The Unitary Plan – What to Expect from September 30

What to Expect from September 30


This post looks at the preparations and what to expect when the Unitary Plan is released for Formal Notification on September 30. I will be writing a separate post on the release of the Auckland Design Manual (unless you want one rambling post here).

The Notified Unitary Plan

Yesterday I attending the media briefing from Auckland Council on the notified version of The Unitary Plan, what to expect, the process, then a presentation on the Auckland Design Manual (which I will cover in a separate post).

After the briefing I was given some material for my weekend reading (joy as if I don’t have enough of that right now 😛 ) which will become available to the public from Monday.

The Covers of the Material which will be available to the public from Monday
(see for locations of where hard copies will be available from on Monday)


Auckland Transport Blog and Bob Dey have written on more expansive commentary on the impending notification of the Unitary Plan. I will run the basic run down on what to expect and some key dates for you to remember. From September 30 I will ramp up the independent commentary again.

I do recommend reading Bob Dey’s “Unitary plan notified Monday – and Fontein says new restrictions increase housing shortfall to 150,000” on the issues Auckland now faces owing to our conservative NIMBY‘s. It does make for some frightening reading unless you want Auckland to sprawl like L.A.


The Run Down

The Submission Period

On Monday the New Zealand Herald will carry an advertisement signifying the start of the formal notification process of The Unitary Plan (the planning rule book for Auckland).

From September 30, 2013 until February 28, 2014 people will have the chance to write and send in their (formal) submissions to the Unitary Plan. This is what the submission form looks like (you can attachments as part of your submission):

(I will get to the How to make a submission bit shortly)

Of course you can either send your submission online or by snail mail.


After the submission period closes on February 28 a summary of those initial formal submissions will be released around end of May (approximate).

From there another round of submissions will be taken (June approximately).

Finally we then move onto the long Hearings Process undertaken by Government appointed Commissioners. We are waiting for more information on the Hearings Panel from the Minister for the Environment (who handles these cases)

As for HOW to write a submission I shall look at this next


How to Write a Submission for the Unitary Plan

If you are like me this might be the first time you have undertaken such an endeavour in which your submission will be before Commissioners rather than Councillors or Local Board members. This can be daunting but it need not be so.

Auckland Council along with the New Zealand Planning Institute will be offering assistance to the public that wish to write a watertight submission. I would highly recommend taking up these services being offered as I will be (so that my own submission is robust before I am in front of the Commissioners)


Check this piece out on How to Make a Submission to the Unitary Plan

As mentioned in the bottom of that embed Council will be running (six) expos to the public in offering assistance on the formal notification process for the Unitary Plan.

We awaiting for more information from the New Zealand Planning Institute on when they will be running their workshops but from what I gathered it could be early next year.

I will be keeping tabs on these expos and workshops and will post more as soon as I know.


The E-Plan

The E-Plan took a heavy flogging in the Main Stream and Social Media for its clumsiness when the Unitary Plan first came out for feedback earlier this year. Yesterday we took a look at the new E-Plan and I can say with the new Export to PDF function, the site is a lot more friendlier this time around.

I will run more commentary on the E-Plan once its going from Monday.


Final Remarks

I will be looking through the larger ‘Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan – Local Area Fact-sheets’ over the weekend. This larger piece of material shows the “phased” zone changes per Local Board area from the March version to the notified version of the Unitary Plan. All Local Boards including mine (Papakura) have had a degree of changes.

Using Manukau City Centre to demonstrate a phased change


I will be straight up some of these phased changes might come to a shock to some residents of Auckland – both to NIMBY’s and YIMBY‘s depending which way you want Auckland to go. While not a shock per-se to me personally I will no doubt hear a pile of teeth gnashing of either: Democracy not working, or We were not listened to.

After I have written my Tourism of Geography paper on Te Papa North remind me to write up a Democracy and Liberalism paper on democracy at work (in NZ). Because looking at all the teeth gnashing from one particular quarter just makes me want to say: “Take one cold glass of harden up juice, rinse, repeat, rinse and repeat again, then see your doctor in the morning if symptoms still persist.

Heavens sake people, I did not get all I wanted in the Unitary Plan – otherwise Manukau will have no height limits being proposed for it. So why do a set minority feel they must be “listened” to. We are all in the same boat and at the end of the day comes victory and setbacks. Live with it!


September 30, 2013 until February 28, 2014 – the period where you can write and send in your submission for the Unitary Plan


Talking Auckland will be running the commentary to keep you up to date an informed


Talking Auckland: Blog of TotaRim Consultancy Limited

TotaRim Consultancy
Bringing Well Managed Progress to Auckland and The Unitary Plan

Auckland: 2013 – YOUR CITY, YOUR CALL