Auckland's Unitary Plan would take 55 days to read video

David White Fairfax Media

Nick Read guesstimates how long it would take to read the Unitary Plan.

The proposed Auckland Unitary Plan is nearly seven times longer than all of the Lord of the Rings books put together.

And if you read it all in one sitting, you might end up losing your mind - a bit like Gollum.

The report, released publicly on Wednesday and available on the Auckland Council website, clocks in at nearly 7000 pages.


The Lord of the Rings, by contrast, is only about 1008 pages.

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Tolstoy's epic War and Peace is 1125 pages, while Eleanor Catton's Man Booker-winning tome The Luminaries is 832 pages.

Auckland University business school lecturer and 'power reading' expert Nick Read took up the challenge to see just how long it would take to read the whole plan.

Read teaches a 'Power Reading for Business' course which promises to help people read documents in a fraction of the time they normally take.

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He completed one page of the plan in 45 seconds.

That means it would take him 87.5 hours - more than 5000 minutes - to read the entire thing.

That equals "2.2 solid weeks of eight-hour days" of power reading, he said.

"If I was to read this at normal speed, at about 200 words per minute, that would take me in excess of 55 days to read this Unitary Plan."

The report comes in several parts. It comprises two main overview chapters, published as separate PDFs, which tally 207 pages combined.

The 80 individual reports are each between 12 and 37 pages long.

Housing campaigner Hugh Pavletich​ is scornful of the sheer size of the Unitary Plan. 

"If a plan is any more than a thumbnail thick, it is irrelevant because it is beyond people's ability to get their heads around it," he said.

But that's just what Auckland's councillors will have to do - they have until August 19 to decide if they accept the recommendations.

 - Stuff


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