Stockade Hill – the final hearing

A table top 3D model was unveiled showing the barricade effect of proposed higher density buildings on the views from the lower parts of Stockade Hill. Photo Andries Popping 

The final battle for Stockade Hill and our precious views took place on Friday April 27 in the Fencible Lounge of the Howick Library building.

This is the fourth year of Howick Ratepayers and Residents Association’s battle for Stockade Hill, and the second day of the hearings on Council’s Plan Change 3.

Many people believe that the issue of Stockade Hill views were sorted out some time ago. Alas, that is not the case.

Last year the council agreed to make changes to protect the views but this required two changes to the Unitary Plan’s Mixed Housing Urban area and two further hearings.

This opened up the an opportunity for those those both agreeing with and those disagreeing with the council’s decision to be heard equally

On Friday the Fencible Lounge was packed to capacity with supporters wanting our iconic views retained. Howick Ratepayers and Residents Association had prepared 40 pages of evidence to present to the commissioners pointing out the importance of retaining the 360 degree views for all the thousands of people who signed our petition and rejecting the limited viewshaft now proposed by council in their latest Plan Change.

This change created a new limited viewshaft giving limited protection to the views from the Rotary toposcope only between Flat Island and Rangitoto, and removed protection for views from Ridge Road as you enter Howick.

The local people told Auckland Council very clearly that maintenance of the Stockade Hill amenity along with its wide sea views, the views entering the village from Ridge Road and the views over the surrounding countryside with its heritage associations, and the views of our volcanic cones are important for their social, economic and cultural wellbeing as prescribed by the Resource Management Act. Photos of the magnificent views and the Anzac Day celebrations told the graphic tale.

A specialist landscape architect who corroborated our evidence was employed. We can only hope that the commissioners will heed our evidence. This is a big outlay and as HRRA relies totally on $10 subscriptions, we do need sponsors to help with such expenses and we need lots more people to join us. (send subscriptions to ASB Highland Park Account number 12-3089-0123712-00).

And do not forget your name and email (please send details to Howickrra@gmail.com).
Our presentation was followed by a passionate plea by Janet Dickson. She went back over the last few years of our battle for Stockade Hill and how the MHU (Mixed Housing
Urban) Zone was unfairly imposed on this area of Howick.

This was followed by a moving real estate style video with arrows indicating both the existing building heights and the shocking loss of views from the higher building heights proposed by Council under Plan Change 3. Then, as a masterstroke, a scale model of Stockade Hill was unveiled showing the barricade effect of proposed higher density buildings on the views from the lower parts of Stockade Hill.

This told the tale as nothing else could.

It was crystal clear that implementing council’s intensification plans will ruin Stockade Hill views in perpetuity.

A standing ovation followed!

We now await the commissioner’s final decisions in June, after they have heard the council’s final evidence, and the reply from Housing Corporation who are arguing against any extension of view protection and demanding the retention of intensification capacity.

Gayleen Mackereth
Chairperson Howick Ratepayers and Residents Association