Auckland held to ransom by appeals

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The time has come to take action with the Auckland Unitary Plan and move on, according to Property Council Auckland Branch president  Phil Eaton.

The recent High Court appeal and request for judicial review by lobby groups Auckland 2040 and the Character Coalition, questioning decisions around high density housing, will seriously undermine the Unitary Plan, Mr Eaton says.

He stresses that the barrage of appeals is producing industry uncertainty which will further delay plans to create more homes in Auckland.

“The making of the Unitary Plan involved extensive and comprehensive consultation. This appeal seeks to undo the years of great work that has been done by so many people.

“Whilst the appellants are fully entitled to their appeal, it comes across as a bit like sour grapes.

“The majority of Auckland strongly supports the Unitary Plan — now we must get on with it.”

The Property Council is supporting Auckland Council to defend the Plan, and has applied to join High Court proceedings.

“We thought it was important to lend our support against an appeal that, if upheld, would have significant negative consequences for Auckland and New Zealand.”

Mr Eaton believes that what appellants fail to understand is the Unitary Plan is a package deal. “You can’t cherry pick it otherwise it will lose its effectiveness.”

“The Property Council is looking at the bigger picture — we need more housing and stable house prices to create an efficient and productive house building industry.

“This is only one of many parts that falls into place to create affordable housing.

“We also need to build smaller homes, urgently complete the integrated public transport network, and solve the $20 billion funding gap we have for infrastructure, amongst other things.

“So let’s all get on with the task at hand, making Auckland the great city it needs to be,” he says.