Heart of the City submission: Resource Consent Application by Auckland Transport for construction of CRL
HOTC considers that the construction and operation of the CRL project will result in a range of positive and negative impacts to local businesses and CBD users, and seeks that these effects are taken into account in Auckland Transport’s proposed CEMP to be required as a condition of the current resource consent application.
Submission to Auckland Council on Resource Consent Application by Auckland
Vivienne Beck, Chief Executive
on behalf of Heart of the City Inc.
Level 2, 26 Lorne Street, Auckland, 1010
Address for service
PO Box 105 331, Auckland 1143
Telephone (day) 09 379 8000, Fax 09 308 1555
Our submission supports the Application
Please see the attached document for
decisions we would like the Council to make
SUBMISSION AT THE HEARING
We wish to speak in support of our submission
Heart of the City Incorporated
10 August 2016
Auckland Transport applications for resource consents for construction of the Aotea Station to
North Auckland Line (NAL) section of the City Rail Link (CRL), and for operational resource
consents for the entire CRL from Britomart to NAL.
Heart of the City (HOTC) is Auckland's city centre business association. We are one of a
number of business associations across the Auckland Region delivering a Business
Improvement District (BID) Programme. We are funded by property owners and commercial
tenants within an area that encompasses the Britomart to Aotea section of the CRL.
We have an overall mission to foster a successful CBD economy. We are committed to
developing a city centre that all Aucklanders are proud of, that is a thriving place to do business,
is accessible, vibrant and a great place to be.
HOTC considers that the Central Rail Link (CRL) project will generate significant potential long-
term benefits for the CBD economy but our support is qualified by the need for concerted action
to minimise potential negative effects during construction activity. Similarly, intentional planning
will be necessary to ensure potential positive effects on CBD businesses are gained from the
construction and operation of the CRL. HOTC submits that these aspects have not been
adequately addressed in the applicant’s Assessment of Environmental Effects (AEE)
resource consent. While the AEE acknowledges the potential for several specific adverse
on neighbouring ‘in proximity’ properties (e.g. impacts on water and air quality), it omits
regard for significant negative social and economic impacts on both users/customers and
business operators in the CBD.
The city-centre economy
The council’s City-Centre Masterplan (2012) emphasises that the city centre is at the heart of
the region’s economy: it is the engine room of Auckland’s economy and hosts a high proportion
of the country’s business and financial services and corporate head offices; it is home to two
universities and is a major clinical, medical and research hub, with over 90,000 people working
and over 24,000 people living here. City-centre amenities and events draw people from across
the region and beyond. Over 200,000 people visit the city centre every day.
Refer Auckland Transport, 13 May 2016 Assessment of Environmental Effects prepared by
Aurecon/Mott MacDonald/Jasmax/Grimshaw and Arup.
The city-centre also accommodates many small shops and cafes that rely on walk-in customers
and specialty shops that rely on window displays and impulse buying. Many lack the destination
power of larger stores and loss of patronage over an extended time period can be fatal.
It is vital that there is an attractive and successful retail environment in the city centre that will
enhance the local economy and the overall experience for its visitors. Retail in the city centre is
currently doing well - attracting increased foot traffic, low vacancy rates and a growing and
diverse mix of retail and hospitality. With continued attention on improving the city centre the
long-term growth prospects look positive. Auckland Council's website
indicates that planned
building activity in the city centre is at a scale the city has never seen before. Over the next 10
years Auckland will see investment of:
$10 billion planned from private industry
$2 billion of public investment.
The council also acknowledges that this construction activity will have an impact on day-to-day
business in the city centre, and indicates that the council will manage the response to such
impacts in partnership with:
organisations such as Heart of the City
the council family.
The city centre urban environment has already experienced reshaping over recent years with
streetscape upgrades, laneways, public squares, and pedestrian prioritised shared spaces. We
note that Auckland Council undertakes activation campaigns to promote visitation to these
spaces once they have been completed.
