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Character Coalition

Character Counts

Unitary Plan Hearings

We have received our first invitation from the Independent Hearings Panel (IHP) to a pre-hearing meeting. It covers a range of topics that the IHP have deemed to be out of their scope. If we disagree we need to attend the meeting and make our case.

The next stages are:
  • Pre-hearing meetings;
  • Expert conferences;
  • Mediation; and
  • Hearing sessions.
There is very good information explaining the panel's procedures on the IHP website.

Funds for Evidence 

When we get to the hearings proper we will require expert evidence. This may take the form of papers on the issues we are defending, such as the pre-1944 overlay, prepared by experts or an expert to appear with us and give evidence. We are reliably informed that the heavy hitters of the property industry and development interests are having a serious go at almost every aspect of the PAUP; the Auckland Design Manual, sustainable development policies, all the design rules and objectives are all being opposed. 

This will of course cost money so Coalition Groups will be approached for contributions soon.

Christchurch Cathedral

We have been asked by one of the Christchurch Civic Trust Board members for support for a new campaign which was launched last week.  Please vote on the poll

The Great Christchurch Building Trust, which is campaigning to save the building with support from the Restore Christchurch Cathedral group, wants people to know that the cathedral is not a ruin, but that 80 percent of it is largely intact.  More photos are at


Destruction Continues

We are distressed to learn that two lovely old houses at 15 and 17 Crummer Road were given a certificate of compliance for demolition. They are victims of some changes that were made between drafts of the UP and the pre-1944 overlay was erroneously removed. However they still wouldn't have survived probably and here is why from the Council:

'They do not contribute to streetscape or character. The distinctive quality of the streetscape or character of this area is of modern business/industrial buildings. These 2 buildings do not contribute to these aspects. Rather they provide a counterpoint. Unfortunately this is not the criteria in the Unitary Plan.'

Using this rationale many standalone character buildings will disappear, especially those in Auckland's early suburbs which are now under development pressure. Please let your Local Board know about this example and be on the look out for this happening in your area. The Local Board Chair in this case, Shale Chambers, questioned the process but has been told that nothing could be done.





A public meeting to discuss this important issue. Ask Chris Finlayson, Maurice Williamson and Maggie Barry how our heritage buildings are going to survive this draconian regime.

6-7:30pm - Thursday, 28 August Devonport St Paul’s Church 100B Victoria Road, Devonport.

For more info call 09 486 0005


The Character Coalition has worked side by side with Auckland 2040 throughout the UP process. Together we have achieved huge changes , much of it due to Richard Burton's expert planning knowledge. They are holding their AGM on Wednesday 27 August at 6.30 pm, 7 Park Ave, Takapuna accompanied by wine and finger food. Read their achievements here.
We are planning to hold a meeting in October to regroup and decide our priorities for the future. We will send an invitation in a couple of weeks.
We welcome two new members groups St Mary's Bay and the New Lynn Protection Society, bringing our total membership to sixty-three groups. Several more potential members are putting it to their committees. Please let me know of any other groups you would like to me to invite to join us. 
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