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Hundreds of Aucklanders have embraced the more inclusive community engagement approach council is undertaking for the Auckland Unitary Plan.
Six weeks into this process, 19 local board workshops have been held across Auckland, with over 450 people to discuss and debate topics to be covered in the “planning rulebook”.
Council staff have also held workshops with 150 people from a variety of key sectors, an innovative two-week online forum, a 60-person civic forum hosted by passionate Aucklander Te Radar, a leaders’ forum, Property Council workshops and hui with mana whenua and mataawaka.
Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse says the response to the engagement has been great.
“Planning staff have done a huge amount of work to get to this point. They are pulling together the best of all the district plans and policies inherited from former councils, developing new proposals and provisions that will deliver the vision of the Auckland Plan, whilst working to incorporate the feedback from our ongoing consultation.
“As we work towards our region-wide informal consultation in March in 2013, we saw this as an ideal time to get the issues and topics in front of a variety of Aucklanders. The Unitary Plan is still a work in progress and the local insight, expert and specialist knowledge we have received from those we are engaging with is helping shape the draft,” she said.
Kaipatiki Local Board Chair Lindsay Waugh said the workshops brought together representatives from Auckland’s communities.
“All board members were given the opportunity to put forward suggestions of people to take part in the workshops. Our group represented the community well with expertise ranging from resident groups, property development, the environment, business, education and heritage.
“We discussed issues such as how we create more housing choice, how we help businesses to develop, how we create more jobs, and how we protect our region’s environment, heritage and character.
“By having these conversations with this broad cross-section of Aucklanders at this early stage in the planning process, I am confident we will get the best result,” said Ms Waugh.
Feedback from these forums, workshops and events will help the council develop the draft Unitary Plan to be ready for March 2013, when it will run a widespread informal public consultation programme.