Walking Through an Area Plan

Looking at the Otara-Papatoetoe Local Board Area Plan


Manukau Metro UP map revised
Manukau Metro UP map revised. How the Area will be developed is outline in the Otara-Papatoetoe Local Board Area Plan


While Local Board Plans are now out for submissions (see Shape Auckland and Local Board Plans Out for Submissions) we are also coming up for submissions to a few Area Plan drafts that have been in the pipeline for the last few months.

The difference between a Local Board Plan and a (Local Board) Area Plan

Local Board Plan

Local board plans are guiding documents for local boards.

The plans are strategic three-year documents for each local board which reflect the priorities and preferences of the community, and will guide:

  • our decisions on local activities, projects and facilities
  • our input into the regional strategies and plans of Auckland Council how we work with other agencies that play a key role in our area, including community groups, central government agencies and council-controlled organisations

Boards are required to develop a local board plan every three years. The plans form the basis for development of the annual local board agreements for each financial year. They also inform the development of Auckland Council’s Long-term Plan, the council’s 10-year budget.

Source: http://shapeauckland.co.nz/ 


An Area Plan (using Otara-Papatoetoe Local Board’s Area Plan as an example)

Ōtara-Papatoetoe Area Plan

Source: Auckland Council

Help shape the future of Ōtara-Papatoetoe

A draft area plan has been prepared to support the future growth and development of Ōtara-Papatoetoe over the next 5 to 30 years.  It will help achieve Auckland’s vision to be the world’s most liveable city.

The plan builds on the ideas received from mana whenua, key stakeholders, the Ōtara-Papatoetoe Local Board, as well as the council’s aspirations for the area.

One of the benefits of having a plan for Ōtara-Papatoetoe is that the council can direct its limited resources to where it is needed the most, and prioritise their use to achieve the best result for the local community.

You may also be interested in the Ōtara-Papatoetoe Local Board Plan.

Draft Ōtara-Papatoetoe Area Plan

The draft Area Plan identifies:

  • a vision and nine key moves or opportunities for significant or positive change in the area over the next 5 to 30 years
  • a set of projects and initiatives needed to deliver the key moves on the ground in responsible and practical ways, including working with mana whenua, key stakeholders and community groups, and identifying opportunities to leverage off existing and proposed projects
  • five theme maps identifying the key projects and initiatives for:
    • Heritage
    • Natural environment
    • Centres, business and recreation
    • Transport
    • Infrastructure.


Source: http://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/EN/planspoliciesprojects/plansstrategies/areaplans/Pages/otarapapatoetoeareaplan.aspx


Walking through the Otara-Papatoetoe Local Board’s Area Plan


I wont go through the entire Area Plan but rather use the focus around the Manukau City Centre as I walk through the Area Plan in this blog post.

Below is the extracts from the Area Plan. The front page is from the Otara-Papatoetoe Local Board Plan on Manukau and provides three-year aspiration that will be executed in the subsequent Area Plan. You will also see orange “flags” with me writing on them. They are annotations and remembering points for both the upcoming submission on the Area Plan as well as some questions for when the Area Plan is presented on Thursday to the Auckland Development Committee. Prior to the Area Plan being presented to the Auckland Development Committee for endorsement I am presenting to the same Committee on Metropolitan Centre Master Plans that will touch on Manukau and the subsequent Area Plan up for endorsement soon after.

The Otara-Papatoetoe Local Board Area Plan – Annotated

Note: For full Area Plan document go HERE. For the Otara-Papatoetoe Local Board Plan go HERE.


The front page of the above embed is from page 15 of the Local Board Plan. It outlines the aspiration for the Manukau Metropolitan Centre (Manukau City Centre) to which the subsequent Area Plan will outline how to achieve this aspiration.

From the Local Board Plan on Manukau

Manukau metropolitan centre becomes the thriving heart of our area: an attractive visitor destination, business centre and place to shop, live, learn, work and play.
Manukau centre is coming alive as a metropolitan centre and economic driver in Auckland, with new tourist attractions and improved education and transport facilities sparking development. We want Manukau to become an attractive destination for visitors, businesses and residents who come together to shop, live, learn, work and play in world-class facilities and spaces.

Development of Manukau as a leading tourist destination is well under way. The Wero project is a new tourist experience with seven facilities to educate, interact and entertain, including an artificial white water rafting course, a Polynesian cultural exhibition and an art gallery.

