Bernard Orsman is Super City reporter for the NZ Herald.

Phil Goff and other mayoral candidates throw support behind Unitary Plan

Labour MP and mayoral candidate Phil Goff says he supports the overall thrust of the Auckland Unitary Plan but accepts some change in detail may be needed as council considers the recommendations.

Goff did not say what change in detail may be needed but said the new rulebook for the city provides a unique opportunity to make the important changes needed to improve the lives of Aucklanders.

"Transport and housing are the two most critical challenges facing the city. They must be tackled together, which is why intensification around town and city centres, transport hubs and arterial routes is critical," Goff said.

The new blueprint for Auckland sets out a new future for the city with more apartment living and rural towns becoming large satellite suburbs.

An independent hearings panel making recommendations for the council to approve or reject next month based its work on the need to build more than 400,000 houses to accommodate another one million people by 2041.

Right-leaning mayor candidate Vic Crone welcomed the decision to extend the rural urban boundary to allow more homes to be built.

"The balance between building up and out on the face of it looks good with 40 per cent of greenfield land.

"I'd like to have seen a much closer correlation between intensification and public transport. There are areas we're intensifying that are removed from public transport options," Crone said.

Mayoral candidate David Hay pledged his support for the Unitary Plan recommendations, saying the panel had done an excellent job.

"They have made decisions that needed to be made, which the Auckland Council has had neither the courage nor foresight to make itself."

- NZ Herald

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