You’re A Slack Lot (Well Some Of You..)


No matter what spin is put on it, too many Aucklanders have either been slack or disinterested in making comments on Auckland Council’s visionary Auckland Plans.

8 days out from submissions closing only 143 submissions had been received from a regional population of nearly 1.5 million.

Cr Cameron Brewer pointed out the closing date came too soon after the RWC was ending so got an extension.

So the total is now a more respectable 2500 submissions. Good on those who took the effort. For those who didn’t, you’ll get the city you are given so don’t complain.

And transport including the CBD Link, a focal point of the Mayor’s vision, is not the hot issue by itself.

The ten most popular topics are

  • Making a quality compact city
  • The city centre master plan
  • Transformation shifts
  • Auckland’s economy
  • The southern initiative
  • Building enduring town centres and neighbourhoods

Provisional totals of the submissions are:

  • Auckland Plan 1700 (with final count expected to be 2000)
  • Economic Development Strategy 80
  • City Centre Master Plan 200
  • Waterfront Plan 660

Again for a subject that seems to get so many Aucklanders going – the future of our waterfront – 600 is not huge.

Pedestrian and light rail in Queen St as envisaged by the plan


The Auckland Plan is subject to statutory consultation and public hearings. About a third of submitters want to speak at hearing - you can choose whether to speak at a formal hearing or informal workshop forums. The hearings panel will comprise all councillors. 2/3rds of company submitters want to be heard and 25% of personal submitters.
Following the public hearings - which start on November 14 and include marae, Pacific Island and key stakeholder hearings - the draft Auckland Plan will be finalised in December and adopted in February.




  1. Chris says:

    What was there to comment on though? Its a good plan, they just need to put the plans into effect.

  2. ingolfson says:

    200 submissions on the city centre plan only???

    Okay, since I made two of them (for two perfectly real and distinct organisations, so that’s all legit :-) ) I should therefore have a respectable 1% of all influence on the city centre. Well done, me ;-)

    I think the Waterfront Plan got so many more submissions than the city centre masterplan because their submission form for “casual” submissions was a lot simpler to use.

    “What was there to comment on though? Its a good plan, they just need to put the plans into effect.”

    Sigh. What a comment. The groups that wrote in who were saying (in more polite wording) that the plan is a dangerous piece of sh** that should be burned and never see the light of day (National, first and foremost, and the roading lobby) - those groups will thank you for not submitting in favour of it.

    It may sound pretty pathos-laden and over the top, but there IS that old saw about all that evil needs to triumph is for the good people to stay silent…

  3. Geoff Houtman says:

    Saw Len at lunch time. He seemed happy about the numbers…

    It’s really about Nov 26th more than anything- Joyce is the problem with the Auckland Plan…

  4. Kettlewatch says:

    Fantastic news - the narrowminded whingers have finally found they are losing ground and decided to take a backseat. Fantastic! The plan is perfect - just get on with it!

  5. Ben says:

    Hmm, this morning I got an email saying I was submission number #### out of 1700 or maybe 2000. Not too bad I suppose.

    And yes I have asked for a hearing although I am deciding traditional hearing or informal workshop. Then again my submission was hammering on about Chapters 7 (rural), 8 (Urban) and 11(Transport) the most.

    Oh well will soon get a notice on when my “hearing” date is

  6. Matt says:

    Geoff, National in general are the problem. Remove Joyce and you’ll still have to contend with Bill English and his South Island farmer’s view of the country: the only way to get anywhere is roads, and the only part of the nation that’s of any importance is the farming sector. He’ll kibosh the Auckland Plan just as thoroughly as Joyce, and for pretty similar reasons. He’s stated his opposition to spending on rail before.

  7. Feijoa says:

    There are only 6 topics listed in top 10 - what are the others?

    If you filled out the online submission form like me, it asked set questions asking if you agreed on the topics listed above. If you wanted to talk about CBD tunnel it came under (from memory) the sections covered by Making a quality compact city, The city centre master plan and Transformation shifts. If you just wrote that you agreed with the plan then often that would include the rail link.

  8. Matthew Flower says:

    I think certainly the plan is brilliant overall, save a few technical details. I had a reasonably good look through the parts I’ve been interested in - but the low submission number is very sad. A city of 1.1 million people (albeit some young and old) - still less than 3000 submissions.

    Anyway, I’ve written a quite extensive post on my blog, The Matter Blog;

  9. Ben says:

    If I entered the numbers into the trust calculator right, 3,000 submissions out of 1.1m people (and as above albeit some very young) means that only 0.27% of us made a submission.

    However bearing in mind that some submissions came from companies rather that individuals lessens the numbers. And those wanting to be heard by the council is even less means - hmmm DISMAL indeed.

    But seriously what did we seriously expect though on the amount of responses to the Auckland Plan and its sister documents.

