Grey Lynn 2030’s submission on the draft Auckland Plan

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Submissions on the draft Auckland Plan close at 4pm on Monday 31 October. This plan will be the key document to shape Auckland over the next 30 years.  Here is Grey Lynn 2030’s draft submission. Please use what you wish to have your say.

You can use the online form or email theaucklandplan@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

Submission to the Auckland Council on the draft Auckland Plan by Grey Lynn 2030: Transition Community

Introduction

We would firstly like to congratulate the Auckland Council on producing such an encouraging and well-written draft Auckland Plan. We strongly support the mayor’s vision of creating the most liveable city by acknowledging the current problems our city is facing and embracing new and positive approaches that are beneficial for our people and the environment.

Grey Lynn 2030 is a participatory community organisation that facilitates and supports local focus groups working towards a positive, connected, sustainable, resilient community through practical action.

 Grey Lynn 2030 commented on the Auckland Unleashed discussion document and welcome the opportunity to provide feedback on the draft Auckland Plan.

 Auckland’s Strategic direction

 We agree with the five transformational shifts required to make Auckland the most liveable city in the world. In particular: 

  • we strongly agree with all the strategies outlined in TS2 for green growth. It is vital we clean up our air, creeks and sea and build green networks that encourage rich biodiversity. It is also critical we maintain the highest “green” standards for new buildings and work to eliminate waste to landfill.
  • TS3 is also an excellent principle, public transport as well as cycling and walking networks are vital to underpinning the interconnectedness of our city. We would like to see a re-prioritisation away from the private motor car. Fewer cars would also make cycling safer and more appealing. We strongly support a regional fuel tax which would encourage people to get out of their cars and would provide funding for improved public transport and walking and cycling infrastructure.

 Auckland’s high level development strategy

 We support the strategic direction outlined in Section D: Auckland’s High Level Development Strategy: Part 1: Making a Quality Compact City Work. Specifically Grey Lynn 2030 supports:

  • The use of a new Rural Urban Boundary (RUB) as essential to avoid urban sprawl, to limit environmental degradation, to protect the food producing cacity of the urban hinterland and to use infrastructure as efficiently as possible.
  • We support more compact and intensive residential and business environments centred around beautiful local neighbourhoods and connected by an efficient, pleasant and safe public transport network, including cycle paths and walkways, operating as an integrated system.
  • We approve of the proposal for a limited area of greenfield land being designated for development, provided that the release of this land is carefully staged to ensure that social and physical infrastructure and services are provided,  and that the unitary plan implements this approach. 

 Auckland’s people

 We support the strategic directions outlined in chapter one, specifically the support of community-led development. We see this as an opportunity to build strong and resilient communities which we believe are especially important in a time of global economic instability and uncertainty.

 In order to achieve this we would like to see a framework to recognise, fund and support community generated initiatives and community groups that are working on projects to promote a less fossil-fuel based lifestyle.  In particular, community initiatives actively engaged in local food production, energy efficiency, water quality and waste minimisation.

 We would like to see more emphasis in directives on strengthening communities and their resilience. In particular, the work of community groups and community leaders needs to be identified, evaluated and supported through aligned investment.

 Sustainable eco-economy

 The goal for “Auckland to be an internationally competitive, prosperous economy that benefits all Aucklanders through a step change in exports and internationalisation” is only achievable through development and implementation of strategic priorities that recognise that a transition to a resilient, sustainable, low carbon, “green” economy is essential to future prosperity.

We support “creating a sustainable eco-economy” as a cross cutting theme in the Economic Development Strategy (EDS) but would like to see more examples of what this means in practice and how this is to be balanced with economic growth.

We have to make sure that our economy delivers opportunity and prosperity as well as protecting our quality of life and our environment. We want an economy that is sustainable and encourages new greener ways of doing business. We do not believe that we should try to compete with a cheap mass production that countries like China can offer and we would like to see a focus on quality instead of quantity.

