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Comments Re Auckland Unleashed.

Andrew Sinclair

We live on the AC / WRC border. I initiated our local Landcare group (Whakaupoko
Landcare) which has now been going for over 7 years and continues to grow. I am also
very involved with our local Village with planning and submissions and submissions
relating specifically to our Village are being forwarded vi this group. We have 20ha of
rural land much of which is in forestry and native bush. We also have a background in
farming and a career in manufacture/exporting/inventing. We have a solar heating system
and are now also investigating wind/solar power to use and feed back into the grid.

I have read much of the Auckland Unleashed publication and it is most inspirational
document. I have 3 individual submissions / suggestions for your consideration.

1 Windmills / Solar. In line with ‘Opportunities for Eco City Approach’ if

Auckland is serious about this then my suggestion is get serious about renewable energy
options. Auckland City needs to take a lead role in this as people are very resistant to the
likes of windmills getting established but once in place they start to connect with the
positive aspects that they provide. (Manawatu experience). The opportunity in my view is
to consider public spaces to put council funded windmills / solar systems that do not
necessarily need to be too large or tall but start the ball rolling and change people’s
attitudes long term. There are some excellent opportunities in my view:

a Along all railway lines at regular intervals eg 8 – 10m high windmills (or
more intensive collections of solar panels on the likes of railway stations).
Typically few houses are close to railway lines. Access should be easy and
could be combined with a vehicle track that could double as a bike pathway.
(One limitation with windmills is that most smaller windmill costs systems are
still quite high but this should change. Already solar has gone through a major
decrease in cost which is good and the return on money invested in household
schemes is around the current cost of money).

b On all AC Regional Parks include both windmills and solar. This would no
doubt create some controversy but if AC is serious about the Unleashed
document then strong leadership needs to be taken with changing our ways.
Regional Parks typically have some exposed areas and provide a good
opportunity for Parks to at least be self sufficient.

2 Revegeatation I understand that in the wider Franklin area just 1.8% of the
land is still in native bush. AC could work with local communities to identify road side
areas where visibility is not an issue for driving and power lines are not present. These
areas could be planted with a selection of upright species that do not spread out too much.
Eg flax, cabbage tree, kawakawa, mapou, rewarewa, taraire, kanuka etc. This will provide
some excellent leadership in my opinion for promoting revegetation with high visibility
and minimal cost. At the same time making the rural areas more attractive.
3 Village Central areas Via Patumahoe Village Inc we are making
submissions. However I would just like to target 1 specific area for zoning consideration.
With much rural subdivision having been stopped in terms of splitting up viable farming
land (good to see), the focus is now on many subdivisions in Rural Villages. There has
been little planning in my view to central Village spaces especially indoor / outdoor
community space with the likes of Village Squares etc. These are common overseas and an
essential requirement in my opinion if ‘Sustainable Villages’ are to be achieved. (AC &
Sustainable Aotearoa goals). AC zoning needs to allow central Village community spaces
that links with commercial land but is free from cars in my opinion. These areas do not
need to be large but are in line with a Village retaining a ‘heart’ just as AC are wanting to
achieve with linking the Auckland City and waterfront with people. At the moment central
village space is largely left in the hands of developers to incorporate in central commercial
areas. If it is an existing Village then commercial landowners in central village areas
largely dictate community space if it has not been allocated for separately. There is plenty
of opportunity for a good solution as both commercial businesses and communities benefit
highly from the community using central village spaces.

If AC is serious about pursuing ‘Sustainable Villages’ then this is an area that should be
focused on now rather than later. As Villages grow in this area the opportunities to change
central areas becomes less and more costly.


Andrew Sinclair