Sustainable New Zealand Party

SNZ icon 07

Visit the landing page and join or register your interest at sustainablenz.org.nz

You can also read our Policy Outline to find out more.

What Do We Stand For?

We all know that New Zealand is blessed with one of the world’s most beautiful natural environments. But we also know that this paradise is slipping away from us. Government after government has ignored some of our most pressing environmental concerns. We believe it is time for a new political party that champions a politics of sustainability. Sustainability is based on the principle that everything we need for our survival and well-being depends on our natural environment. It means meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Our focus on sustainability means that we would be able to work with political parties on the left or right of politics to ensure that the environment is always a top political priority regardless of who makes up the government.

Our primary focus is on environmental matters such as clean water, sustainable oceans, protection of our native species, dealing with climate change; and these all have economic, social and cultural dimensions. A society with dramatic inequality is not sustainable. We need to move our economy away from polluting and environmentally destructive ways of doing things; by embracing technological and scientific innovation we can become wealthier, creating higher paying jobs for New Zealanders, all while treading more lightly on the earth.

What Outcomes Does MMP Deliver?

The Mixed-Member Proportional (MMP) system means that minor parties can have a major influence on a government as part of a coalition. The coalition arrangements of the current government allocated billions of dollars to political trophies and slush funds – the price of NZ First support for a Labour-led Government. We have also seen the scrapping of important environmental initiatives like the mandatory installation of cameras on fishing boats because the fishing industry are key NZ First donors and supporters. MMP should deliver better outcomes than this.

We believe that the MMP system should be a vehicle to place sustainability at the centre of every government. The coalition negotiations after each election are the best possible opportunity to ensure the sustainability of our environment and the sustainable development of a modern economy.

These changes will only be made with the emergence of a new political force that will use the levers of the MMP system to much better ends.

But What About the Greens?

The Green Party has made a deliberate decision not to use the leverage that comes with the number of MPs they have in Parliament. Instead of negotiating with both major parties, they have made a decision to always support the formation of a Labour Government meaning that Labour can take them for granted. This is no way to get the best deal for the environment.

Having given away their negotiating advantage, they are in a weak position to demand funding for cleaner beaches and rivers, for modern sewage infrastructure in major cities, for sustainable management of our fisheries, a major upgrade in predator control, nor for the significant increases in science and research funding that will underwrite a modern, sustainable economy.

The Greens have a historic tendency to be suspicious of scientific innovation – particularly in biotechnology – and hostile to business. New Zealand deserves a political party that will work together with the innovators in business and science who will lead the way through the complex and interconnected sustainability challenges of the coming century.

So What Are We Doing?

We want to create a new political party based upon the principles of sustainability – one prepared to deal with either the National Party or the Labour Party in coalition negotiations – to leverage policies that will underpin a more Sustainable New Zealand. We are inviting you to be part of this.

What Do We Want From You?

Join us: we only need 500 financial members to register the party. You could also volunteer, donate, work on policy, be a candidate; just let us know. To win seats in the next election we need to achieve 5% of the votes cast – that’s likely to be around 165,000 votes. 

If you would like to make a donation, our bank account details are: Sustainable New Zealand Party, 38-9020-0363803-00.

Please be sure to include your initials and surname in the ‘particulars’ field and whether the contribution is for membership or a donation in the ‘reference’ field.

If you want to see a party in Parliament that puts the environment first – that is prepared to deal with either National or Labour – and puts clean water, sustainable fisheries, protection of our native species, climate change and a sustainable economy and society at the top of the political agenda, please register your details at the link below.

sustainablenz.org.nz

Quote | Posted on by | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

November 2018 Local Board Report

WLB logo croppedPurpose

This report covers my Waitematā Local Board Activities in mid-October to mid-November 2018 as Lead of the Planning and Heritage portfolio; co-holder of the Transport portfolio; Local Board representative on the Parnell Business Association; and member of the Auckland Domain Committee.

