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"if any"

Moving towards a District Plan without rules
by

Nick Williamson

on 1 December 2014

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Transcript of "if any"

"if any" two simple words ... among 3 basic elements: This is all that the law requires so how is it that the rule books have become so thick? Perhaps some rule writers are not aware of what's happening others might just be lazy or maybe the rule makers don't know what they are doing whatever the reason, it's generally agreed that we have TOO MANY WORDS We know how many of the words got to be there Some are legacies to provide comfort for users of yesteryear others are there purely to keep people happy Throw in a sprinkling of Greek here and there, and you get ... Plans Designed by Committee While the laws of physics may be Universal rules apply only to People After all, who else cares about "those natural or physical qualities and characteristics of an area that contribute to people's appreciation of its pleasantness, aesthetic coherence, and cultural and recreational attributes" Analogy District Plan rules cannot 'make' you do anything ... ... but they can influence behaviour We can equally conclude that cars don't drive on roads ... ... people drive cars on roads Rules therefore tend to be more effective when directed at people rather than objects Our new district planning philosophy Certainty Flexibility Certainty vs Flexibility Rules & Policies Methods but Outcomes Why Because the intent of the provisions is more important when managing peoples' expectations Simple Sophisticated ? and differing expectations conflicts can lead to wtf?!
The colour of that moss clashes with my house! these can never really be avoided Because there are as many different expecations as there are people so you need a degree of sophistication all the while keeping things simple. Take Traction Control for example A vast array of electronics, mechanics and hydraulics causes each wheel to respond to the forces exerted on it to maintain maximum available traction Yet as driver, all you need to know is where should we be? amenity: Let's try this for an You would have heard this (in)famous saying from the American NRA where are we going? is this even possible? ˈ ABS is an example of something that is very sophisticated, yet simple to use. We think District Plans can be simple to use regardless of their complexity Vilfredo Pareto Plan provisions must also be and this guy invented efficiency efficient effective and Italian Economist and Sociologist Vilfredo Pareto (1848-1923) observed that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population. While investigating other countries he found the same unequal distribution of income and wealth in each. Pareto’s Principle states that roughly 20% of actions produce 80% of results, or 80% of effects come from 20% of causes which is more commonly referred to as the rule In the district planning context this means spending only 20% of the time on those black and white proposals that are clearly and spending the other 80% of your time on the Men's Edition Making it happen Use what we have come to learn about Economics and Human Psychology And minimise the role and influence of Litigation and Beauracracy Good Outcomes Bad Outcomes Cheap & Easy Expensive & Difficult Incentivise by making them Discourage by making them People like to have while retaining a degree of The law requires it to be fairly but it must be should be certain need to be flexible Use for certainty rely on to provide flexibility It's a question of balance Let's first look at Permitted Activities Prohibited Activities The easiest and cheapest are usually when the Council has no involvement such as and (also the most certain) The most expensive and difficult are usually the ones that involve Public Notification (also the least certain) It happens by itself when you leave out the complicated bits (Permitted Activity) (Discretionary Activity) (Prohibited Activity) you need consent or you don't or you can't All people really want to know is whether Everything else is just complicated. If you use these rules you need even more rules which further complicates the decision making process So if all consent applications were Discretionary and that was the only rule, what would the outcome be? "You can't regulate good design" were the words spoken by a manager during my formative years Perhaps something quite unexpected Isn't that one of the very qualities that defines great design? but is that such a bad thing? Here is how we have applied this philosophy This is our all new 'rural residential' zone All subdivision & land use provisions fit on two A4 sheets of paper This is where we manage people's expectations This is where we define our outcomes These are the activities that require consent and these can't these don't This is where it gets :easy :hard Here is where you find the certainty Simple. Simple Rule #1 Rule #2 Here is where you find the flexibility There are no other subdivision rules. There are still numbers to provide certainty but as policy they have more flexibility than rules General policies replace matters for control or assessment criteria Here is where things get sophisticated You can write your own rules to achieve the Plan's objectives Get one consent - once Maximum flexibility for staging Think of the Management Plan Technique as being like the Designation process or a site specific District Plan Acceptable or Unacceptable Keeping things simple can also achieve better results hence the saying Example: few people would have read yet we all Here at Whangarei District Council we are doing everything in our power to achieve superior results by throwing out the rule book Thanks for listening Nick Williamson Team Leader District Plan Whangarei District Council and I shall finish with the words of Thomas Edison nickw@wdc.govt.nz
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