My Housing Mix in Auckland

Attempt One using Shape Auckland Housing Simulator


Auckland Council has released today an interactive housing simulator for YOU to experiment around with in how you as a theoretical Auckland Unitary Plan planner would fit in those extra 400,000 new dwellings for those one million extra people over the next thirty odd years. You can find the simulator HERE!


So I decided to play around with it and follow through my idea of the housing mix for Auckland in line with my submission to the Auckland Plan which called for 60% development in Brownfield Land (often intensification) and 40% in new Greenfield sites. This is what I got as I went through the process:


Stage One – How You Are Introduced to the Simulator

Opening shot of the simulator when you open it
Opening shot of the simulator when you open it


You can see the sliders which controls what housing goes where, the total you are giving and how many short or surplus you will be in with housing


Stage Two – My First Attempt

My first solution following submission to Unitary Plan
My first solution following submission to Unitary Plan


You can see I have an actual surplus. More on this in a moment but first a shot on where the sliders were:


Stage Three – The Methodology of My Choice

What I came up with to give my take
What I came up with to give my take


For all pictures, click for full resolution


As I mentioned earlier I support 40% of all new development in Greenfield zones with 60% in existing urban areas (Brownfield zones).

But what you can see is that I actually have a surplus of housing stock by around 8,700 available if Council went through with what I have proposed. But there is a reason for this – it give flexibility to both the Council and the City with its growth options.

One flexibility is that if our population growth goes higher than currently forecast, then the extra houses would be readily available on hand as back up. It possibly means Auckland has a buffer of 26,400 – 34,800 people from the surplus stock on hand. (This is assuming that each new dwelling holds an average of 3-4 people in it)

Another flexibility option in the surplus housing stock seen in my solution is that it gives me some play around room with other factors in determining growth parameters such as:

  • Able to take back the Greenfield meter (Countryside converted to residential from 160,000 (40%) to 150-155,000 (35-37%) or knocking out Pukekohe West in the Southern RUB
  • Lower the Metropolitan Centre height limit to 15 storeys from 18 stories (I already have in the original simulator knock back the Town and Local Centre maximum heights from 8 storeys to 6, and 4 stories to 3 respectively)
  • Move the mix of homes to around 51% small or multi-unit from 55%, and for the large from 45 to 49%
  • Lower or increase (depending which other meters were moved) Increase in Residential homes (large and small) from any where between 30-35% to compensate and keep the “Extra Homes Needed” either at zero or in surplus


Now if I reduced the Metropolitan Centre height limit from 18 to 15 storeys, and increased the increase in residential home limit (so intensification) from 33 to 34% this is what I get with a surplus at 5,200 dwellings

Alternative if reducing Metro Centre Height Limits
Alternative if reducing Metro Centre Height Limits


Now while I don’t mind dropping the limits on the Metropolitan Centre height proposal, I am weary of dropping them too much before a metro centre becomes non-viable  due to the building limit too low and not enough critical mass to get the high density development sought after in a the metro centres. Of course a developer would ever go to 15-18 storeys if the surround infrastructure and economic conditions permitted them in doing so – this is especially as I have no height limit on the City Centre.


You might have noticed I have dropped the height limits on town and local centres from and to:


This would be in line with my current thinking around places like Milford that are actually facing over-intensification under the current Draft Unitary Plan/Clunker more than what is required. I also believe 3 and 5 storeys is more viable and with better amenity with the reduce heights I have proposed. It also seems in dropping the Town and Local Centre heights I still get an actual surplus of housing stock available. BUT, I want to allow some density in these two centre classes to allow for critical mass in supporting commercial, civic and community enterprise one would expect from such a centre to the residents and the wider city.


So what do you think of my apparent solution. Why not give it a go on the simulator and see what you get. You just might not know – the planners might take your idea on board.



Shining The Light – To a Better Papakura (OUR home)
To a Better Auckland – (OUR City)

Auckland 2013: YOUR CITY – YOUR CALL


One thought on “My Housing Mix in Auckland

  1. Reblogged this on Ben Ross : Auckland and commented:

    I am mentioning My Housing Mix again today as I am off to the Southern Auckland Civic Forum at the old Manukau City Council building this morning from 10am. We will be discussing today housing options hence why the reblog on my attempt at housing mixes:

    I have been invited to another Civic Forum on the Unitary Plan to which I am going to the Manukau session this Saturday. By the looks of the invitation we will be looking at with the Unitary Plan team:
    Key things are:
    how we create housing choices and more affordable housing
    how we enable businesses to develop and grow
    how we protect our region’s environment, heritage and character.

    So residential, commercial and industrial matters which I have covered previously in these posts: “THE UNITARY PLAN, AND THE CMCP AND SLPD’S,” “THE CLUNKER AND BUSINESS ZONES,” and “THE CLUNKER AND RESIDENTIAL ZONING“ are going to be feedback sort after as well as; environment, heritage and character.

    Will post feedback on the forum either tonight or tomorrow.
    In the mean time this rain is welcome

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