Edited with new link to an easier to use feedback form.

Our colleagues over at Generation Zero have been hard at work on ways to help people who want a better city be heard in the Unitary Plan debate. They have a whole lot of great stuff on their site including this on the Unitary Plan

And this fantastic quick and legible submission form:


Obviously you can tick as many or as few boxes as desired.

Addresses for direct submission:

[email protected]

by post:

Unitary Plan Feedback Team
Auckland Council
Freepost 237170
Private Bag 92300
Auckland 1142
This is great work by Generation Zero and after all it is their generation that will be more affected ย than the older people largely in charge by decisions made through this process now.

Edit:ย To make it easier, Generation Zero have now put this into a web form. you can just tick the boxes online, fill in the boxes and submit that way. Go hereย for the form..
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    C’MON all you decent Aucklanders; let’s crank out those Unitary Plan submissions and provide a positive counter-balance to all the (relatively uninformed) negativity churned out by the fear-mongers. We owe it to ourselves and possibly our children (and definitely their PUPPIES) to strike back against Auckland’s outspoken NIMBY brigade.

    It’s our city; our future.

  2. I love the fact that a 6 Homestar rating is on the list, very cool.
    Hope this gets lots of tick’s ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Well done! Common sense and clear. Why stop at 70:30 though? I thought we need something like 90:10. It’s not as if we have any transport systems out in the Brownfield areas!

  4. The Council has also on their facebook page asked for submissions in form of Facebook comments. These are also taken into consideration. At least there is half half in terms of support and opposition. The funny thing, the greenfields (Helensville, Riverhead etc.) are also unhappy that their land will be clogged with houses if the sprawl wins..

  5. Too right.
    Pity the homestar web site only rates stand alone dwellings. It would be nice if the tool showed people how much worse they are than attached dwellings.

    1. That was a comment on Adam W (“I love the fact that a 6 Homestar rating is on the list”)… The comments plug-in barfed at putting in the right place….

      1. Is this being shared around the University’s? There are lots of students out there who are likely to make a submission on a form like this if they are aware of it.

        1. Yup yup… they are going round stacked on clip boards! Volunteers for manually collecting more in the next few days are most welcome…

  6. Sent off my submission, after my wife showed me how to! Too modern. But I could not work out how to sign it.

  7. Well I’ll give them an A for optimisim and comedy value.
    Rather than making houses to a 6 Homestar rating (whatever that actually means), how about they just make them not leak first. Walk before you can run as they say.

    1. No-one knows what’s in Homestar because the version for multi-unit buildings hasn’t been released. Sort of like the Urban Design Manual!

      There’s a lot of irrelevant greenie lifestyle block crap in the detached house version of Homestar that wouldn’t make sense for denser multi-unit developments (greywater? composting? mandatory vegetable gardening?), so I assume that’ll go.

      But the most amazing thing is that you must have a low-flow showerhead to get 6 stars. The present Government made a lot of fun at that when they were in opposition, and they were right. Insulation and genuine energy efficiency are already covered in the building code, and that’s the best place to deal with that sort of thing. Have a rating system if you want, but it shouldn’t be selectively applied to some houses by some councils.

  8. I had a failure with the form there:

    “Incomplete Values
    There are incomplete fields in your submission:
    Please go back and fix the problem(s)”

    I definitely checked the “I support the draft….” button, plus the go back link doesn’t work. I’m using Chrome on 7 with newly updated java.

  9. Version 2.0 of homestar (released last month) can certify terrace housing and apartments. Initial research suggests that these are far more sustainable building types for a thermal performance perspective

  10. Somewhat off topic but McAfee is reporting a Trojan on this site: JS/Exploit-Blacole.le
    I’m using a different connection from the usual so it could be a false alarm but perhaps someone could look into it. It would be remiss of me not to bring it up.

  11. Awesome! Just completed mine also! Its just been so hard finding the time but the abreviated one was sooo easy!

  12. All very good.. they may have missed a trick by not having a tick box to retain / protect our city’s open green spaces, including sports fields. These will be all the more valuable as the population grows and density (hopefully increases). It’s not all about lattes and cafes!! Deaks made a vey good point about Colin Maiden Park the other day.

    1. ‘Deaks’ is wrong about CM Park, it is privately owned, not something being given away by Council. Certainly if he believes the Council should by it and then fund it as a park that’s a reasonable idea that would require funding, but there isn’t a conspiracy by Council as he was implying…

      But agree public open spaces are vital and is certainly something you should add to your submission. Of course the more compactly we are living then the less land we are covering per person and the opportunity for public space should be greater. Hong Kong, for example, which has crazy high densities also has great and accessible parkland within a short walk of most residents.

      1. Patrick your point is right namely that the less land we use for buildings the more we should have for open space.. Whether inside the city or without. I have lived in and travelled in many cities with far higher densities than Auckland.. some of which serve their residents really well with green spaces including active recreation facilities.. Others seem to fail them badly.. open land has been sold off to developers and live-ability suffers.. Generally along with air quality.

