10 Aug 2016

Auckland Council begins marathon Unitary Plan meeting

5:47 am on 10 August 2016

Auckland councillors begin what could be a seven-day meeting this morning to finalise the city's development blueprint, the Unitary Plan.

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Photo: 123rf.com

The council has until next Friday to sign off the plan, which has spent 18 months being considered and modified by a government-appointed hearing panel.

Council planners are recommending councillors reject more than a dozen of the changes made by the panel, and urge the re-instatement of protection for thousands of sites of value to Māori.

David Taipari

David Taipari Photo: Supplied

The first debate is likely to be over conflicts of interest which, if declared, may prevent the councillors and two members of the Independent Māori Statutory Board from voting on parts of the plan.

Three councillors made personal submissions to the plan, with Howick Ward member Sharon Stewart opposing the protection of the Māori sites, and consultation rights for maori on nearby developments.

The lobby group Democracy Action has also been providing some councillors with material claiming the Māori board members who sit on the council's development committee are also linked to submissions.

The board's chair, David Taipari, has previously said if any declarations needed to be made they would be made at today's meeting.

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