GETBA examines Auckland Council changes for their implications for business

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Auckland Council draft budget 2017/18 up for consultation
February 2017

The mayor has proposed new revenue streams as an alternative to large rates increases to fund investment in infrastructure to accomodate Auckland's growth. Topics for consultation included general rates increase of either 2%,2.5% or 3%; the business rating differential reduction to be paused for a year; a targeted rate on accomodation providers for tourism promotion; a targeted rate to fund infrastructure for new housing, and a living wage for staff. Submissions closed on 27 March and the formal Annual Budget will be adopted in June 2017.

Click here for GETBA's submission. 


Unitary Plan - Outcome Update 
November 2016

On August 19, Auckland Council responded to the recommendations of the Independent Hearings Panel (IHP) on the Unitary Plan. Over 100 appeals were received by the High Court and Environment Court in September. On 4 November Council released the decisions version of the Plan annotated to show the parts that are under appeal and the parts that as of 15 Nov can be ‘treated as operative’.

Looking through the IHP recommendations, we can be satisfied that GETBA’s submissions with regard to heavy industrial land were mainly accepted, especially: to retain heavy industry zoning for a number of sites; to remove further air quality restrictions; to keep parking requirements to a minimum; to prohibit large churches; to remove any requirement for green star ratings; to make it easier for Port reclamation; and to keep Transpower buffer zones to only 24m (12m either side of a transmission line centreline). More detail.

This has been a three year process. GETBA originally held a Unitary Plan Property Forum in April 2013 and worked with a property owner sub group and local government specialist and lawyer Grant Hewison on our submission. We subsequently worked through the post submission phase of Mediations and Hearings.

Click here for GETBA's submission. 

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Greenmount Landfill to Park project 

December 2016

A ceremony was held at the site on 14 December to mark the delivery of one of the last loads of topsoil prior to the Howick Local Board progressing the development into a public park. Present were three descendants of Mrs Sarah Lushington (nee Styak) who gifted the land to be used as a park. GETBA has lobbied strongly with LGOIMA requests of Council and a letter to the Ombudsman to address the ongoing delays and ensure that the funding agreed to for the park by the legacy Manukau City Council was forthcoming, and so that the park could be enjoyed by the people who work in the area who have had to put up with the negative effects of the landfill for decades.

Initial works will include bulk earthworks, sediment control, stormwater and swales improvements, road access, car parking, some footpaths and gravel tracks to the summit, tree planting, furniture and signage. When this work will start depends on when the site is safe for public use, but the first phase is expected to start in 2017, and progress as funding alllows. The former quarry site was decommissioned as a landfill in 2005. Since 2006 the site has been undergoing managed fill operations to restore its original landform.

Detailed display board information from 13 April 2016 consultation meeting.


Draft Annual Plan and Budget 2016/2017 - a win for business

In what is a win for business, Auckland Council decided not to increase the proportion of the Interim Transport Levy (introduced by stealth a year ago) to be paid by business in the Annual Budget 2016/2017. The fixed component of general rates (Uniform Annual General Charge) will also remain unchanged.   GETBA's submission.


Review of Alcohol Bans,  July - October 2015

GETBA is disappointed that the Howick Local Board has not listened to GETBA and 97 submitters and has allowed the alcohol bans in the East Tamaki industrial precinct to lapse on all affected streets (see map).  GETBA appeared at the Howick Local Board Hearing on 6 August speaking to an additional Hearings Statement and an email from the NZ Police Counties Manukau East Area Commander. The lack of consistency in decision making is of concern with other similar industrial areas including Rosebank in Auckland and Te Rapa in Hamilton retaining the alcohol bans to protect those areas.


Draft Long Term Plan 2015-2025

View GETBA's submission on Auckland Council's proposed 10 year budget. Issues of interest to business include fixing and funding transport, differential rating (general and wastewater rates) and increasing charges for certain building control, land and property information, and resource consents beyond the rate of inflation. We await the results of the consultation.


Draft Local Approved Product Policy - Legal Highs, February 2015

GETBA's submission objected to the proposed Policy on the basis that the resulting regulation from the proposed LAPP means that retail premises selling psychoactive substances will be permitted in many industrial areas within Auckland. GETBA spoke at the Council Hearing on 13 February 2015 expressing concern for the safety of workers (37% of our almost 30,000 employees work in manufacturing) and for jeopardising the area's positive crime prevention results by bringing undesirable elements into the area.
Decision: Council has chosen not to make industrial areas sensitive sites/restricted zones. The panel noted the addition of industrial zones as a restricted area would significantly change the policy and increase the risk of legal challenge considerably. The panel also noted the requirement of a resource consent, due to the non-complying status of retail in an industrial area.
That might be the case for new retail under the Unitary Plan, but does not address existing retail that can convert to or sell these substances. And it is actually the current district plan that will govern these activities.


Bylaw Reviews 2014-2015

Signage Bylaw

Stormwater Bylaw

Submissions closed in October 2014 (click here to view GETBA's submissions). GETBA appeared at the Hearings and we are awaiting the results.

 

 Rates and the Business Differential

GETBA has lobbied against the business differential on Council Rates. In our view, Council's timeframe to reduce this business differential over 10 years is too slow.

For consultation on other recent Council plans and resulting submissions, see our submissions page


Economic Development Strategy

Launched in September 2012 Council's Economic Development Strategy has five strategic priorities with a specific set of actions (66 in total) that are required to achieve the economic targets over the 10-year horizon of the EDS. 

One year on - check out the progress


Collaborative approach

For a major industrial area such as East Tamaki it is critical that decision making is made at the regional rather than local level. The collective strength through collaboration of commercial industrial associations across Auckland is being actively pursued. Collaborating with five other industrial associations on the Feedback to the Draft Unitary Plan is an example of this collaboration in action.