        As far as CMP goes, many people are of course conflating the issues of the draft UP (which has a drafting error around the precinct in which CMP lies) and the likely sale of the land by the university when it moves to Newmarket. Needless to say the C&R team are making political capital out of both. Yes AC could and I hope will buy the land, but it needs to be zoned appropriately.. so that it is retained as open space / active sports.. and not, as it currently proposed, zoned for apartments / mixed business is a big deal over here. Given the $ involved (university sells for $16-18 m?? Developer sells for $100 m +) it is hardly surprising that people who use the space especially for cricket, rugby, football are very concerned. So it is entirely appropriate for people to note this in their UP submissions as well as write to their LB members and councillors. Deaks did well to highlight the issue because a lot of people care about it.

        I’m afraid Nick’s comment below is way too simplistic.. to say there are 26 sports fields within 3 km. Do you know these green spaces yourself? They are not all suitable for sports. They are not all accessible by train or bus, like CMP is. Did you know that the eastern suburbs are already seriously under-served by sports fields? Have a look around the area on a Saturday morning more or less any time of year except January and they are simply all full.. so cricket is played on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, and football several matches per day at the weekend and so on. And basically all the useable school pitches as well as AC and club pitches are used. No spare capacity at all. Try getting to many of them without using a car. Now consider how this will be affected by the increased population.. From Panmure round to Orakei.. maybe 20,000 more? Like you and other contributors to this blog, many of us actually support that concept. Several 1000 people over here have actively chosen to live in higher density areas such as Stonefields, which is developing nicely. But guess what they and/or the children are going to want more green spaces not less.

        I don’t believe in conspiracy theories. However I do wonder why there seems to be an undertone of anti-eastern suburbs on this blog. The people that live in these suburbs are stereotyped and generalised. I contrast, they and the suburbs themselves are hugely diverse. It is really childish and self-defeating. Please stop saying ridiculous obviously wrong statements like “I don’t see the need” for these green spaces without first considering the facts from other points of views as well as your own. It’s a very disappointing comment. Up there with those earlier this month about building the eastern highway to serve eastern suburbs people right. Strewth grow up mate and get about more.

        Rant over.

        1. Is not Nic’s key point that Colin Maiden Park is private land and if we want to ensure it remains as open space then we would have to purchase it? Personally, I’d be happy to put it to a democratic vote, but I suspect there’s more important things to spend money on than sports fields. Nothing against East Auckland – I’d say the same for most parts of Auckland.

          The thing that strikes me is that in cities there’s *never* enough space. Cities are by definition space constrained. And the thing I learnt from living in much denser cities overseas is that people cope – even those that play sport – in ways that you touch on. First, they make better use of the available sports facilities. And when those opportunities are exhausted they start playing a wider range of sports, some of which are less space intensive.

          Like badminton and volleyball. And personally, I don’t think it’s a disaster if future generations of NZ kids grow up playing a little more of those sports and a little less cricket and football.

        2. Look if the suggestion here is a choice between in the one hand building over the few green spaces we have and compromising cricket, rugby, football.. heck even running or walking on grass.. things that dircetly impact on people’s quality of life, and more sprawl, then what you suggest is exactly how to get people to vote for the latter. An own goal, to continue the sporting theme..

    2. Colin Maiden park is private land owned by the university. If you want to retain those sports fields then you’d have to propose the council buys them. I don’t see the need once the university and their sports are gone, that part of the city has a heap of open green spaces and absolutely stacks of playing fields. I can count at least 26 sports fields within a 3km radius of Colin Maiden Park, not to mention serveral large reserves and domains.

  13. So- Gen 0 have SEEN the Urban Design Manual?

    They must have, it would be incredibly naive to push this hard for something you haven’t seen.

    P.S. If anyone could send me a copy before the deadline it would be much appreciated…

    1. Geoff I have seen the Urban Design Panel process outcomes and see them as really positive and believe that this is the best way to get good outcomes for all points of view in the built environment. It is certainly better than the older rules based system that allowed all those hideous apartment blocks on Nelson/Hobson, Newmarket and elsewhere [like the vile lump on the corner of Mayoral and Wakefield]. Where a developer could even admit the thing is hideous but because he could show that certain criteria were met, it couldn’t be stopped; leaks and all.

      But then I don’t believe in stopping the clock and that the only purpose of any plan should be to prevent anything happening anywhere close to some noisy people. Nor do I believe, usually, that building replica buildings is the way forward either, to me these ring false and actually muddy our experience of the real old street fabric. I do however believe that the best way to make great future heritage, if that’s the best way to describe quality design, is to build the best we can now, with today’s technology, and today’s aesthetic. An aesthetic which necessarily grows out of all that has gone before, and allows a rich fabric of forms.

      This does not mean that everything built through such a process will always please me or anyone else, almost certainly not, but that old rules based system, where there was no chance for talented and experienced people to just say ‘hang on that won’t do’ certainly produced crap that pretty much absolutely everyone agrees is vile. Quite impressive, when you think about it, because when it comes to buildings, it’s a bit like transport: Everyone is an expert.

      In short I just don’t harbour suspicions like the 2040 paranoids that there is some kind of conspiracy to ruin our city in this plan. The Urban design panel process gave us Britomart and Imperial Lane and the Art Gallery. And Marsh Cook’s hse in Franklin road [which I know you don’t like, but I can’t help you with that!].

