Julie Anne Genter

Green Party Spokesperson for Health (inc ACC), Transport, Youth, Auckland Issues, and Sport and Recreation

Vision

Vision

Creating a fairer, cleaner, prosperous Auckland takes everyone working together.

Creating a fairer, cleaner, prosperous Auckland takes everyone working together.

Not just the richest. But everyone, inter-connected and tackling the problems we face with the commitment and can-do attitude Kiwis are world-renowned for.

In New Zealand we are keenly aware of what it means to be connected and we are defined by our unique landscape whether we recognise it or not. We shape it and are shaped by it.

My personal passions, my professional expertise and current portfolios, align around the intersection (that’s not an intended transport pun) of urban design, transport and economics.

Transport and housing in particular are two sides of the same coin that, when done well, will benefit New Zealanders in multiple ways. Underlying all of our Green policies is a commitment to putting people first and designing for them.

The places we live are fundamentally shaped by the transport system and policies put in place by Government.

This might not seem like big deal but these decisions affect the amount of money and time we have to spend travelling, the quality of our air and water, and it means that nearly 40% of our energy use is for transport.

This affects our health, the value of our land, the cost of development, and the affordability of housing. It even affects the amount and quality of interactions we have with our neighbours.

It also affects our balance of trade and the amount of money we have left over each week to save or to spend in the domestic economy.

So yes, it is a big deal. A very big deal.

We want smarter policies for both housing development and transport that will serve citizens in the long term rather than just investors or developers in the short term.

We want smarter policies for both housing development and transport that will serve citizens in the long term rather than just investors or developers in the short term.

A couple of examples

Making it safe for kids to walk and cycle to school aides city congestion, makes it easier for people in our towns and cities to have safe cycleways and means there can be a bus or a train every five minutes and affordable public transport.

Once you use pragmatic ways to take the pressure off our existing roads, then you can focus on improving the safety of our existing roads. This could include a Vision Zero for road safety (i.e aiming for zero fatalities on the road network such as other countries have successfully done).
Once you get some of the transport issues right, then you can do some really exciting things with public housing.

For example, in Auckland, we have huge tracts of underutilised land that are taken up with huge car parks which are completely separate from where people live (jump onto Google Earth and check out New Lynn as an example). So of course, people have to drive from where they live to the shops.

It wasn’t always like this.

Some of the most attractive neighbourhoods that people love in New Zealand and Auckland were developed before we had those kind of planning rules. We had electrified trams, and we had these little groups of shops and restaurants with apartments above and houses within walking distance.

Creating A Master Plan For Neighbourhoods.

And that could happen again, if we had a public sector developer who can co-develop a master plan for a neighbourhood with the community and then individual developers can bid for different components of the development.

At the moment, both developers and residents get frustrated; the developers because they often run into lots of objections through the Resource Consent process, and residents, who have little say before a new development gets designed.

Often there is little incentive to design in green spaces, community gardens, playgrounds, schools, parks or shops to really design a neighbourhood as a whole; a thriving, human-centred community that can grow over time from a well designed foundation.

These kinds of lessons are ones we can very easily learn from overseas (e.g Europe and Melbourne have public sector developers) and adapt and apply to the New Zealand setting.

The other benefit from having multiple developers involved using a master plan that has been developed with the community, is that you get design diversity within one neighbourhood (both aesthetically and functionally, e.g social, affordable and regular housing all integrated) and innovative solutions through things like design competitions.

We want density done well, with vibrant and diverse communities that flourish in the long term.

The really wonderful thing about New Zealand, is that all of this is within reach.

We have a chance to design it right and do it right - it’s not a fait accompli - we have a wonderful chance to design our own future communities in a way that is better for people and the environment.