Realising the benefits of such investment while the CRL and other construction projects are
underway, will rely on people having the ability to access and enjoy these spaces and the
buildings around them. HOTC is committed to working with Auckland Council and Auckland
Transport to achieve this outcome.
3.0 Managing the effects of construction activity in the city-centre
During 2015/16 HOTC has been directly involved in seeking to mitigate the adverse effects of
construction works associated with the CRL, including works in the Britomart/QEII, and
Victoria/Wyndham/Albert Street precincts
– refer Figure 1). Members’ concerns with business
disruption and impacts on pedestrians and vehicular access have been relayed to Auckland
Transport which in turn, has been responsive by instituting a number of remedial actions.
Figure 1: Stormwater diversion works for the City Rail Link- Albert St.
HOTC notes that most of the matters it has engaged with Auckland Transport on are not
included in the AEE (May 2016), which assesses twelve individual types of environmental
effects (e.g. water/air quality, contaminated land, heritage, mana whenua values). The AEE
omits consideration of ‘social and business disruption’ related impacts and does not therefore
propose mitigation measures to deal with such effects. This is a concern, particularly as the
latter were deemed relevant by the Environment Court in its early decisions on Consent Orders
relating to Auckland Transport’s Notice of Requirement for the CRL
The supporting documents to Auckland T
ransport’s application indicate that a Construction
Environmental Management Plan (CEMP) and a Communication and Consultation Plan (CCP)
will be prepared to manage its responses to managing adverse effects of the CRL Project
Pre-Construction Communication and Consultation Plan (PCCP) is also proposed to be required
to be submitted to the council within 40 days of the consent being approved.
Refer Decision No.  NZ EnvC 191. Note that Condition No. 61 required a Social Impact and
Business Disruption Delivery Work Plan (SIBDDWP) to be prepared by Auckland Transport in
consultation with the community, business owners, and affected parties, in order to address several
itemised matters. The SIBDDWP is required to be implemented for the duration of construction of the
CRL and for up to 12 months following completion, if required.
Refer Application Documents Appendix M Proposed Resource Consents
HOTC accepts that this approach of managing adverse effects through the use of management
plans is not uncommon, particularly for large projects, where the nature and extent of those
effects is uncertain and the outcome of methods proposed to avoid, remedy or mitigate them is
HOTC submits that a more balanced assessment of potential positive and negative effects on
businesses should have been undertaken for this current resource consent application. The
most significant impacts will occur around each station precinct and ancillary sites during
construction periods. However, HOTC is also concerned to avoid the cumulative impact of the
combination of Auckland Council and Auckland Transport construction projects together with
planned private sector projects in the city-centre, especially as construction of the CRL will take
place over a period of several years.
Our experience is that AT often don't invest sufficiently in managing risks to business,
separately from thinking about engineering and health and safety risk and can therefore
overlook and discount the financial harm their projects can do - particularly to small and medium
4.0 Assessment of effects under the Operative District Plan (Central Area Section).
The land area affected by the CRL that is of interest to HOTC (i.e. from Britomart Station to
Aotea Station) is subject to the Operative Auckland City District Plan 2015. The plan applies a
framework of objectives, policies and rules to five distinct Strategic Management Areas (SMAs)
in the city-centre. SMAs also delineate precincts within each SMA (e.g. Aotea, Queen St.
An extract of relevant District Plan provisions is included in Attachment A. We note that the
District Plan states that “all strategic planning decisions, plan changes and resource consent
applications arising from the rules will be assessed against the relevant Strategic Management
Area’s objectives and policies”. HOTC submits that the applicant’s AEE does not have sufficient
regard to the District Plan’s objectives and policies for SMAs within which the CRL works and
operation will occur.
The applicant’s AEE is also required under Schedule 4 of the Resource Management Act 1991
to address a range of matters (refer Clause 7). HOTC considers that the AEE has not
adequately addressed the following matter:
effects on those in the neighbourhood and, where relevant, the wider community
including any social, economic and cultural effects.
