Sign petition to stop National developing Waitakeres

As David Clendon blogged last week there has been a lot of concern in West Auckland about the  impacts the third super city bill might have on the Waitakere Ranges.

First, Westies were concerned that the Bill might lead to the Waitakeres being taken away from the Auckland Council and made into a National Park. This would be a bad outcome as DOC almost certainly couldn’t afford to spend as much on conservation/facilities in the Waitakeres as the Auckland Council.

After various people, including David, raised this issue in the media Paula Bennett quickly backtracked – telling the Herald that the government will not try to nationalize the Waitakeres using the third super city bill. That’s good news!

Nevertheless, West Aucklanders are still concerned that the third super city bill would create a spatial plan for Auckland which would over-ride the current Waitakere Ranges Heritage Area Act of 2008. This is a major issue as right now the Act protects the Waitaks from sub-division or urban style development.

A new spatial plan could mean that the boundary of the urban parts of Auckland would be shifted right into the foothills of the Waitakeres. The Waitakere Ranges Protection Society have drafted a petition to stop this which you can download here. Please support them by signing it!

Allowing Auckland to sprawl outwards into the Waitakeres and the other precious parks and rural areas around Auckland would have many negative consequences. Joel Cayford has an interesting blog on this where he outlines some of the key problems that sprawl can lead to.

We need to give the Auckland Council the tools it needs to grow Auckland smarter and intensify sustainably – rather than just sprawling farther and farther out.

5 thoughts on “Sign petition to stop National developing Waitakeres

  1. Absolutely, preventing sprawl needs massive changes to local legislation such as far better district plans and zoning (hopefully the proposed spatial plan will suffice), reduction/amendment of maximum section sizes per unit, removal/amendment of minimum parking requirements, new PT infrastructure and increased services and parking charges and/or reduction…

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  2. Jeremy, who were the twerps who came up with the concept of minimum parking requirements, and why?

    It applies across a number of Councils, but must be the most stupid planning policy ever. Was it incompetent planners, or elected Councillors trying to curry favour with the roading lobby who were responsible?

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  3. We all know the numbers prdicted to move to Auckland are huge but one thing the Greens aren’t against is the arrival of large volumes of immigrants; As Keith Locke says: “our policy is the opposite of Winston Peters”.

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  4. I don’t know the history of parking requirements but like most things in Auckland’s planning and transport I’m sure it stems back to the 50s when Auckland lost its way and went from an excellently designed city with world class infrastructure to what we have today… A demostration of this is that the council has almost $150 million dollars of finances tied up in city parking buildings, with signs on the side saying “$99 dollar monthly parking, cheap paking where and when you need it”, this is in directly opposition to their stated district plans to REDUCE car travel to the CBD… These parking buildings should be torn down and mixed use developements with stores at floor level, offices, reasonable sized apartments and council housing…

    I’ve had a chat to a few roading engineers who believe removing parking requirements would destroy the city, they think it would destroy economic development due to cars never finding parks (cars circling for parks is the largest contributor to traffic in NY)… I think the most likely first move is to change from “minimum” parking requirements to “maximum” parking requirements… Abolition (what I favour) is actually quite a right wing idea, allowing land owners to determine whether it is in their customer’s interest to provide a store (or residence) with no car parks but cheap purchase costs…

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  5. I once heard an interesting talk about where minimum parking requirements come from. Apparently, like a lot of things in our transport planning and funding systems, it goes back to the fact that a lot of the first road engineers trained in water engineering (or whatever you call the branch of engineers that is responsible for dealing with water flows).

    So they were about moving water efficiently from place to place. And, because this is all about old-school water engineering they saw the best way to do that as putting concrete around the rivers and making them straighter, and generally doing everything they could to move the water around as fast as possible.

    The problem is, of course, that people (unlike rain) are responsive to the infrastructure they are provided with. Give them more, bigger, straighter roads and they drive more often, further and faster. And, also, unlike water we don’t eventually flow out to sea.

    By the same analogy, they saw parking places as being rather like dams. They had to be designed to deal with a “peak flow” of cars so they wouldn’t overflood. I was thinking about this when I went to my local supermarket, on Xmas Eve – it was the busiest I have ever seen it and yet there were still parking places.

    And a lot of the resistance within councils to getting rid of minimum parking requirements still comes from traffic engineers. I was just listening to a planner from Wellington City Council talk about this. He said, when they removed the minimum parking requirements all of the local traffic engineers predicted that there would be chaos, cars all over the place, DOOM etc

    Instead, what they’ve actually found is that developers are still providing carparks in their new buildings. They’re just not putting in so many. In fact, it seems to be a (rare) case where the market is actually meeting the need quite well without intervention.

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