Today (Monday) is the last day for submissions on the proposed District Plan that will govern the shape of the city for the next 50 years. You have until 5pm today to get a submission in, and then after that, your goose is cooked. The shape of the city is then set in stone, or concrete and steel, and in some cases, timber or even plastic. I’d encourage everyone to submit a submission, and I’d encourage them to think carefully about the issues of design before they do so.
Have you read the entire new proposed District Plan? I am fairly amazed at the way that the Council said they were going to simplify it, and then took the old Plan’s 13 chapters, and grew that to a rumoured 65 chapters. Good luck finding any relevant advice in there in 5 minutes! This new plan is the most important document to have been published in Wellington for the last 50 years, and will guide the shape of our city for the next 50, and yet most people still don’t know it exists and even if they do, they haven’t been able to find the time to read it all. Talk Wellington have prepared a simple “How to do a Submission” guide – refer to them.
It is not just Wellington that is having a DP update – all over the country Councils have got this as a deadline, and so people all over the country are all exploring the same problems – the incomprehensibility of the new DP layouts. Here in our region we must have at least 4 DP to review – Porirua is due today as well as Wellington, and I presume even the Hutt brothers will be brushing back their mullets and examining the minutae of the DP. Issues to resolve all over our region: how to cope with the increased density of the Medium Density Residential Standards (three houses per section, three stories high, and 60º sunlight access planes) in the majority of the suburbs, with vastly increased density in the inner city. The big issue to me: how do we control quality, given that there are no standards? Are we just simply going to be beset by ugliness, no matter how hard we try? Was the boring Bill English right after all, when asked a few years ago about the worth of Design, and he replied something like: “Maybe we just have to get a little bit ugly.” Personally I couldn’t stand English, with his dull Southlander’s way of thinking about everything (“If it is not a rugby ball or a dairy cow, then I don’t want to know”), but to me there is a difference between having the odd design gaffe vs falling out of the Ugly tree and hitting every branch on the way down. Aotearoa is facing a potential precipice of Ugliness. Does that clothing brand “I Love Ugly” come from New Zealand? Have we taken it too much to heart?
And in other news, a Queen died last week, the leader of some small insignificant island off the coast of Europe. The funeral will be next week.
Such a shocking indifference to the legacy of our most glorious Queen Elizabeth II, and the continuation of the Royal institution of the Monarchy. She really was a remarkable woman you know.
All I know is that any event which can (reportedly) reduce Mike Hosking to on-air sobbing must be important.
As for the District Plan – I’ll get right onto it as soon as I finish Finnegan’s Wake.
Truth in satire. The DP affects us all more and more often than the royals. A shame it’s left to Councils to do something so important.
Here’s the map for lower Hutt to accomodate the NPS-UD. Brown in zoned for 6 stories if I understand correctly: https://maps.huttcity.govt.nz/portal/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=50fc3e90f3934809824d0b29f57ac157
Thanks Conor !! As Chico says, the outcome from the changes to the DP will, in the long run, be much more important to us than the death of dear old Queenie.
And – oh my god – that brown is just about everything!! Lower Hutt is going to see some massive changes….
Yep – it’s huge. Given much of the upzoning in Wellington is Johnsonville/Tawa/Kenepuru you could have quite a northwarads shift – especially if Petone to Granada ever gets built. The Hutt and North Wellington are also much more feasible for development I would think.
Which of course puts even more pressure on the motorway to cope with all the extra cars, and the trains to cope with all the extra people. Unless, of course, the extra people all stay away and “work from home”.
One of the issues with both the Wellington City plan and the Hutt plan is ow little mixed use there is. It’s great to build at greater densities in existing urban areas but it needs to come with an expansion of the areas where food and small retail can operate.
What is particularly interesting in relation to all of this, is the news from yesterday that the Christchurch City Council just voted NO to all of this. I honestly did not feel that this was an option. It also means that Chch is now officially in Limbo land – not heaven, not hell, some kind of purgatory, but left in limbo between doing this or doing that. Its also a huge slab in the face for the Council Officers, who have been tirelessly working away on implementing the Government’s proclamation on Housing, and have now been turned down.
I suspect that means there will have to be another vote sometime, when tempers have cooled. Council cannot say NO for ever – but they could (and have) sent it back to the Officers of the Council to have another go, and to try harder this time. But if they could have done that, then why did Wellington or the Hutt not do that also…?
I’ve heard talk of putting in a commissioner…
That seems to be what planning twitter thinks. I think it is possible to do it just for the planning function?
CHC has form with having statutory management for certain chunks of their operations,
I seem to remember in 2013 that they lost their building consent certification, which resulted in a Crown manager being appointed to oversee consents..
I’m guessing the Government will have to appoint a crown planning manager who will oversee a re-write of the DP to comply with the new law….
That may be the outcome, but it is odd – I don’t think that Chch are actually anti-densification. They just aren’t up for that particular scheme of densification. From what I have read, the CCC actually had a rather dense proposal already, including buildings up to 90m high – which in itself is startling, as after the Quakes, I thought that the “people” of Chch had agreed for nothing taller than about 6 or 10 storeys. Can anyone recall what the proposed limit was? And if the 90m height limit was true, then that is about 25 storeys or more. Which is definitely not a Low-rise anti-densification city.
Greenwelly – I think the issue back in 2013 was that they had more consents in than they could cope with – everything rebuilding at once. They ended up by farming it out to private certifiers in Wellington, Auckland, Porirua, Rotorua etc. But yes, you’re right, they did have their competency title struck off from them for a few years…
Wellington did not do it because the majority of our elected representatives think they were put in their job by their colleagues in the Beehive rather then the citizens of Wellington.
Nonsense. Two of the most vocal proponents are or were independents, and Matthews is way out ahead of her party on this.
