Wellington politics harming engagement with Aucklanders, says Penny Hulse

Press Release – Auckland Council
Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse says Aucklanders need a chance to have their say on the draft Unitary Plan based on the facts.

“By playing politics, Wellington is undermining an otherwise informed and open discussion with Aucklanders. The latest example is a comment this morning by Nick Smith that ‘there is currently no line on a map as to where Aucklanders plan to grow to over the next three decades.’.”

“There are lines on the map, and we are trying to discuss this with Aucklanders right now. Aucklanders don’t want politics from Wellington, they want to continue to make the decisions that impact on their communities and their futures.”

Penny Hulse said Auckland Council had identified the need for a wider urban boundary as part of the Auckland Plan, published in May 2012, and was now moving forward with work to identify more land for development outside of the current Metropolitan Urban Limit.

“Well before the government got involved, the Auckland Plan made it clear we needed new land supply and set targets. We were also clear we aren’t meeting those targets. That’s why we’ve identified areas we can zone now and bring forward for development earlier, and it’s why we’re preparing a land supply release programme and talking with developers. We hope the Government will work with us and support the development of this work.

“Thousands of Aucklanders have helped shape the draft Unitary Plan and we want them to be able to continue doing that over the next two months.”

Ends

Notes for editors:

Maps of the proposed Rural Urban Boundary are available at:

http://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/EN/planspoliciesprojects/plansstrategies/unitaryplan/Pages/TheRuralUrbanBoundary.aspx

Nick Smith’s comments from an interview this morning on Morning Report (8.09am):

“Let me take a very simple issue, Simon [Mercep]. You’ve made comments about the rural urban boundary and whether it is sufficient to cope with growth. Actually, there is no line on a map. The Auckland Council in its draft plan has not defined exactly where that rural urban boundary is.

“When you ask the question is the rural urban boundary in the right place, to be able to satisfy myself that Auckland’s housing issues will be addressed, difficult to determine that when there is currently no line on a map as to where Aucklanders plan to grow to over the next three decades. And that is why we need further discussion.”
ENDS

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