Five SMAs are identified within the Central Area (see Figure 4.1 in the Plan): Core Strategic
Management Area, Harbour Edge Strategic Management Area, Western Strategic Management Area,
Southern Strategic Management Area, Eastern Strategic Management Area.
HOTC considers that the construction and operation of the CRL project will result in a range of
positive and negative impacts to local businesses and CBD users (refer Table 1), and seeks
that these effects are taken into account in Auckland T
ransport’s proposed CEMP to be required
as a condition of the current resource consent application.
Table 1: Summary of potential impacts during construction and operation of the CRL
Potential positive impacts Potential negative impacts
Potential positive effects
Potential negative effects
Increased passing trade for some businesses owing to
Visual amenity around construction
Increased demand for business
services owing to construction works
Restrictions to servicing and delivery
Stimulation of redevelopment
Restrictions to customer access
/passing trade (narrow footpaths,
Increased food and beverage
Noise, vibration and dust
Supply of and access to car parking
Increased traffic congestion and travel
times and loss of productivity
Interruptions to power and utilities
Staff access, recruitment and
Retail business turnover / viability
Business connectivity/agglomeration benefits
Increases in commercial rents for
Enhanced access for customers
Changes in on street parking
availability around stations
Increased development capacity and opportunities
Increased rental and investment opportunities for
Reduced congestion/improved access for deliveries and
Improved land and property values
Improved staff access, recruitment and retention
Improved retail and other business turnover/viability
Improved visual amenity
The above impacts would vary in their effect across the precincts and are dependent on the
type of business activity
‘in place’ during the construction and operational stages of the project.
Whilst Auckland Transport and its contractors will not have direct control over many of the
above effects, they are appropriate to acknowledge in the AEE, and the incidence of actual
effects should be monitored so that the merits and options for corrective action can be
The most significant negative effects identified above will be felt by businesses in close
proximity to CRL construction sites.
There is also the potential for cumulative impacts during the construction phase for businesses
located within the Wyndham St to Aotea precinct on account of temporal and geographic
overlaps with other construction works planned in the CBD (e.g. the international convention
centre and major site specific redevelopment projects).
It is important to recognise that impacts may extend widely across the CBD as a result of people
choosing to minimise or bypass travel in and around the CBD. It is imperative to minimise
disruption to access in, out, and around the CBD and to communicate effectively to the public so
that they can adjust their travel accordingly without unnecessarily discouraging visits to the
CBD. Similarly, construction impacts need to be well managed during peak shopping periods
such the Christmas period.
5.0 Mitigation measures
HOTC recommends that five types of measures are required to be addressed in the CRL CEMP
in response to the potential local business/user impacts identified in our assessment:
1. Measures to ensure that there is
effective two-way communication during the project between Auckland Transport,
businesses and other CBD users, providing timely information to each other
about the effectiveness of the mitigation plan and
timely and accurate information about what is happening and when.
These measures would aim to provide high quality intelligence to enable changes to be
made through the life of the project as conditions require and to allow businesses to plan
their own mitigation measures.
2. Measures to minimise the level of disturbance created as a result of the construction
process to businesses, pedestrians, visitors and workers across the CBD (e.g. strict
adherence to scheduling of construction times and diversion of traffic, and minimising
the limitation of on-street parking).
3. Access management measures developed in consultation with businesses and
landowners to understand their servicing and delivery requirements. These measures
would aim to maintain access to businesses for deliveries and servicing during the
construction phase and where possible enhance access upon operation of the project.
4. Methods to support business patronage proactively through the construction phase, and
the initial period of the CRL’s operation (e.g. activation campaigns to promote visits to
5. Measures to maintain the visual appeal of the area, such as minimising signage
associated with traffic management and well-designed hoardings.