 With the increasing instability of the global economy which depends on economic growth for its survival, we would like to see a more sustainable approach which means acting AND thinking locally. We need to support our smaller local businesses that can operate on a smaller scale and create sustainable local jobs. With the end of cheap oil we need to start producing and buyng locally.

We would like Auckland to become a GE free environment as quality, sustainable food production will attract a premium whilst protecting our environmental and our reputation as a clean green producer.  This would also offset the negative effect of the international awareness of food miles.

We also submit that achieving Fair Trade certification for Auckland should be included in the EDS as a key action

 Environment

Grey Lynn 2030 supports the Council’s commitment in Chapter 5 that “We can and will safeguard what we have and radically improve our environment where it has become degraded”. We also strongly support the acknowledgement that people and nature are inseparable and that we have to take care of our precious environment.  

Stronger rules and regulations need to be put into place to make sure we can protect our environment for future generations and create the world’s most liveable city.  These measures must include but not be limited to, initiatives to reduce the quantity and improve the quality of stormwater runoff; to improve the water quality of the Waitemata, Manukau and Kaipara Harbours and Hauraki Gulf and their tributaries, recognising that these are an irreplaceable natural and recreational resource for the region.

 

We also support tree general protection rules, recognising the invaluable contribution of trees toward a liveable and pleasant city, and their vital function in stabilising soil, moderating climate, reducing runoff, creating habitat and absorbing carbon. We support funding towards the enhancement of native regional biodiversity and weed and pest control. 

Climate change response

 Grey Lynn 2030 supports the development of an Energy and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Strategy and Action Plan that will identify policy options to deliver upon the reduction target of a 40% decrease in emissions by 2031. We encourage the Council to prioritise the development of this strategy for adoption in 2012 as outlined in Chapter 12 Implementation Framework. We also support the inclusion of information on the direct impacts of climate change on Auckland, in Box 6.1.

 However the Draft Auckland Plan has failed to provide a strategic framework for climate change adaptation. The Implementation Framework states that the Council will work with key partners to undertake monitoring, spatial identification and assessment of the effects and impacts of climate change, and will investigate ways to develop and implement flexible, risk-based land-use planning tools that can be applied to existing and new development (for example, managed retreat, minimum setbacks and floor levels). These are important actions that should be prioritised by the Council.

Grey Lynn 2030 submits the Council should also consider the following actions in developing an adaptation strategy:

(a) Refer to international best practice in planning for climate change adaptation.

(b) Undertake a regional vulnerability assessment based on sensitivity analysis and adaptive capacity.

(c) Adopt adaptation strategies appropriate to the shoreline type (for example, looking at a way of protecting wetlands, which provide a natural defence to land behind them).

(d) Discourage development in areas subject to inundation.

(e) In some places consider living with increased sea levels through new innovative design.

(f) encourage local food production as a counter to dependance on an oil-based supermarket economy

(g) support water saving initiatives.

 Transport

We strongly support the proposals that will give Aucklanders more transport choices and help meet the challenges of climate change, oil prices, energy efficiency, pollution and congestion.  In particular we support:

  • Improvements to the Regional Cycle Network. However far more funding is required to improve the network with quality dedicated and connected cycleways
  • Construction of the City Rail Tunnel because it will transform our city from the suburbs to the core – and change the “cars only” mentality that is holding us back.
  • Better parking regulations: Reduce minimum car parking for people and developers who don’t want it –?  and make bike parking required in all new developments.
  • Improved infrastructure for pedestrians and shared cycle/walking routes by including in the Plan “Greenways” that link open spaces and parks.

 We do not support any further investment in new roads and ask for a reprioritisation for active modes of transport. 

The prioritisation of so many roading projects undermines targets in the Auckland Plan relating to other matters, such as reducing CO2 emissions and limiting urban sprawl. A key purpose of the Auckland Plan is to ensure better integration across Council activities, but the current proposed list of transport projects is inconsistent with this goal – by undermining both the targets in the transport chapter and other targets throughout the Auckland Plan

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