Executive Summary

  • I moved a Notice of Motion at the 16 October business meeting of the Local Board to support in principle the re-installation of bollards at the north-east and north-west ends of Saint Patrick’s Square as per the request of the Roman Catholic Bishop of Diocese of Auckland and request from Auckland Transport a rough order of costs. This was supported unanimously by the board: carried as resolution WTM/2018/153.
  • I attended the K’ Road Business Association AGM on 25 October
  • I attended the Saint Mary’s Bay Resident’s Association AGM on 29 October
  • I attended the Parnell Festival of Roses on 18 November
  • I keep track of resource consent applications as they are received by Council, requesting further information, plans and Assessments of Environmental Effects for applications of interest. Significant applications are referred to the relevant residents’ associations for their input which I then relay to planners as part of the Local Board’s input. Reporting of resource consent applications, planning portfolio input, hearings and decisions in the Local Board area for this month is detailed in the Heritage, Urban Design and Planning section of this report under the headings ‘Planning’: ‘Resource Consents’

Continue reading

Posted in Local Board Reports, Waitemata Local Board | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

October 2018 Local Board Member Report

WLB logo croppedPurpose

This report covers my Waitematā Local Board Activities in mid-September to October 2018 as Lead of the Planning and Heritage portfolio; co-holder of the Transport portfolio; Local Board representative on the Parnell Business Association; and member of the Auckland Domain Committee.

Executive Summary

  • At the business meeting on the 16th of October I will be moving a Notice of Motion to support in principle the re-installation of bollards in Saint Patrick’s Square and request a rough order of costs from Auckland Transport
  • I led the Heritage Foreshore Guided Walk – a 3.5-hour walk that traces the pre-1840 shoreline of Auckland – on Sunday 30 September. This was the Local Board’s contribution to the Auckland Council Heritage Festival. More details below
  • I took part in a Resource Management Act Commissioner’s Forum on 25 September at the Town Hall Council Chambers
  • I attended the Parnell Business Association’s AGM on the evening of 27 September as the Local Board’s representative
  • I attended the Parnell Heritage AGM on 13 September
  • I keep track of resource consent applications as they are received by Council, requesting further information, plans and Assessments of Environmental Effects for applications of interest. Significant applications are referred to the relevant residents’ associations for their input which I then relay to planners as part of the Local Board’s input. Reporting of resource consent applications, planning portfolio input, hearings and decisions in the Local Board area for this month is detailed in the Heritage, Urban Design and Planning section of this report under the headings ‘Planning’: ‘Resource Consents’

Continue reading

Posted in Local Board Reports, Waitemata Local Board | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hundreds Advised to Reapply for Resource Consents

Auckland Council recently announced that about 420 property owners to reapply for already issued resource consents to protect them from possible legal challenges. And the council says some of those who reapply may not get a resource consent after seeking a new one!

It may be that as many as 130 of the affected property owners have already obtained building consents for work on their dwellings.

The re-applications will be fee-free and expedited as quickly as possible. Council have done this so that issued consents are not vulnerable to being overturned by judicial review after building has been completed – which would be far more expensive and inconvenient.

The issue arose when the Auckland Unitary Plan became operative in part in November 2016. The final wording of the rules for Special Character Overlay Areas and the underlying Single House Zones were, in places, inconsistent and created uncertainly about which should take precedence.

It is important to note that Auckland Council obtained external legal advice to determine the correct interpretation of the rules. They adopted an approach that was consistent with this advice when processing resource consents between December 2016 and December 2017. This approach was that the Special Character Areas Overlay rules took precedence over the underlying zone rules.

Because there was still some uncertainty, Auckland Council sought clarification on the rules from the Environment Court. On 19 December 2017 the Court agreed that the relevant Unitary Plan rules were not clear and thanked the Council for seeking clarification. The Environment Court did not agree with Council’s existing interpretation of the rules and declared that both sets of rules – the Special Character Areas Overlay and the underlying zoning rules – should apply when considering resource consent applications.    Continue reading

Posted in Auckland Council, Heritage, Resource Consents, Waitemata Local Board | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

September 2018 Local Board Member Report

WLB logo croppedPurpose

This report covers my Waitematā Local Board Activities in mid-August to September 2018 as Lead of the Planning and Heritage portfolio; co-holder of the Transport portfolio; Local Board representative on the Parnell Business Association; and member of the Auckland Domain Committee.