There’s something in the water down there in Canterbury (and no, not just extra nitrates…). They had a misbehaving Regional Council several years ago, ECAN, and that got replaced with Commissioners. Trouble is, I don’t know too much about that. Was it because ECAN was being too green? Or not green Green enough? I have this horrible feeling that the elected representatives refused to hand out any more allowances for water from an already over-stressed aquahood, watershed, whatever it is called. And so the Government – presumably National, with Bill English voting on the side of extra cows with everything, sacked the elected reps and replaced them with puppet commissioners. Did I get that right? Or is it 100% the other way round? Anyone know? (I mean, I could google the answer, but this is much more fun, like the olden days, when you either knew shit, or you knew new shit.)
Or you knew no shit at all…
My equally unresearched recollection is that you are right. And I’m not convinced it has ever got all the way back to democracy – let alone to a sustainable water table.
Perhaps 3 Waters will save them.
In Chch, 3 waters will only save you if you went to the right school
Too green…well not really green-green, more just taking a sensible approach to water management because of their concern about the manner in which Canterbury farms were being converted in huge numbers from traditional sheep farming & grain cropping to water-thirsty dairy farming as a result of the huge spike in international dairy prices. As a result the regional councillors got sacked and replaced with National-Government appointed commissioners which were meant to be in place until the 2013 local body elections when a return to democracy was supposed to occur. However, Amy Adams formed part of a group of Nat senior MPs who decided to extend the commissioner-only rule out to the 2016 Local Body elections thus also allowing her (then wearing her Minister for the Environment hat) to alter the 1988 “Water Conservation Order” in 2013 to enable the harvesting of gazillions of litres of water from the Rakia River to dump on to Canterbury dairy farms…several of which just happen to be owned by Adams family members….oh, and it was her electorate too. I recall scratching my head at the time wondering how on earth NZ managed to maintain such a stupidly high ranking on the international Corruption Perception Index year after year.
To get the irrigation scheme of the ground (they are expensive things) the National Government then took $400 million from the “Future Investment Fund” (= cash from state-owned power companies which they decided to sell off despite major public opposition) and put it into the “Irrigation Investment Fund” which then established a company called “Crown Irrigation Investments ltd” to start building the canals to provide the water needed to support the poor impoverished Canterbury dairy farmers.
You couldn’t make this sh*t up…
That is truly horrific! Wow! That’s the first time I’ve heard of all that, and yet I don’t doubt you for a moment – it sounds like exactly the sort of dairy milking, money grabbing, plains polluting sort of shit that Key and English and Adams would do. In any other country people would be jumping up and down and making a huge song and dance about corruption like that – but in the South Island they’re still true blue Nats and are probably still celebrating how they “got one over the greenies”. May the seeds of a million wilding pines pollute their lands in retribution.
Yes ECan was too green for Nick Smith. He was the Minister of Environment at the time and self proclaimed Minister Opposed to Democracy. The artist Sam Mahon followed up his 2009 bust of Nick made from cow shit
with a statue of him with his pants down,
Stuart – I hadn’t realised that Nick Smith was such a dick, although I always thought he was a loose cannon. But for a Minister in a New Zealand government to self-proclaim that he is the Minister Opposed to Democracy, seems a particularly, spectacularly stupid thing to say, even for someone as insensitive to common sense as Nick Smith.
Thank goodness he has gone. He has gone, hasn’t he? Oh, heck, maybe he is still hanging around like a bad smell… which could be because he has been modelled out of cow shit…
I hear from those-who-know those-in-the-know that 3 waters is going to have to become 2 waters, because the stormiest one of those waters uses the road surface and gutters, reserves and the dreaded overland flow paths to operate the network properly, and Councils ain’t giving that shit up.
Chico, I think you know more about this than me, so maybe you could find an answer to this question which I have had from day one: Why do we have a proposal for a Fresh Water and Foul Water Authority that crosses over the Cook Strait? I mean, seriously, WTF? If there is one thing in the world that I know, it is that Fresh Water does not flow around the land near Wellington and then pick up its skirts and jump across the Strait. There’s a whole heap of salty sea water in the way. Why did they not just propose a couple of authorities for the North, and a couple for the South Island, and leave it at that? Obey those natural boundaries !!! The last thing that Nelson would want would be a Water Authority that is controlled by Wellington. That’s just dumb.
The move from 3 to 2 makes some sense I guess. As long as they have separated out the Sewer water from the Storm water. At present, in Wellington and still some other places (many?) the two systems are still interconnected, and that is the reason why the original proposal was for 3 waters.
When I lived in London, there was one road in particular that got dug up a record number of times – because the Camden Road lies on the junction between two or more Boroughs, and had a lot of businesses and services – I think it broke the record for being dug up more times than there were days in the year. They could have done with a unified water authority there as well!
Ngai Tahu’s rohe covers the southernmost of the 4 3 waters entities .S o then it came down to what to do with the top of the south.
I asked those-who-know those-in-the-know sometime back about this, and he/she/they said the top of the south is often added to the “Wellington” area, and it was to balance things up and take some heat off the “Christchurch” one. Something about land area and numbers of small communities. I stopped listening. It was some time ago, and I was daydreaming of sex and/or coffee and/or freedom.
I reckon that having 4 authorities is as arbitrary as having 6 or 8 or 12. Marginally less arbitrary than having 86 or whatever it is.
The requirement is that we need 4 or fewer water entities, simply for scale,
The lines that delineate the water entities are totally arbitrary and they have nothing to do with “communities of interest”
Watch this interview with the Head of Scottish water ( who appears to have been bought out to NZ to help sell the 3 waters plan)
He quite openly states ( 2.25 ) that its all about being big enough to employ professional hydrologists and “bond market advisors”