A big week for decisions impacting the land

Your SOUL campaign update.
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A big week for heritage decisions in Auckland

We have come to the end of a week that saw a rather overwhelming array of decisions being made as Councillors work through the final changes to the Auckland Unitary Plan.

But, wait! Before your eyes glaze over at the words “Council” and “Unitary Plan” please stick with us, there are some big issues to get our heads around…

On Wednesday there was the hugely disappointing decision to delist all sites of significance to mana whenua, against the advice of council planners.

On Friday zoning changes were confirmed which make other blocks surrounding the Ōtuataua Stonefields more vulnerable to development. In better news, the proposed rezoning of Crater Hill was voted down. More on these decisions below.

Also in this edition, another chance to learn about the Ōtuataua Stonefields with a Ranger Walk next Tuesday, and we report on a win in the Environment Court for the Three Kings campaign.

But first, an update on SHA 62…

SOUL has been advised that the sale of the Wallace Block has not yet gone through. Our best chance to protect this land is for the sale not to be completed. We must remember this is confiscated land and its historical, cultural and geological values cannot be adequately preserved or mitigated against as part of a housing development. To quote a third party candidate in the US presidential race:

“Forget the lesser evil, fight for the greater good.”

Ranger Walk at Ōtuataua

Join the Ranger Walk and Talk programme at Ōtuataua Stonefields next Tuesday 15 August. 9:30 am – noon. Email Robynne Vis to book robynne.vis@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

Unitary Plan is bad news for the people of Ihumātao

SOUL’s Farrell Cleary explains how the zoning changes in the Unitary Plan make even more land at Ihumātao vulnerable to development. Read his article as printed in the Manukau Courier (below) or click here to read it online at Stuff.

An 11th hour ray of sunshine…

The SHA designation was not up for discussion this week and zoning changes at Ihumātao have been made. However, an 11th hour resolution was introduced by Councillor Cathy Casy, and adopted by the governing body of Auckland Council:

"That any future structure planning of the Future Urban Zone in the Mangere Gateway Precinct must address the significant cultural values of the area."

Watch Cathy Casey arguing for this extra layer of protection at Ihumātao during the Council session on Friday: https://youtu.be/VC7R54gAJzE?t=7583

Crater Hill safe, for now

SOUL joined a coalition of community groups and over 800 individuals in signing a petition to ask Council to protect Crater Hill in Papatoetoe. The independent hearings panel on the Unitary Plan had proposed rezoning to allow for over 550 dwellings to be built on Auckland’s last undeveloped volcano.

In a remarkable mirroring of arguments against SHA 62 at Ihumātao, the council planners argued against rezoning Crater Hill stating “the area is not suitable for housing because it lies within the Outstanding Natural Feature Overlay, is a significant geological feature and has significant cultural heritage and landscape value to mana whenua. It also contains prime soils."

The rezoning was narrowly voted down on Friday with a count of 10 councillors against and 9 in favour.

And, in more good news…

Regarding Three Kings special housing area: the Environment Court has ruled that Fletcher Residential need to make changes to their plans for development. There are 13 issues for them to look at, including:

– Where they can build
– How they develop open space and sports fields
– Protection of volcanic features
– Minimum dwelling sizes

The Court’s decision is an interim one.

Can you take a moment to help us grow our campaign?

Before you close out of this email, please take a moment to forward it to friends who are interested. Invite them to attend our upcoming events and to subscribe to this fortnightly newsletter.

New subscribers can follow this link to sign up: http://bit.ly/1UM2vUK

Thanks for keeping yourself updated.

You are always welcome to contribute your time and energy to the SOUL campaign to protect Ihumātao. We run on people power and we need you!

Our open meetings are held fortnightly in Māngere Bridge, on a Wednesday, 6:00 to 7:30 pm. The next two meeting dates are 17 August and 31 August; willing workers are always welcome. Please reply by email if you need other meeting details.

Kia kaha! – SOUL

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