Unitary Plan charts new and right direction for Auckland City
Mayoral candidate Phil Goff has today supported the overall thrust of the recommended Auckland Unitary Plan but accepts that some change in detail may be needed as Council considers the recommendations.
“The plan provides a unique opportunity to make the important changes needed to improve the lives of Aucklanders so that we can all enjoy living and raising our families in this fantastic city,” said Phil Goff.
“With more than three-quarters of a million extra people expected to be living in Auckland within the next 25 years, it is clear that Auckland has to move up and out.”
Transport and housing are the two most critical challenges facing the city. They must be tackled together which is why intensification around town and city centres, transport hubs and arterial routes is critical.
“Auckland is no longer a large provincial city. It is a small global city and the solutions we apply to it should follow the best practice applied in other successful cities around the world.
“We need an oversupply of land to bring soaring property prices under control and to ensure that housing remains affordable for Auckland residents. The Kiwi dream of home ownership must be kept alive and rents also kept at reasonable rates.
“Intensification comes with pre-conditions. It must be accompanied by good transport infrastructure or gridlock will worsen. There must be good urban design so that we have a city we can be proud of with plenty of green and public open space.
“Heritage and environmental protection is critical. We don’t want the city to lose the best of its character buildings and sense of history. We must protect the iconic features of our environment such as the harbour and volcanic cones that make our city unique.
“On its own, the Unitary Plan won’t solve all of the problems this city faces. Land supply is critical but infrastructure funding to service that land is just as important. Infrastructure bonds and a much expanded Infrastructure Fund are essential.
“The Government also has a role to play in restoring an affordable home building programme while Council must ensure that resource and building consents are processed quickly and efficiently to minimise delays which add further cost pressures.
“In the short term, demand control measures are also critical for us to allow infrastructure development to catch up with demand. Measures to curb rampant speculation, redirection of foreign investment into new builds, and easing record immigration levels are other steps that should also be taken.
“It is vital that Council and Government work together to find and implement the solutions needed to create a better Auckland,” said Mr Goff.