I expect the Study to achieve:
• Identification of needs associated with growth in the area;
• Surety of a framework to work within for the whole community;
• Protection of identified special feature areas (rural, historic, agricultural, high density etc);
• Create a consistent data set that can be used across the Heretaunga Plains when assessing or building infrastructure.
Chairman, HB Regional Council
The end result of the Urban Growth Study (after considerable engagement and full consultation) should provide a blueprint and certainty for the whole and individual communities on where and how we should live, provide the infrastructure for industry and commerce, and hopefully resolve the serious conflicts and competing land uses over the whole of the Heretaunga Plains.
It should also do so with an underpinning of the fundamental principle of sustainability – that we leave our resources in at least as good condition for future generations … ideally in much better condition, given the acknowledged pressures on quality and quantity of water, and actual and potential degradation of productive land.
The HPUDS needs to be visionary. The ‘safe’ approach of many consultants is to extrapolate historic trends in a linear fashion. The future will be different to the past, but few are courageous enough to make planning decisions on this basis. Two examples might include:
• Policy statements that speak enthusiastically about walking, cycling and public transport, while council actions on these matters often appear half-hearted.
• Policies with regard to land use like: “To minimise the expansion of urban activity onto the versatile soils of the Heretaunga Plains” are excellent; yet we’re not quite seeing the reality. The Brookvale subdivision is on poor soils and an excellent location for housing. Conversely, Lyndhurst is located on some of the greatest soils in the world and is a poor use of Hawke’s Bay’s uniquely productive resources. Food production is something we’re exceptionally good at in this region and long run forecasts indicate that what we produce will be in hot demand.
A fresh look at these matters is overdue and the collective regional approach is encouraging. Participants should bear in mind that we have just lived through a 25 year period of sustained economic expansion, the likes of which the world has never before seen. History indicates that these types of events are usually followed by a lengthy period of consolidation. I suspect we are living through a significant economic paradigm shift, which will present a future that is both challenging and different. “More of the same” is not what is required from our planners.
I would like to see real community involvement in achieving a blueprint for the best use of our natural resources. This means using the wide range of local expertise in land use, science, transport and the many other skills needed to get the results our sustainable future requires.
I would like to see:
• A complete mapping and categorisation of all our soils on the Heretaunga Plains and adjacent river valleys;
• An estimate of the potential range and quantity of food that can be produced. How much of our food can be produced in Hawke’s Bay?
• Recommendations on land use to prevent unnecessary pollution of our rivers;
• Identify and protect our special natural features from development – e.g., make the Cape and Ocean Beach area a regional or national park;
• Identify a range of possible areas for urban development, but use far greater imagination in design, and to meet the varied requirements of people;
• Avoid using our best soils for industrial, commercial and any other purpose that does not require those soils.
Hawke’s Bay Fruitgrowers
The Heretaunga Plains Urban Development Strategy is … the most important activity to be carried out in the plan.
We encourage District and Regional Councils to work closer together and wish to see a Plains Zone commercial land user group formed to be formally consulted on issues including potential new rules, obligations, national standards that are likely to be imposed and affect commercial land users, discussing strategic plans on how the land will be used, boundaries for zones, and what the region needs from a commercial sense, for example roading and infrastructure … This group could also contribute to planning economic sustainability for the district in the formation of an alternative land use plan.
Ideally the vision for Hastings lifestyle is about a vibrant and entertaining central business areas which are compact and where people feel safe, coupled with easy access to recreational activities and the surrounding rural area and the healthy fresh product it has to offer. To mitigate pressure on plains zoned land, we need to make our cities and suburbs the lifestyle choice for those coming to the area to live, and this can only be achieved with great urban design …
As we look to the future and plan for growth it is important that we determine the actual amount of land required for industrial purposes. We need to ask the question: Are we an industrial centre or do we wish to maintain proudly provincial aspect of our unique city?