We know you share our excitement about the proposed Museum of New Zealand (Te Papa Tongarewa) site in Manukau. This is a wonderful opportunity, which the board is enthusiastically supporting. The new state-of-the-art rail and bus
interchange will help visitors get around. Our key priorities will be to promote the new attractions, alongside existing ones like Rainbow’s End, and to advocate for further transport and hotel development.

You have told us you support the growth of Manukau, as long as it is well planned. The board will work to ensure that as Manukau grows, facilities and services are developed to meet the needs of residents, visitors and businesses. As Manukau attracts more people, we will support our local businesses to grow and develop, in partnership with the Manukau Central Business Association. We will also develop and implement a local economic development action plan for Manukau centre and consider forming a stakeholder group to support Manukau centre’s transformation to a metropolitan centre, by promoting investment and employment growth.


You can see from the first paragraph of the Local Board Plan for Manukau the main aspiration for the Manukau Metropolitan Centre. Heck the aspirations outlined in the first paragraph are that aspirational (in a good sense) that Manukau risks selling itself short just being a Metropolitan Centre. The aspirations outlined above in my opinion reinforces Manukau to be raised one above the Metropolitan Centre classification to the Super Metropolitan Centre classification which emphasises what the main aspirations stated above more vigorously than otherwise previous (see bottom of post for Super Metropolitan Centre definition and differences).

The second paragraph from the Local Board Plan is looking at leveraging off the cosmopolitan diversity in Southern Auckland and turn it into social capital as part of the beating heart that would be Manukau City Centre. The third paragraph outlines some more infrastructure aspirations to make Manukau that thriving heart of Southern Auckland

The fourth paragraph is basically looking at the want or even need to development a Master Plan to guide the development over the next 30 years for the Manukau City Centre. Now the Area Plan provides some more in-depth goals that the Local Board is wanting for Manukau City Centre over the next 30 years. Most of this is high level stuff that provides a framework. The Manukau City Centre Master Plan would (like the City Centre Master Plan) would provide the more finer details in building and executing that local economic development plan.

The next page (page 16) gives a quick look at funded and unfunded aspirations for some of the Manukau City Centre projects.


The Area Plan – in regards to Manukau

Starting at page 25 of the Area Plan (or page 3 of the above embed) we see some “Key Moves” in outlining the transformation or evolution of an area within the Local Board. Looking at ‘Key Move 3’ the Local Board wants to: “Transition Manukau from a City Centre to a vibrant Metropolitan Centre.

The Issues and Opportunities in that Key Move being:

Issues and opportunities:

  • Support the future role of Manukau as a metropolitan centre, and facilitate opportunities for growth and change that supports this role.
  • Manukau continues to be the premier shopping, civic and entertainment heart of the south, and build on this position
  • Traffic should be managed and not become too dominant
  • Capitalise off opportunities from future projects e.g. Te Papa plans for a possible location for a museum, new Manukau Institute of Technology campus, new transport interchange
  • Have attractive and safe public spaces and streets.

So the Area Plan stipulates: Manukau continues to be the premier shopping, civic and entertainment heart of the south, and build on this position

Very similar to what I have written in various submissions to various plans as well as various submissions to various Committees over the years. The orange flags I had for this particular page question the contradiction of Metropolitan Centre definitions in the Auckland Plan as two very different definitions are given with very different consequences depending which one is used for Manukau let alone any other Metropolitan Centre. The other flag (as I will be submitting on the Area Plan) points out a call for the ‘Key Move’ to reflect Making a Vibrant Manukau City Centre following on from my Unitary Plan submission which requests the addition of the Super Metropolitan Centre zone.


Looking at pages 26 and 27 we see the Area Plan has what is called 5-year Projects and Initiatives.

From the Area Plan:

Projects and initiatives (next 5 years)
The following projects and initiatives have been identified to give effect to Key Move 3 over the next 5 years:


These projects or initiatives are either plans or physical projects that are most likely to have secured funding for so that they are carried out. There are several initiatives (so plans) and physical projects outlined on pages 26 and 27 of which all come under The Southern Initiative. Points 3.1, 3.3 (in tandem with the Parking Management Plan) and 3.5 would be all suited to that Manukau City Centre Master Plan development – which I will submit on when submitting on the Area Plan later this month.

Next up on page 28 for Key Move 3 is what are called Aspirational projects and initiatives.