    Also 3,000 pieces of submissions - how many does a Bill in a select committee in Wellington get when its a real controversial one?

  10. ingolfson says:

    “And those wanting to be heard by the council is even less means – hmmm DISMAL indeed.”

    Let’s give that a reality check, though. The yardstick is how many submissions plans USUALLY get, and I think 3000 probably is pretty good in that sense.

  11. Mark says:

    Most people didn’t know or undersatnd it. On The Auckland Plan the doc is almost impossible to get to the true detail eg no heritage protection. Back to unimaginative corridor growth with no amenity. no dealing with school capacity issues / parks /sports fields. Same plan that’s been around for over 10 years……lots of nice words to make people “feel” its ok

    The city centre number doesn’t surprise me, and in fact again shows how CBD based council continues to over emphasise it.

    And overall, it just tries to copy other cities - I couldn’t see anything which would jump us ahead of other cities. I mean they’re not goign to stand still for 30 years. So in 30 years we’ll just look like they do today…

  12. Ben says:

    Mark is probably (actually he is) right, most people ever didn’t know or understand it. Even I struggled through and that is even with have a Degree :P

    However I do have piece from Owen McShane that was on his Facebook Page (published under Public setting) about submission numbers:

    [quote] Auckland Speaks? There were a total of 1721 submissions on Auckland’s Draft Plan. From a population of 1.4 million. Kaipara district had over 600 submissions on a special chapter of its Proposed District Plan – Landscapes. Kaipara District Council has a population of 17,500. At this level of submission Auckland would have received 48,000 submissions. They really turned out to have their say! Just as well so many didn’t submit. Councillors would have been tied up for years.

    Not saying anything on it either way but thought I might provide perspective on this affair

  13. ingolfson says:

    Ben, let me guess, the Kaipara submissions were probably mostly negative, about something that the locals were REALLY riled up?

    Always easier to get people to oppose than to support. In that sense, the lack of more submissions coudl even be seen as a positive. Lots of people like Chris above, saying “Oh yeah, sounds kinda good, get on with it”…

  14. Ben says:

    Which presents a paradigm or a paradox.

    [by the way I do not know which way those Kaipara submissions went so can't comment there].

    [quote] “What was there to comment on though? Its a good plan, they just need to put the plans into effect.”

    Sigh. What a comment. The groups that wrote in who were saying (in more polite wording) that the plan is a dangerous piece of sh** that should be burned and never see the light of day (National, first and foremost, and the roading lobby) – those groups will thank you for not submitting in favour of it.

    I remember you posting that ingolfson

    If you supported it, then in the submission forms online you should of said I support this because of what ever reason you give


    Because if the submission numbers came out in favour of the Plan then the Council can use that weight of numbers to “hammer” the opposition back into a corner

    However if the opposite happens and those opposing the plan outweigh supporters, then the opposition will go “hammer” the pro-plan supporters into a corner

    Apathy is going to cost this city from a mature debate on direction for the next 40 years
    Apathy is what is going to give the opposition the ammunition needed to get that plan altered

    Parts of the plan I agreed with and other parts I didn’t, and I made sure in my submission I told the Council which parts I support and oppose. Because its on record for life for all to see and a marker of my input into the democratic process.

    I just hope people like Chris don’t get bitten on the backside if whole scale changes come through on this Auckland Plan - especially in 2013 because someone didn’t submit saying
    I SUPPORT THIS DIRECTION in the Auckland Plan because I see it in my opinion as the best way to (example) look after the environment through building a compact city.

    And that is all you needed to say - simple and on record

  15. Cheryl says:

    Council’s website says they got 2500 submissions, which was also the figure published in yesterday’s Herald.

  16. Well, I tried to make a submission. Trying to find the relevant information was not that easy.I was taken to a site that had the new logo etc but in fact was from the old Auckland city. I was particularly interested in swimming pools as the North Harbour Pool and money toward a public pool at the Millenium Centre seem to have disappeared from the plan, yet had passed through the transition committee.
    The problem with the plan is it is all central Auckland and South Auckland. While it is good to have central Auckland improved, most of us live in the suburbs and rarely go into the city. Where is the plan for the whole Auckland city?! We are just seen as cash cows for a few pet projects.

    I for one was not happy at the very short time frame to read the huge amount of information and then try and collate every thing to make a submission. In the time frame I had other commitments and gave up. I am sure I am not the only one. Personally, I don’t see this as a very democratic process. After all this time what is the rush right through the rugby world cup,the elections, then right over Christmas when people are extremely busy.

    The newspapers are only interested in the elections and prior to that the World Cup, so we mere mortals are NOT being heard.

    So don’t talk about apathy….talk about a very poorly organised, user unfriendly process lost in a whole raft of other activities. This should have been done early next year when all the other things were over.

  17. max says:

    Elizabeth - the legal timeframes didn’t allow them to wait that long. Blame Rodney Hide, because he made those timeframes.


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