      Also you know this is just the beginning of the process of making submissions too don’t you, nothing is set in stone after Friday, this the Draft Unitary Plan.

      1. I take your point. No one in their right minds would allow the Nelson/ Hobson crap in any city, yet, here tis in ours.

        I like you, think the UDM is very important, it could shape what we all have to look at for the next 50-100 years. So important that would should be able to SEE it. Hard to comment intelligently on something unseen no?

        And you’re right, it’s just a draft draft. Welly may not let us have any of it anyway

  14. I notice that the latest article from the NIMBY’s Commander-in-Chief Bernard “JAFFA” Orsman has about 34 Facebook shares. This post, in contrast, has 110 Facebook shares.

    Does one get the feeling that the Herald has bitten off its nose in spite of its face? I can’t help but wonder if their campaign to spread fear, uncertainty, and doubt about the Unitary Plan – while helping to sell a few papers to scared old people – may have alienated a swathe of people who wanted more informed debate? And that in turn may have created a vacuum that other organisations, such as Generation Zero and this blog, can fill? Our viewing statistics suggest this is our biggest month every – already.

    I also can’t help but note that the Herald’s latest circulation numbers have fallen 6% and that as of next year they may be behind a paywall. Which in turn begs the question: How many people will be prepared to pay for the material the Herald churns out, when they can get the same kind of stuff for free by listening to the likes of TalkBack radio?

    1. Very interesting stuff about the stats between the NZ herald and other mediums like this blog.
      The truth will prevail

  15. Geoff Houtman you keep implying that the Urban Design Manual has been withheld from the public as some sort of conspiracy. I can assure you the only reason it is not available is because it is not yet complete.

    The Unitary Plan provides plenty of stautory urban design provisions. The UDM will provide best practice examples of how to acheive good design within the provisions of the Unitary Plan.

    1. Not necessarily a conspiracy, it could merely be laziness. This is, you realise, a document that was supposed to be developed by December LAST year to to sit alongside the UP?
      It is supposed to be active come September. We can’t see it til September. How can one submit in favour of something unseen?

      “Best Practice” is in the eye of the beholder, the Newmarket Station won an Urban Design Award in 2010, if you’ve ever been there, you’ll know it’s an urban mess,( there have been posts on this blog about it). Yet it is Best Practice . I’m glad you have faith in the UDM unseen, I prefer transparency, but we’re never going to agree on everything! ๐Ÿ˜‰

      1. Geoff, I have to say that you seem very quick to bandy about suggestions of “laziness.”

        Personally, I don’t understand how you can suggest people at AC/AT are lazy. Do you not think their progress has more likely been constrained by 1) a hierarchical policy development process and 2) a complex interface with central government and the media?

        I think it’s worth explaining what I mean by a “hierarchical policy development process”. This process started a few years back with the legislation that created the Auckland Council. The next step was the Auckland Plan, and associated strategic documents such as the City Centre Master Plan. Unfortunately these plans took longer than originally expected – largely because of protracted negotiations between Central and Local Government around the appropriate amount of greenfields development. In other words, these delays were incurred by something largely beyond AC’s ability to control. That’s a common theme when it comes to policy, unfortunately.

        “Fast forward” a year or two and we now have the draft Unitary Plan, while in a few short months we should have the Urban Design Manual.

        And when you think about there are some good reasons why AC may want to delay the UDM. They may, for example, have realised that the UDM is highly contingent on the UP and that – in the interests of not making the latter seem like a foregone conclusion – it’s probably better to the UP signed off first. It’s also possible that AC may have had to re-direct internal staff resources who were working on the UDM to instead address issues (perceived or real) with the draft UP, many of which have been fomented by largely uninformed commentary from the likes of the NZHerald and Auckland2040. From a policy perspective I don’t see any issues with the UP containing references to an as yet “unseen” UDM, because once the UP is finalised we can our entire focus to the UDM. The documents are hierarchical; one logically follows from the other.

        “Less haste; more speed; and a little smidgen of good faith” is a phrase you may want to keep in mind. In general and on balance it seems to me that AC staff – and indeed most of NZ’s public servants – are trying to do a dam good job. And their job includes trying to actively engage with their community. I note that the OECD seems to agree with me; their better life index shows NZ as ranked fourth in OECD for Civic Engagement (http://www.oecdbetterlifeindex.org/countries/new-zealand/#/32454533113).

        So please don’t persist in bandying about flippant insinuations and accusations. They can have a very real and corrosive effect on the energy levels of the people who really, truly are trying to do good work on our behalf. Go well.

        1. Perhaps the amount of work required to get things like the UDM into place are the very reason there are calls to extend the deadlines? It’s not any persons fault as such, just that it’s difficult to submit on something that doesn’t exist as yet.

      2. Geoff Houtman – I think you are confusing Newmarket Station with the large, ugly, apartment/retail/carpark block that lies between the railway lines and Broadway. That block will only win awards for poorest design, whereas the station is at the very least a reasonable design slotted into a very tight space.

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