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How is Auckland Council doing

21 April 2011

AUTHOR:Kevin Birch

It is now almost 6 months since the establishment of the Auckland Council. We can be thankful that sense prevailed, and we have retained a Pukekohe office of the Council, and many of the services available have been retained, along with many of the staff.

One of the changes, we are starting to see, is a shift in the position adopted by Council in relation to planning issues. This is partially brought about by different staff handling the issues, but also by independent commissioners determining local resource consent applications. These parties are adopting their own new interpretations of rules and policies, and disregarding previous interpretations and established procedures. While this may not be surprising to many, until the Council adopt an Auckland Plan which covers the whole region, decisions and actions should reflect decisions, interpretations, and procedures that have been made in the past.

 While one could expect a new Council to establish different processes, sudden changes remind me of the reluctance of many to be part of Auckland Council.

 While the first six months has seen a relatively smooth transition from the Franklin District to the Auckland Council for many, I believe that the next six months will see more significant changes being implemented, and possibly to the detriment of local people and organizations.