Council Runs Away From St Lukes Row


Plans for the Westfield St Lukes expansion are on hold after Auckland City decided to shelve its approval until the votes are in for the supercouncil election!

The Auckland City Council was supposed to tick off the approval for expansion of the mall at its final council meeting last night.

But with an election in progress, it decided to call for an council officers report on the independent commissioners decision which delays the council’s approval or otherwise until votes are in.

That approval or otherwise won’t now be announced until October 31, the day before the council goes out of existence.

The local community group, the St Lukes Community Association,  is making loud noises in the wake of the commissioners’ approval and has called in lawyers to fight it.

The area’s City Vision councillors Glenda Fryer, Cathy Casey and Graeme Easte said the council kicking the matter to touch because of the election was a “cop out.”

Ms Fryer said the C&R -dominated council does not want a public backlash in the Albert-Eden-Roskill ward two weeks out from an election.

“The decision of the Commissioners appointed by the Banks’ Council goes against the planning policy of both the Auckland Regional Council and the Auckland City Council. Auckland City has spent two years on a legacy document The Future Planning Framework. This decision on the Private Plan change has ignored important aspects of it.

“The Auckland City Council must either adopt the plan change or rehear it. They are unable to change the decision. It is my opinion they must rehear the whole plan change as there are fatal errors in it including the omission of a requirement for a Structure Plan. “

Councillor Cathy Casey said, “This is a huge overdevelopment of the site and the impact on the quiet residential neighbourhood nearby has been ignored by the commissioners.

“The transport linkages are inadequate as the Morningside train station is 800 metres away and bus timetables are not good. Stormwater systems cannot cope now and a doubling of the size of the shopping centre will only exacerbate the problems. St Lukes is not the place to put the largest shopping centre in New Zealand without a Structure Plan in place.”

Councillor Graeme Easte said: “Instead of orderly development centred on public transport nodes and existing village centres, this development will fundamentally undermine The Future Planning Framework which Auckland City Council has spent the last three years developing.

“The adjoining regional road is already clogged to capacity seven days a week - how will it cope with a mall twice as big?”

The commissioners concluded that St Lukes will remain a vehicle-oriented centre for two principal reasons:

  • “it is clearly not as well served by public transport as other large centres such as Newmarket and Sylvia Park
  • the nature of shopping is such that public transport is not an ideal means of carrying more than a handful of small purchases home”

The mayor supported the motion delaying the council’s approval of the plan change.

St Lukes Community Association spokesperson Graham Dekker said  he congratulate the mayor for doing so.

“But we remain strongly of the view that it is not appropriate for the Auckland City Council to make a decision on the plan change at all, given the impending local body elections and the establishment of a new Supercity council. The current Auckland City Council should not make such a long-term decision on the eve of its disestablishment.

“The outgoing Council simply does not have the democratic or political mandate to make a decision that will have such a significant impact on Auckland just before it is eclipsed by a newly elected body.” said Mr Dekker.

Mr Dekker said that the Community Association would seek further discussions with Mayor Banks and councillors to ensure that no plan change decision is taken until the new Supercity Council has been established and elected.

Labour’s David Shearer has also attached the commissioners’ decision it is not Westfield’s problem to address the transport issue around the mall and inadequate public transport - as debated on this site the other day.




  1. Matt L says:

    Its hardly surprising that the council is trying to hide this one, they seem scared to do anything as they are afraid of losing votes. The fact they are going to decide on it after the voting has ended is pretty poor and indicates they will accept it when they can’t be held as accountable. This should be left to the new council

  2. karl says:

    This is funny!

    (Well, unless you are a local, I guess)

  3. Mark Donnelly says:

    This is a huge issue, as I’ve discussed here previously.

    I’m not sute if C&R were playing polictics, or if they realised the ramifications. Basically in one foul swoop this would have undermined master planning/structure planning/PT integration. whether they were or not, we could not let the chnace slip by to have a review of the ramifications of this decision. My interpretation is that impacts on 18 town centres across teh region, and how they might be planned.

    bob dey was there and has a summary:


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