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Item Type: Agency
Town Planning Department
Date Range1968-1991DescriptionOn the 13th March 1968 the Chairman of the Town Planning Committee moved that a separate department be formed known as the Town Planning Department. District Scheme work had pointed out that the term “City Engineer” had become no longer suitable for town planning work. The City Engineer’s department continued to exist but the architectural survey and town planning division were transferred to the newly created City Planner department. Councillor J G O’Brien was quoted saying 'This motion acknowledges that town planning has at last come of age in Wellington…I support the motion and I speak, I think, for all the works committee, because it is a recognition of the place planning has assumed in relation to the manifold needs of civic growth. Today it is perhaps the most important function of civic administration.' The Town Planning Department officially came into operation on 16th May 1968. Under the new City Planner, Ken V Clarke, five divisions were initially set up. The department took over functions from both the City Engineer’s and Town Clerk’s Departments. The five divisions, with their responsibilities, were: Administration - provision of clerical and typing services for the whole Department Architectural - design, construction, alteration and maintenance of Council buildings Housing and Urban Development - implementation of Council housing policy and programmes, investigation of sites suitable for housing projects Land Development - investigation and development of land for housing, control of subdivisions, Corporation survey services, encroachments and other land development functions. Town Planning - research necessary for the proper planning of the city, preparation of long-range plans for the development of the City, the control of development within the City and Traffic Engineering All divisions, except Town Planning, were managed by divisional heads who reported to the City Planner. Town Planning staff reported directly to the City Planner. The term ‘City Planner’ was formalised by a council ordinance in 1969. There were many changes to the structure of the department over time, with divisions added and others split up or off to other areas in council. The Community Services Office first appears in 1970's. Its purpose was to assist members of the community to identify local needs and how they could meet them. It also assisted with the co-ordination of social and community services throughout the City. The Community Services Office became the Community Development Division about 1990. The Land Development function of the Town Planning Department came under the control of the Director of Housing from 23 March 1983. The Housing Branch was later split off in 1988. The Survey Branch existed by 1988; it is assumed that after Land Development functions were passed to Housing in 1983 it was set up as an independent section. The Survey Branch was responsible for subdivision control, road reserve encroachments, house numbering, surveying work, plan printing, microfilming and updating of base plans, aerial photography. These functions were originally carried out by the Land Development Division. The Parking Enforcement Division was transferred to Town Planning in 1987 from the Administration Department of Council. Ken Clarke remained City Planner until 1990, when Alistair Auburn took over. The Architectural Division was split off in 1990 and placed with the Works Department. A Draughting section was retained for the department though. By 1991 the structure was very different from the original; there were now seven sections to the department. They were Administration, City Planning, Community Development, Draughting, Parking Enforcement, Survey, Traffic and Transportation. The Town Planning Department was dismantled somewhere between August and October 1991, its successor being the Environment Division.
Town Planning Department Archives Online, accessed 29 Nov 2022, https://archivesonline.wcc.govt.nz/nodes/view/7879