Auckland – December 17, 2015
The All Blacks’ ultimate success at the Rugby World Cup was one of the best examples of planning in 2015, the New Zealand Planning Institute (NZPI) says.
Proposed changes to the Resource Management Act (RMA), planning discussions on impending sea level rises which could affect many New Zealand cities, more affordable housing and planning for major projects were other major notable issues in 2015, NZPI chief executive Susan Houston says.
NZPI is a fast expanding not for profit key national organisation representing more than 2000 planners all over New Zealand who want New Zealand to be a much better place for future generations because of planning.
“All the New Zealand public can step back and realise that the All Blacks’ world cup success has been the result of four years’ of planning. The same applies for some big projects underway or about to start around the country,” Houston says.
“Planning is a little like housework, you don’t value it until someone stops doing it. NZPI is committed to working with government and leaders on solutions for New Zealanders.
“We are already planning our 2016 national conference in Dunedin in April which will bring together planners to discuss complex issues facing communities today, following 25 years of implementation of the Resource Management Act (RMA).
“We are currently witnessing the launch of some of the biggest infrastructure projects in New Zealand for recent years such as Auckland’s alternative Western Ring $2 billion route road currently under construction, the $5 billion ultra-fast broadband involving local fibre companies and the $5 billion national transmission grid upgrade.
“Auckland and Christchurch housing growth is accelerating. Other projects include the $2.5 Wellington Northern Corridor through Transmission Gully, the $2 billion Waikato expressway, the $2.5 billion Auckland city rail link, the $5 billion Christchurch central city rebuild and the additional $4 billion Waitemata Harbour crossing.
“We need to be equally proactive in planning for issues such as an ageing population, heritage values, water supply, infrastructure, climate change and natural hazards.
“Our big national conference in Dunedin next year has a timely theme relating to the impending RMA reforms which will become law in 2016. NZPI has received a firm commitment from Treasury that it will be consulted on the proposed changes to the RMA and Local Government Act.
“The NZPI has a strong involvement with resilience planning and the principles that underpin it. The issue of affordable housing remains one of the largest economic and social challenges facing some parts of New Zealand.
“New Zealand, like many other developed countries, faces problems relating to land availability and housing affordability with distressingly high levels of poverty evident in some areas.
“Auckland’s case is just one example of where planners are being innovative in responding to the vexatious issue of housing affordability. NZPI has encouraged the Government to constructively consider a raft of issues that could make a real difference to the affordable housing issue within Auckland, such as discouraging land banking through investor incentives, developing new infrastructure funding policies and building material competition within New Zealand.”
For further information contact Susan Houston, NZPI chief executive, on 021 555754 or Make Lemonade media specialist Kip Brook on 0275 030188
Photo: NZPI chief executive Susan Houston