HOTC submits that Auckland T
ransport’s proposed conditions for resource consent provide a
partial and insufficient response to the need for mitigation measures. The first three mitigation
responses above are ‘in scope’ of Auckland Transport’s proposed Environmental Management
Plan and Pre-Construction Communications Plan. However, the CEMP for the CRL should also
take into account other construction activity occurring in the vicinity of the CRL sites over the
same construction time period, and additional measures are needed to address the fourth and
fifth points, so as to support business continuity during and after construction works.
6.0 Proposed additional Conditions of Consent
HOTC believes that all resource consents associated with the CRL should be subject to an
over-arching requirement that:
1. A Social Impact and Business Disruption Plan be developed prior to the
commencement of any consented construction works, and
2. Auckland Transport establish an engagement process and forum with Auckland
Council and Heart of the City that provides regular opportunities for the parties to
engage through the development and implementation stages of CEMPs, CCPs,
and Social Impact and Business Disruption Plans associated with the CRL
‘engagement process and forum’ would provide a mechanism for the three parties to
ensure an integrated and co-ordinated approach to planning throughout the pre-construction to
post-construction periods and should continue for the first year of operation of the CRL, at which
time the need for the group would be reviewed.
The group would initially be
focussed on ‘avoiding, remedying or mitigating’ potential negative
impacts on businesses, and would be in a position to monitor actual effects on businesses as
they occur during construction periods. This will enable changes to be made to the Social
Impact and Business Disruption Plan as its results become known.
Once the CRL is operational the group would be focussed on maximising the positive effects
and continuing to mitigate any adverse effects associated with the operation of the CRL. The
parties would recommend and oversee remedial and mitigation measures beyond purely
construction related measures. For instance, promotional campaigns could be timed before and
after main construction periods,
and in conjunction with ‘re-openings’ of public spaces.
In this regard HOTC also proposes that Auckland Transport provides a dedicated
’ of $500,000 per annum to be allocated to marketing campaigns or other activation related
‘public good’ measures that are additional to other mitigation measures included in the various
Management and Delivery Plans proposed by the applicant to be required as part of the consent
In the context of the current application for resource consent HOTC submits that additional
conditions should be included as part of the approval of resource consent (refer AEE Appendix
‘General Conditions’ Clauses 1-42) by inserting the following:
“Co-ordination with Auckland Council and Heart of the City
a. Establish an engagement process and forum with Auckland Council and Heart of
the City that provides regular opportunities for the parties to engage through the
development and implementation stages of the CEMP and CCP and associated
b. The purpose of the engagement process and forum is to co-ordinate proactive
planning and mitigation responses to construction related impacts of the CRL
and other major site specific construction works planned in the city-centre over
the same period.
c. The forum should be convened regularly over the CRL construction period and
until the end of the first year of operation of the CRL, at which time the on-going
need for the group should be reviewed and subject to a final decision by
d. Auckland Transport shall make a financial contribution of $500,000 per annum
over the period that the forum operates, for funding business mitigation
measures recommended by the forum.
Attachment A: Relevant provisions of Auckland City District Plan (Central Area
Due to their length the relevant provisions of the District Plan are not repeated here, but the
following extract for SMA1 is representative of the nature of the resource management issues,
objectives and policies that apply to the SMAs as a whole [note: emphasis added to highlight
provisions particularly relevant to assessing the effects of the subject application for resource
Clause 220.127.116.11 A QUALITY ENVIRONMENT
a) Ensuring that the public amenities of the Core SMA are protected from any significant
adverse effects of development and activities.
b) Managing the existing physical resources of the Core SMA particularly the buildings,
infrastructure and transport systems in a sustainable manner.
c) Ensuring that the scale and form of new developments are appropriate.
18.104.22.168 AN ACCESSIBLE CENTRE
a) Providing for roading and traffic management improvements.
b) Providing for an improved passenger transport system.
c) Providing for a pedestrian-orientated environment
d) Providing for cyclists.
e) Providing for improved passenger and private vehicle access.
