In 1988, in the face of Michael Bassett's move to amalgamate the disparate Auckland Local Authorities into one centralised Auckland City Council, a number of concerned citizens (architects, planners, landscape architects and conservation-minded citizens) were afraid that the unique character of the Ponsonby-Freemans Bay-Herne Bay Boroughs would be lost and that the "village" character of the area would disappear. In response, they formed the Ponsonby Urban Design Working Party (with 30 members) to research the needs and expectation of the residents and to make recommendations to Council. I undertook to co-ordinate the work of the group, facilitate focus groups, integrate research findings and write and edit the final report (with 12 writers). The result was The Ponsonby Plan, a 300 page report with detailed proposals for development, conservation, open space, building density and heritage building preservation. The study was a first in New Zealand and led to a review of the District Scheme with respect to special character areas such as those described. The major concerns and recommendations of the Ponsionby Plan still stand today, 20 years later as the Auckland Unitary Plan draws sharp public criticism and concern..
A downloadable PDF will be available here soon.