“Megan Woods needs to recall her instructions to Kainga Ora that would turn a massive strip through the centre of Auckland into a project. The way she treated Auckland Council disrespected local people, and it’s time to get a Government that listens,” says Epsom MP David Seymour.

“As I said in June when this story first came to light, Megan Woods’ direction to Kainga Ora has major ramifications for central Auckland communities, effectively allowing Kainga Ora to change zoning and the character of those communities at will:

“Kainga Ora must, under s29(b) of the Urban Development Act, consider a Specified Development Project in the area where the Auckland Light Rail project might be built, and report back by next July. The area in question is loosely defined by a low resolution map that appears to include the area between Mt Eden Rd and Sandringham Rd. The map can be found here.

“If the project were to proceed, Kainga Ora would effectively be able to take over planning and development for whole suburbs, with the ability to change zoning, commission and develop infrastructure, and put in place targeted rates to pay for these developments. All of this would override the Auckland Unitary Plan and infrastructure plans already in place by Auckland Council.

“This move is classic Labour, based on the false belief that centralizing power will lead to greater efficiency. We have seen this approach fail with everything from polytechs to healthcare, and now they are imposing it on housing. The same party that gave us Kiwibuild is trying to impose their housing project on swathes of suburban Auckland but they are not solving the right problem."

“The intensity of the move prompted Auckland Council, who were never consulted, despite being in charge of planning and development in Auckland City. The Government still isn’t taking them seriously, further disrespecting local people.

“Now the Council has resolved to write again. It is clear who should be listened to here, the representatives of the local people. If the Government won’t listen, then it’s time for Aucklanders to elect one that will.”

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