22.214.171.124 AN ALIVE AND EXCITING PEOPLE PLACE
a) Protecting the distinctive elements of the Aotea Precinct and the Queen Street Valley
Precinct that add special character to the Core SMA.
b) Enhancing the public places, particularly at street level, that contain sunny outdoor seating
areas, eating places, verandahs and pedestrian through-links to transport, shops and the
waterfront, for the convenience of pedestrians.
126.96.36.199 A PLACE OF OPPORTUNITIES
a) Enhancing and maintaining the vitality and diversity of business, retail, office, entertainment,
tourism, residential and cultural activities.
b) Providing for new development and the continued use or redevelopment of existing buildings
so as to meet the needs of those people wishing to work, or live in or visit, the Central Area.
Objectives and policies are applied to manage the effects of activities and developments that
occur within each area. In order that resource management be fully integrated, the Strategic
Management Area objectives and policies link to the higher level resource management
objectives and policies for the Central Area as set out in Part 3 and to the lower level objectives
and policies within the precinct or quarter provisions.
All strategic planning decisions, plan changes and resource consent applications arising from
the rules will be assessed against the relevant Strategic Manag
ement Area’s objectives and
To maintain the highest intensity of activity in the Central Area emphasising commercial,
entertainment, recreational, cultural, educational, retail, residential and tourist activities, in order
to ensure the continuation of the Central Area as the principal business and commercial centre
of the Auckland region and to achieve vitality, while managing the adverse effects of activities
on each other, on public spaces and on the environment.
To maintain and improve accessibility to, from and within the Core SMA, particularly for public
passenger transport and pedestrian movement and cycling.
In the context of the subject application it is also relevant to have regard to Clause 15.3.2
RULES - LAND USE RESOURCE CONSENT APPLICATIONS:
I. Environmental Assessment
For discretionary and non-complying activity applications, an assessment of environmental
effects is required in terms of the Fourth Schedule of the Resource Management Act 1991 [see
All applications must provide an assessment of actual or potential environmental effects. The
information should include an assessment of such matters as:
a) A description of any mitigation measures to be undertaken to help prevent or reduce the
actual or potential effect.
b) Any relevant objectives, policies, rules, or other provisions of a plan or proposed plan
g) An identification of those persons interested in or affected by the proposal, the consultation
undertaken, and any response to the views of those consulted in accordance with the Fourth
Schedule of the Act.
h) Actual or potential environmental effects including such matters as visual effects, traffic and
parking, landscaping, shadowing, amenity\character, cultural including any effects on likely
archaeological sites, heritage values and Maori heritage sites, noise, pollution/hazardous
facilities, privacy, smell, infrastructure.
188.8.131.52 Further Information
Further information may be required from an applicant where it is considered necessary to
better understand the nature of the activity, the effect it may have on the environment, or the
ways in which adverse effects may be mitigated. The Council may also commission a report, at
the applicant's expense, on any matters raised in relation to the application or on any
environmental assessment or effects. Such a report may be commissioned where:
c) the activity the subject of the application may, in the opinion of the Council, give rise to
significant adverse environmental effects which are not adequately avoided, remedied or
RMA Schedule 4 Information required in application for resource consent
Clause 7: Matters that must be addressed by assessment of environmental effects
(1) An assessment of the
activity’s effects on the environment must address the following
(a) any effect on those in the neighbourhood and, where relevant, the wider community,
including any social, economic, or cultural effects:
(b) any physical effect on the locality, including any landscape and visual effects:
(c) any effect on ecosystems, including effects on plants or animals and any physical
disturbance of habitats in the vicinity:
(d) any effect on natural and physical resources having aesthetic, recreational, scientific,
historical, spiritual, or cultural value, or other special value, for present or future generations:
(e) any discharge of contaminants into the environment, including any unreasonable emission of
noise, and options for the treatment and disposal of contaminants:
(f) any risk to the neighbourhood, the wider community, or the environment through natural
hazards or the use of hazardous substances or hazardous installations.
(2) The requirement to address a matter in the assessment of environmental effects is subject to
the provisions of any policy statement or plan.