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Designing an internationally competitive city

Following a recent Cabinet meeting, Nick Smith and Rodney Hide have shared their thoughts on Auckland’s spatial plan and how central government will work with the Auckland Council to develop the first spatial plan. And both agree, not surprisingly, that the plan will enable Auckland to play a critical role as a key link to the global economy. 

“A prosperous Auckland ensures economic growth for the rest of the country, and makes a significant contribution to the Government’s economic growth, social, environmental and infrastructure objectives,” says Hide. 

With Auckland expected to contain 60 percent of the country’s population growth over the next 30 years, Hide says one of the most important roles of the new council will be to articulate the 20-30 year vision for Auckland through the spatial plan. 

Auckland’s Spatial Plan, as defined in the Local Government (Auckland Council) Amendment Act 2010, is intended to contribute to Auckland’s social, economic, environmental and social well being through a comprehensive and effective long-term 20-30 year strategy for Auckland’s growth and development. 

A number of government agencies, including the Department of Internal Affairs and the Ministry for the Environment, will be working with the Auckland Council as it develops its first spatial plan. 

“Aucklanders will be looking to see that the spatial plan sets out their aspirations for their city—all those that are affordable and feasible—and which supports efficient and effective resource allocation,” says Smith. “It will provide guidance to improve Auckland’s built environment, and ensure infrastructure is delivered in the right place at the right time.” 

The plan will be discussed further in the New Year as part of an Auckland central government-local government forum.

A few months back, New Zealand Council for Sustainable Business Development’s Heather Stonyer, Manukau City Council strategist Dr Maggie Lawton, Nextspace executive committee member of International Society of Digital Earth’s Richard Simpson, and financial journalist Rod Oram shared their thoughts at a panel discussion on what the spatial plan should look like. Read MORE HERE.

In the meantime, Smith says submissions on a Ministry for the Environment discussion document that outlines proposals to reform the urban and infrastructure planning system—including spatial planning provisions—closes December 17. In the publication—Building competitive cities: reform of the urban and infrastructure planning system—Smith says the Resource Management Act is falling short on "ensuring New Zealand cities are internationally competitive". 

The discussion document seeks to:

• improve our knowledge and understanding of the issues facing planning, urban design and  infrastructure development in New Zealand

• ensure that the options that have been identified address the right issues

• seek input and views on the options for reform and their likely impacts and effectiveness  compared to the status quo. 

It points to a past of under-investing in infrastructure, which has resulted in the current infrastructure holding New Zealand back from improving its overall economic performance. 

Peruse through the publication for yourself HERE.