Are you ready to protect character and heritage in 2013?

Character Coalition

Character Counts

January 2013

Happy New Year!

I hope you all had a great Christmas and enjoyed a restful holiday. We will need our strength for the year ahead! 

A Run Down of 2012

Last year provided some steps forward for heritage and character and some challenges still to be faced. The formation of the Character Coalition signaled to the Auckland Council that it was time to get serious about the protection of character and heritage. The series of meetings held with the Mayor and the Auckland Plan Committee cemented the Coalition's status as regional stakeholders. The meeting with Peter Marquis-Kyle gave us the opportunity to be briefed at the same time as the political working group. The effect of our input is yet to be proved however and we will only know if we have been listened to when the draft of the Unitary Plan is released on 15 March. We will need to regroup at that stage to develop a joint response as I am sure all your individual groups will also be doing.

Just before Christmas I met with Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse. We had a frank discussion that canvassed many of the Coalition's concerns. In particular I raised the issue of public notification and what that means in terms of residents having input. A quote from an article in Monday's Herald entitled City leader unnerved by PM's 'chilling' idea  seems to indicate that Penny understands that. Speaking about John Key's state of the nation speech on Friday she expressed disquiet that he had stated that if he did not like what councils were coming up with in their planning rules then the Government would impose standard rules. She then said "They don't understand the fine-grained details and they certainly don't understand the passion which communities have for overseeing and being involved in the way their communities develop.

We are glad the council has got the message but we need to see that reflected in the Unitary Plan to have any confidence that character and heritage will be protected as Auckland grows. I hope you are all ready for round two!

Best wishes




A article in the Herald outlines what Grey Lynn residents have done to try to protect the character of their suburb. They have produced a 53 page report to show the Council what they want for their area. "We don't want to be a McBrand. We want to be Grey Lynn. Bring on intensification and public transport but allow the shopping precinct to respond to that in a sustainable way," says Kris MacPherson, the author of a report on the shopping precinct. This is a great example of a part of the city taking matters into their own hands to protect what they value. However what happens to the suburbs without the resources or talents of the people of Grey Lynn? We need the protections in the Unitary Plan to apply to all areas.

Grey Lynn residents Nick Pinchin, Kris MacPherson, Leanne Moore, Repeka Lelaulu, Soala Wilson and Mike Murphy want to ensure Grey Lynn's character isn't lost. Photo / Greg Bowker

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