Executive Summary

  • I attended a meeting of the Parnell Plan reference group on 27 August 2018 and the Principal Planner leading the project came to the Local Board workshop on 28 August. More detail on the latest on the project below
  • I keep track of resource consent applications as they are received by Council, requesting further information, plans and Assessments of Environmental Effects for applications of interest. Significant applications are referred to the relevant residents’ associations for their input which I then relay to planners as part of the Local Board’s input. Reporting of resource consent applications, planning portfolio input, hearings and decisions in the Local Board area for this month is detailed in the Heritage, Urban Design and Planning section of this report under the headings ‘Planning’: ‘Resource Consents’

Continue reading

Posted in Local Board Reports, Waitemata Local Board | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Emerging Auckland

Emerging Auckland is a Development Tracker & ‘Urban Showcase’ recording and tracking significant private developments and civic infrastructure projects across Auckland City Centre and within the City Fringe, or ‘inner Auckland’ isthmus area – that are proposed, under construction, or recently completed. N.B.: This is not my work, I’m just sharing it.

 

Posted in Resource Consents, Urbanism, Waitemata | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

My Commentary on NZME Herald Focus: 2017 General Election

nzme-logo-1In the lead-up to the 2017 General Election I was a commentator on the Herald Focus video segments. This culminated in being on the live panel for NZME’s election night coverage with Fran O’Sullivan and Jennifer Curtin, hosted by Heather du Plessis Allan. I thought it would be worth putting all these posts in one place.

The Herald’s media writer, John Drinnan, said of the 1 August segment, ‘Has Jacinda got what it takes?’ [if you were only going to watch one of the links below, I’d recommend that one]:

I don’t normally give plugs to presenters, but Tava and Curtin are impressive. Herald Focus presenter Tristram Clayton confirms that they have been signed for election coverage, among other things.

In my opinion, their performance after the Labour leadership change suggests the pair should play a central role, avoiding a widespread trend towards partisan commentary.

Curtin is an associate professor of politics at Auckland University and has frequently appeared on TVNZ’s Sunday morning politics show Q+A. Tava is a businessman and former candidate for the Greens’ co-leadership. He has been a political commentator for Paul Henry and on RadioLive. More please, Herald Focus.

19 July 2017: Election survey surprise

1 August 2017: Has Jacinda Arden got what it takes?

4 August 2017: No Minister Turei

10 August 2017: What now for imploding Greens and soaring Jacinda?

18 August 2017: Greens, National in trouble

25 August 2017: A week in politics with Fran O’Sullivan [and me]

1 September 2017: How Jacinda overtook the PM [First Leader’s Debate]

5 September 2017: Who topped the Bill & Jacinda debate? [Second Leader’s Debate]

8 September 2017: English struggles in face of fiery Ardern [Third Leader’s Debate]

25 October 2017: Ardern’s cabinet surprises

Posted in media, New Zealand Politics | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

August 2018 Local Board Member Report

WLB logo croppedPurpose

This report covers my Waitematā Local Board Activities in mid-July to mid-August 2018 as Lead of the Planning and Heritage portfolio; co-holder of the Transport portfolio; Local Board representative on the Parnell Business Association; and member of the Auckland Domain Committee.

Executive Summary

  • I attended the official opening of the Teed Street renovation and sculpture
  • I attended a Parnell Plan meeting on 30 July
  • I have attended Parnell Business Association committee meetings for July and August as well as the PBA’s presentation to the local board on 9 August
  • I met with Warren Wilson of the Newton Business and Residents Association on 16 August to discuss liquor licensing issues in the area
  • Auckland Domain has picked up a bronze award in the World Urban Parks 2018 International Large Urban Parks Award. The Domain is the only NZ urban park amongst the winners
  • I keep track of resource consent applications as they are received by Council, requesting further information, plans and Assessments of Environmental Effects for applications of interest. Significant applications are referred to the relevant residents’ associations for their input which I then relay to planners as part of the Local Board’s input. Reporting of resource consent applications, planning portfolio input, hearings and decisions in the Local Board area for this month is detailed in the Heritage, Urban Design and Planning section of this report under the headings ‘Planning’: ‘Resource Consents’

