A campaign to get 50,000 Aucklanders to tell the council to rethink its intensification plans is underway.
The coalition behind the campaign, Auckland 2040, is concerned that without a united voice residents will lose the chance to have a say on the future of their city.
The council has set a May 31 deadline for community feedback to the draft Unitary Plan, which proposes intensification through rezoning much of the city for apartment and terraced housing.
Richard Burton, a Resource Management Act consultant with 30 years experience, says the first concern is that most people are still unaware how the Unitary Plan will affect properties and neighbourhoods.
“This is the most fundamental decision Auckland will make in the next 100 years,” he says. “Apathy is our enemy and there’s a real sense of urgency. In council’s eyes not putting in feedback is tantamount to agreeing with the plan.”
Mr Burton also says he’s horrified by aspects of the plan that the council is not making clear to the public.
“People are already concerned about the height limits without even realising that the council will have the ability to allow increased height without public notification. Developers will do whatever they can to persuade the council to allow them extra height and other dispensations and I say council because residents will have no say.”
Another major concern, he says, is the lack of investigation the council has undertaken on the impact of intensification on roading, schools, sewerage, hospitals, and reserves.
Guy Haddleton, who along with Mr. Burton is driving the Auckland 2040 campaign, says community-run meetings have been a real eye-opener.
“People are not against an intensification plan for Auckland,” Mr. Haddleton says. “What they’re saying is that council needs to rethink the plan and identify appropriate locations for intensification based on infrastructure and community feedback.”
Auckland 2040 will be holding public meetings where people can submit their feedback on the plan to council.
■ May 19, 4.30pm, Takapuna Grammar School
■ May 26, 5 pm, Northcote Senior Citizens Hall.
Visit auckland2040.org.nz for more information.