About Unitary Plan tricks

A general view of newly-built houses at Dadun village of Lingshui ethnic Li autonomous county

Auckland Council is trying to stiff the Independent Hearings Panel on the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan.

Now that evidence is mounting against the compact city Auckland Council officers have been busy thinking up a strategy to gazump the property world and residents by circumnavigating the issues.

The problem for Council is that it is now finding itself against the entire community. Everyone is in agreement over the evidence and what outcomes should occur. Council – threatened by the chance it will lose – thinks everyone else is in looney land. Hardly a surprise because Auckland Council always thinks it is right. Supreme arrogance.

Word on the street is that new head of legal at Auckland Council – Catherine Anderson – has started working to wrestle decision making for big issues off the Independent Hearings Panel by regulating those matters outside of the Unitary Plan and the Resource Management Act and under the cover of the Local Government Act.

Firstly that’s a significant act that undermines all good faith. ??

But in doing so the Council would be taking steps to remove from the Unitary Plan the specific parts that deal with spatial growth and decisions on where and when the city can grow. These functions – which are currently in the Regional Policy Statement (and subject to fierce debate now) are fundamental to the structure of the Unitary Plan. The Policies and objectives that would be in the Unitary Plan would set down precisely the criteria for expanding the city.

This matter goes to the heart of the housing affordability crisis and in short shows that Auckland Council is trying to stiff everyone to win.

They don’t care about more housing unless it is their plan for communist style so so apartment blocks.

They don’t care about working in good faith with the government to deliver affordable housing through land release.

They don’t care about the law and they certainly don’t respect the Independent Hearings Panel.

They don’t give a toss what the country thinks.

A dangerous time for Auckland has now arrived.