But a few of us have been concerned for years that Auckland's strategic planning documents have not considered Energy - its costs, availability and carbon consequences - adequately. I have been a relatively lone voice at the ARC on this for a couple of years, trying to get Energy up the priority agenda in both the Regional Policy Statement and Regional Land Transport Strategy reviews.
However, I found the words and the support at the last Regional Land Transport Committee meeting to get the following motion passed:
a) That the Regional Transport Committee requires officers to review the draft of Regional Land Transport Strategy 2010 in the following ways:
· The Regional Land Transport Strategy 2010 should incorporate a Transport Energy and Carbon Emissions chapter including relevant policies to reduce transport carbon and a set of measures which among other things should respond to Central Government carbon reduction commitments.
· The Regional Land Transport Strategy 2010 should explicitly provide for the need to integrate transport and land use planning, and include policies for implementation at local and regional levels.
There was some discussion at the meeting from officers about "how much work would be involved". But a draft will be ready for the October meeting, and will be sufficiently content-filled to enable meaningful consultation - I will expect. A very good result.
It almost certainly would not have happened without my part-time Auckland University 713 course "Sustainable Development" and the "Reducing Auckland's Transport Carbon" assignment. One of the recommendations I made in that assignment was that:
Policy: Include a specific Transport Energy chapter and set of measures in the Regional Land Transport Strategy. Until a NPS for Transport and Energy is promulgated, develop Auckland measures and objectives, in accordance with the RPS (under review).
Justification: The RLTS has largely ignored transport energy and green house gas effects, and assumes Government would deliver a National Policy Statement. Ten years later it is appropriate for the region to show initiative and responsibility for this matter.
Timing: The RLTS is under review now, though the timing and matters of relevance are somewhat proscribed by law.
There are a whole bunch of other recommendations, which provide further guidance. (The assignment link is elsewhere in my blog). More work to do. But useful to have seriously investigated this, and analysed the policy background and history over the past 15 years.