Bernard Orsman is Super City reporter for the NZ Herald.

Crone calls for hold on density plans

Ms Crone said changes to rezone thousands of homes for more intensive housing and apartments should go on hold for a new mayor. Photo / Doug Sherring
Ms Crone said changes to rezone thousands of homes for more intensive housing and apartments should go on hold for a new mayor. Photo / Doug Sherring

Dramatic housing density changes are undermining residents' trust in Auckland Council and should be withdrawn, says mayoral candidate Vic Crone.

She says a wide gulf already exists between council and residents over how money is being spent and the port expansion debate and Unitary Plan process are just creating more of a wedge.

READ MORE: Revolt in the suburbs

Ms Crone said changes to rezone thousands of homes for more intensive housing and apartments should go on hold for a new mayor and council "to put fresh eyes over valuing the democratic process that Aucklanders are demanding to move this city forward".

"People were not able to give feedback on what the behind-closed-doors changes mean for them."

Mayoral candidate Vic Crone says dramatic housing density changes should be withdrawn. Photo / Jason Oxenham
Mayoral candidate Vic Crone says dramatic housing density changes should be withdrawn. Photo / Jason Oxenham

She was commenting on late changes in the Unitary Plan process, which saw the council propose to rezone about 20,000 houses, without consulting property owners or giving them a formal right of reply.

The rezoning has been included in the council submission to an independent hearings panel considering the plan. It will make recommendations for the council to make final decisions.

Labour MP and mayoral candidate Phil Goff said the principle of natural justice meant people affected by changes to the quality of their life or value of their property have not had their voice heard.

The council should observe the principle of natural justice in a democracy and let people have a say, he said.

If not, people will feel the system has not given them a fair go and there will be an electoral revolt that will deny the outcome, Mr Goff said.

Another mayoral candidate, Orakei Local Board member Mark Thomas, said an extraordinary council meeting next Wednesday on the issue should revoke the ill-considered changes.

"It's unacceptable that changes of this scale are made, this late in the process without those affected being allowed to have their say," Mr Thomas said.

"If the changes continue without this input, a low quality and unpopular unitary plan will result.

"The next mayor will have to lead a rewrite."

- NZ Herald

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