Continue reading

Posted in Local Board Reports, Waitemata Local Board | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Goodman Integrated Development Plan 2015 – Wynyard Quarter Area 2

Decision: Integrated Development Plan (IDP) QA2 for 121-127 and 129-135 Beaumont Street; 184 and 200 Pakenham Street; and 61- 69 Daldy Street

GRANTED with conditions: R/LUC/2015/2098. Application made by Goodman (Paihia) Limited. The IDP is to enable the future integrated development of 9,793m2 of land in Quarter Area 2 (QA2) of Wynyard Quarter to provide a framework of permissible built form, massing, open space, traffic and parking effects and activities across the block of land. In addition, the proposal seeks to modify development controls relating to the maximum height, site intensity, office GFA, maximum parking rates, reduction in exclusive marine and fishing activity, removal of the required north-south lane, and various other traffic related matters. The application proceeded on a non-notified basis. Continue reading

Posted in Auckland Council, Local Board, Resource Consents, RMA | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bledisloe Wharf ‘Car Handling Facility’

Ports of Auckland Limited (POAL) have lodged a resource consent application (LUC60323081: Plans and AEE) for earthworks at 1-19 Quay Street (on the Bledisloe Terminal) required to facilitate the construction of a new, 5-storey car handling facility building.

The consent matters are limited to earthworks and National Environmental Standard (NES) only – new buildings within the Port Precinct which comply with the relevant standards are a permitted activity.

The works will involve 3000 sqm and 2000 cum of earthworks, which primarily relate to the construction of the footings and foundations required to support the proposed building. Consent matters include the undertaking a proposed volume of earthworks exceeding  2500 sqm and undertaking a proposed volume of earthworks exceeding  2500 sqm within the Sediment Control Protection Area (i.e. within 100 m of the coastal area). The works also trigger consent matters under Section 9(1) of the Resource Management (National Environmental Standard for Assessing and Managing Contaminants in Soil to Protect Human Health) Regulations 2011 (NES) as a controlled activity, as the works exceed the permitted earthworks volume. No discharge consents are being applied for, as the applicant (Ports of Auckland) is the holder of a permit to discharge contaminants from an industrial or trade activity (Discharge Consent 25179). 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

It should be borne in mind that this approach by POAL is in direct response to widespread public pressure, opposing expanding the POAL land area by reclamation of the harbour for cargo storage, including cars, (especially for cars). I strongly oppose further reclamation so I find it difficult to object to intensification of the use of Port land. However, given the strong public interest in the port and the environmental sensitivity of the area, I think that public notification is appropriate.

My formal input on behalf of the Local Board is below:​

The Local Board recommends PUBLIC NOTIFICATION of this consent on the basis that ‘special circumstances’ exist as per s 95A(9) RMA 1991.

The special circumstances are the very high level of public interest in development of the port land and the consistently expressed expectation of our constituents that they will have the opportunity to have input on such works​. It is understood that this consent is for earthworks and NES matters only, not the building (as it is a permitted activity if complying with the relevant standards); nonetheless, there are likely adverse effects from the earthworks which exceed the permitted earthworks volume particularly given the proximity of these works to the water (within the Sediment Control Protection Area), and it is the Local Board’s view that the external expertise on these matters that can only be accessed by way of a public notification process is important for the matter to be adequately considered.

This facility is included in the POAL Masterplan, covered in detail by Simon Wilson at The Spinoff here.

The building is the first part of the proposal pictured below. Only the consent application relevant to the car building (the green covered building to the left) has been lodged. We have no indication of when the other buildings will be built although it has to be assumed that this is some years away given the current operational use of the land.

Carpark Hotel

Pictured: The POAL plan for a ‘green’ carpark building with proposed hotel in front. NB: Council’s plans for Quay Street with a bus station, single lanes for cars are not represented in the image. Image: POAL

UPDATE: As at 28 August 2018, I was informed that the applicant has reduced the volume of earthworks proposed to comply with the Auckland Unitary Plan’s standards. The only consenting matter is now in relation to the NES, where the proposal involves soil disturbance that doesn’t comply with Clause 8(3) of the NES. This removes the possible grounds on which the Local Board can request notification.

Posted in Resource Consents, Waitemata Local Board | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments