Daily Archives: April 24, 2011

Oram on Auckland Spatial Plan, and more

### nzstuff.co.nz Last updated 05:00 21/03/2011
Auckland at the crossroads
By Rod Oram – Sunday Star Times
OPINION: The Auckland Plan is a moment of opportunity for the super city.

On Wednesday, a great fight for the heart, soul and wellbeing of Aucklanders begins. But don’t worry. It’s not all about Auckland. If the region gets this right, the rest of the country will benefit strongly from more effective approaches to development. In one corner stands the Auckland Council led by mayor Len Brown. It will present its view of the city’s future when it delivers that day a discussion document on the Auckland Plan. The paper will look at the region in a new way. For the first time, it will bring together data, analysis and insights on the human, economic, environmental, social, cultural and other factors that make Auckland what it is today. Crucially, though, it will use this new analysis to show us options for the region’s future. It’s up to Aucklanders to consider, debate, agree and act with the new powers the region gained through the creation of the super city.

In the other corner stands the Key government, led on these Auckland issues by Rodney Hide, minister of local government. Last week, the cabinet released a set of eight papers giving its very entrenched positions on Auckland’s future. What a miserable view it was. When Hide and his ministerial colleagues think of Auckland they imagine only more of the same, warts and all. In their view, Auckland has to ooze out across the landscape in low-value, low-growth ways.
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aucklandtransportblog critiques Oram on Spatial Plan (21 Mar 2011)

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Oram on Christchurch CBD

### nzstuff.com Last updated 05:00 18/04/2011
An exodus to turn around
By Rod Oram – Sunday Star Times
OPINION: The first of a two-part series on the Christchurch CBD.

You could certainly party long and hard in the CBD. But could you build a big, prosperous business there? To be blunt, the CBD was losing its identity and purpose.

The government seemed to deliver some good news for Christchurch on Tuesday. It slashed its share of the estimated cost of rebuilding the city from $15 billion to $8.5b. So the earthquakes weren’t as damaging as first thought? That’s not correct, property and insurance companies say. Each day they learn more about the scale of the devastation. Each day their costs escalate. They are beginning to worry about who will finance the rebuild of the city, particularly the central business district. The government might be right about its direct costs for the likes of infrastructure. But the private sector has to come up with almost all of the capital to repair and build anew.
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### nzstuff.co.nz Last updated 05:00 25/04/2011
Thinking our way to hope
By Rod Oram – Sunday Star Times
OPINION: A radical shift can make Christchurch a world leader.

The trouble is, the cause of the frustration is the government itself focusing only on immediate issues. Worse, it does so dogmatically, apparently incapable of responding to people’s needs such as more access to their CBD businesses.

Nine weeks on from their massively destructive earthquake, some people in Christchurch are feeling increasingly exhausted, fearful and frustrated. “The lockdown of information here is truly scary,” emailed one CBD business owner after last week’s column about rebuilding the fabric and life of the city centre. “No one is talking to us.”

Certainly there is plenty of activity by government in terms of short-term support, promises and planning. And some useful new organisations have formed, such as Recover Canterbury set up by the council and business. There are also expressions of big, bold futures such as those offered by Warren and Mahoney, the architects, and allied professionals working with them. But these are disparate, disjointed voices still lacking any way to combine forces, build local support and begin planning for the new city.
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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Filed under Architecture, Construction, Design, Economics, Geography, Heritage, Politics, Project management, Site, Town planning, Urban design