Auckland City had a draft plan that set out the proposed strategies to manage residential growth in Avondale over the next fifteen years, while strengthening the community, the economy and protecting the environment.
Populations affected included the 14,000 people currently living within the Avondale area and the additional 5000 expected. The growth would be equivalent to about 40–50 new households on each street in the zone of change.
The draft strategy was subject to a consultant-led HIA in 2005, undertaken at short notice and in a compressed timeframe. The HIA included screening, scoping, assessment and reporting phases, as outlined in A guide to HIA. A rapid literature review of the evidence base and assessment of the population affected informed a participatory half-day workshop attended by a range of stakeholders. The results of this workshop, plus desk-based assessment work and information previously gathered in community consultations, provided the basis for the assessment and recommendations made. Thirty-three of 35 HIA recommendations to modify the plan for health gain were accepted by the Auckland City Council. Workstreams are being set up to implement them.
Examples of the key recommendations from the HIA were:
- Encourage greater access to community facilities.
- Consider design impacts on health and wellbeing when assessing developments.
- Consider a hierarchical approach to transport within the Avondale area, placing greater emphasis on facilitating walking and cycling as modes of transport over private motor vehicles.
- Encourage the development of travel plans for schools and businesses.
- Incorporate crime prevention features in design ie, improving lighting and surveillance.
- Encourage the location of affordable child care facilities close to places of employment.
- Review provision of public open spaces for recreation and the need to locate them in close proximity to residential areas.
- Improve the quality of parks and facilities to encourage greater use.
- Work with local businesses to encourage the hiring of local people for local jobs.
The HIA was funded by the Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS). Stakeholder involvement was principally community-level agencies, local staff from central government departments and the Community Board. Results of previous community consultations on the plan were fed into the HIA.