requested declarations, the flaw presented is that nothing in the unitary plan properly supports the council’s interpretation to that effect.

“What became more apparent from court questioning of counsel is that the council has based its interpretation on what it terms ‘cues’ (meaning inferences) rather than on anything stated in any part of the unitary plan or related background documents. That is also the position for its reference to the intentions of the independent hearings panel [on the draft unitary plan]. The same can be said for the theories advanced in the council’s affidavit evidence about these matters.”

Administrative inefficiency? Do your job properly, says judge

Part of the council’s argument was that treating the overlay & zone performance standards as both applying would lead to administrative inefficiency, and “absurd” or “anomalous” outcomes. Judge Newhook countered: “We do not agree that applying an integrated management approach would give rise to any untoward or unacceptable consequences. For instance, even in cases where overlay values as identified in the various statements in the appendix would be best advanced by specifying a higher building height or a smaller front or side yard clearance and so forth, that does not dictate a need to put aside competing amenity value considerations.

“Rather, it is in the essence of an experienced consent authority’s task to consider those competing considerations on the evidence and in light of directions given by objectives, policies & other provisions, to come up with a sound & informed outcome.

“On the other hand, Mr Galbraith’s submissions assisted to illustrate the potential for potentially very significant resource management impacts to go unchecked by consenting processes if the council’s approach were applied.”

The council wrote a practice note for its planners telling them the overlay provisions would override those of the zone. Following the court’s reaction, that practice note has been withdrawn.

Cementing in precedence still intended

However, Mrs Pirrit indicated on Wednesday that the council still wanted the overlay to take precedence, which would require a plan change.

She conceded that could take a long time: “The quickest in my experience you can get a plan change through without any submissions is 6 months. We’re talking about mid-to-late next year, without submissions.”

Attribution: Media conference, council release, court decisions.

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We have a super-city plan, now change it

Auckland council planners say the Government’s proposals for national planning standards will conflict with important features of the Auckland unitary plan, which took 6 years to formulate and is close to becoming fully operative.

110 pages of the council planning committee’s agenda last Tuesday were devoted to the draft standards and the council staff’s proposed submissions on them.

The big issue for councillors was to ask – or, to varying suggested degrees, tell – the Government & Ministry for the Environment the council would need more time to put the standards in place. The proposal is 7 years but Auckland wants 10.

The big issue for staff is the complexity, including likely needless doubling up of terminology for 2 large plan changes coming up soon, and that will mean extra cost.

Linley Wilkinson, the council’s lead planner on Auckland-wide planning, whose previous role was to lead the integration of the old councils’ plans into the super-city Auckland Council’s unitary plan, told the committee the idea of national standards had been around for a long time, especially when the Resource Management Act was introduced in 1991.

Now that the draft has been written, the Ministry for the Environment wants the standards gazetted by next April.

The draft’s aim is to standardise the structure & form, chapter layout, spatial planning tools, zone framework, metrics for noise & vibration and digital & planning requirements for plans & policy statements throughout New Zealand.

Ms Wilkinson said some of the standards would have significant impacts for Auckland, which had the most complex & largest plan in the country, combining both regional & district plans (assessments previously separated into the functions of regional & local councils).

“We’ve really scrutinised each standard to see what impact they will have on the unitary plan. There is quite a lot of significance. The zoning framework does not cover the full sweep of what our plan moves in. They are pitching these standards at more medium-sized councils. It has been a little bit disappointing for us, and we feel some of the standards will substantially unpick some of the unitary plan.”

She said that if the council was forced to produce a revised plan in 7 years, it wold have to start work on it 2-3 years earlier than projected.

Auckland Council’s planners generally supported the standardisation intent to achieve consistency & improve accessibility. But they said the standards would have a significant impact on the regional policy statement, regional coastal plan, zone framework & definitions.

Main points in the council submission

The standards:

  • would challenge the Auckland unitary plan’s policy direction
  • would reverse agreements or decisions made in partnership with iwi or other stakeholders
  • don’t reflect the outcomes the community anticipates
  • would reduce the number of zones
  • didn’t contain a section specifically on urban growth, and
  • didn’t contain a section specifically relating to mana whenua.

The council planners are concerned that reducing zone numbers will mean revisiting the whole underlying policy framework, after they’d gone to great lengths to harmonise the legacy zonings of the pre-super-city councils. Instead of relitigating those issues, the council planners say the council should build on work already completed through the unitary plan – that one, point 3.6 in the submission, is likely to leave the standards writers about as confused as I am at what is meant.

Perhaps the biggest conflict will come in the naming & basis of zones. The council used names to describe zones whereas the standards proposal is for residential zone names based on density.

The submission: “This does not make sense in the Auckland context, where 3 of the residential zones in the Auckland unitary plan have no density limit. Instead, the zones are names in accordance with the housing typology provided for.”

While the key concern at the committee was around how mayor Phil Goff might best convey the council’s unhappiness at conflicting versions, members generally ignored that – as with the way different versions of the old councils’ plans were worked through to reach an agreed formula – the best course might be a delay in gazetting the current draft.

In that case, the debate ought to have been about how to present a delay in a good light.

That good light could be:

  • To agree some more complexity for large urban regions than would be needed for smaller towns & cities
  • To spend another year getting more agreed uniformity,
  • Alternatively, educate members of Parliament before the draft is gazetted on what unworkable sections will cost the country, landowners, developers, home owners.

Links, Auckland Council planning committee agenda 7 August 2018:
12, Draft national planning standards – Auckland Council submission
Recommendation
Attachments
Process for developing national planning standards
Planning standards relevant for the unitary plan
Auckland Council submission on draft national planning standards

Attribution: Council committee meeting & agenda.

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Unitary plan on track to be fully operational next year

Auckland Council’s unitary plan, promulgated in 2016, could be fully operational next year.

A report to the council’s planning committee meeting tomorrow says 13 appeals remain out of a total 119 to the Environment & High Courts, plus 8 judicial review proceedings.

The council formulated the unitary plan during its first 3 years, after the Government created a super-city council for the region to replace the former 7 territorial councils & one regional council.

The super-city council completed its proposed unitary plan in September 2013, sent it to an independent hearings panel to consider submissions, and the panel sent its recommendations back to the council in July 2016. The council publicly notified its decisions – some conflicting with panel recommendations – in August 2016, making the bulk of the plan operative and triggering appeals for some of it.

The council was served in September 2016 with 67 Environment Court appeals, 41 High Court appeals & 8 judicial review proceedings.

The Environment Court has issued decisions on 2 significant matters in the last 2 months, on the rural:urban boundary at Okura and rural subdivision provisions. The court decision found in favour of the council’s position on Okura, and Okura Holdings Ltd has been appealed the decision to the High Court.

The rural subdivision provisions decision went in favour of the appellants, and the council has appealed to the High Court.

The Environment Court ended up dealing with 72 appeals, and 6 appeals remain. In the High Court, there were originally 41 appeals, rising to 47 via Environment Court appeals, and 5 remain – plus the 2 new ones.

Of the 8 judicial reviews, 3 have been discontinued and 5 have been the subject of High Court decisions. 2 of those decisions have been appealed to the Appeal Court. Each of these High Court decisions related to a judicial review proceeding and a related High Court appeal. The council was successful in each of the High Court decisions.

Planning team leader Tony Reidy said in his report to tomorrow’s planning committee meeting all appeals were expected to be resolved in early 2019.

Links:
Planning committee agenda, 7 August
11, Auckland unitary plan (operative in part) – update on appeals & making additional parts of the plan operative
Recommendation   
Attachments

Attribution: Council committee agenda.

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