From the Area Plan:

Aspirational projects and initiatives (6-30 years)
The following projects and initiatives give effect to Key Move 3 are aspirational and unfunded. They will be reviewed by the lead agency over a longer period of time (6-30 years):


So this part of the Area Plan outlines what the Local Board would like over the life of the Area Plan but is not funded yet. This would be owing to the Long Term Plan cycles (the Master Budget) which is updated every three years (currently under way by the wider Council).

Points 3.10, 3.11 and 3.12 again would suit being brought under Manukau City Centre Master Plan for that fine grain analysis like the City Centre Master Plan for the main City Centre.


Key Moves 4, 6 and 7 I have included in the above embed as they have wider consequences on not only Manukau bit also Southern Auckland. I have not placed orange flags on these key moves yet (especially when the Key Moves mention the industrial complexes and Town Centres) but will do so to highlight out key points when I write the submission later on this month


Slowly getting there with the Manukau South Rail Link
Slowly getting there with the Manukau South Rail Link

Key Move 8 looks at Transport which is a big issue for both the Local Board and wider Auckland.

From the Area Plan:

Key Move 8
Make transport more accessible and safer for Ōtara-Papatoetoe residents, with particular emphasis on walking, cycling and public transport.
Issues and opportunities:

  • Reduce traffic congestion, improve road layouts, and intersections
  • Give more people the option of taking public transport, cycling and walking
  • Improve footpaths and cycle lanes
  • Improve access for people, including those with limited mobility to key destinations e.g. town centres, parks, community facilities, entertainment venues
  • Make Ōtara-Papatoetoe the “cycling capital” of the south. The area is very flat but safety is an issue
  • Bring forward transport upgrades – much-needed
  • Address severance – create new pedestrian/cycling connections e.g. between Highbrook and Ngati Ōtara Park


The Local Board area is not small by any means and has quite a few arterials running through the place. Arterials such as:

  1. Great South Road
  2. Cavendish Drive
  3. Te Irirangi Drive
  4. Preston Road
  5. Lambie Drive
  6. Puhinui Road
  7. Bairds Road
  8. St George Street
  9. Manukau Station Road
  10. Harris and Springs Roads

To make things more interesting for the Local Board it has three Town Centres which serve their localised areas as well as the Manukau City Centre – Metropolitan Zone and part of the Highbrook and East Tamaki industrial complexes.

So the transport requirements for the Local Board are pretty diverse and demanding on the local infrastructure. You have to cater for cars, light trucks, heavy freight trucks, cyclists, buses, walkers AND the internal needs of a given Centre as well. Thus the Key Move for transport is pretty wide and is something I will touch on in my submission (see the orange flag on for Key Move 8).

The Projects and Initiatives (5 years), and Aspirational projects and initiatives (6-30 years) are pretty spot on although you will notice my orange flags around the Manukau South Rail Link (allowing direct train services from Papakura and Pukekohe to and from Manukau every 10-20 minutes, seven days a week). The reason for this (and it will be raised as a question on Thursday at the Committee) is that the Area Plan has the South Link down for 6-30 years rather than the 5 year time line. This puts it at odds with correspondence I received in May from Auckland Transport over the South Link to which I believed the Link could be all built over this Christmas/New Year’s block of lines and operational in time for Semester One of the MIT-Manukau year next year. There is also an orange flag outlining the question over the South Link on page 58 which is the Transport Theme Map for the Otara-Papatoetoe Local Board Area Plan. The flag also serves as a reminder when I write-up the submission to support boulevards for Manukau Station Road, and Ronwood Avenue.

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Finally we have the Theme Maps that give a pictorial look at the Area Plan. The only two orange flags I had were on The South Link question and the push for the Manukau City Centre Master Plan.

Otherwise for the rest of it we have a pretty solid Area Plan (backed up by Local Board Plan that is also very good). I have walked through part of an Area Plan that is the most important to me when I start writing my submission on July 21 (when the submissions for the Otara-Papatoetoe Local Board Area Plan open). The orange (sticky) flags act has reminders and pointers on parts I am going to emphasise in my submissions so that I don’t get lost or wander off track. Tomorrow and Wednesday I will walk through the Papakura, and Otara-Papatoetoe Local Board Plans (as I will be submitting on both).

Why the walk through? The Unitary Plan and its complexity put people off in submitting although there were 9000 submissions. The Area and Local Board Plans focus closer to home – something people can often relate better to than a regional document like the Unitary Plan. These Local Board and Area Plans being closer to home are going to be more noticeable by you as this is where you live and play (and maybe work). So having your say on these plans is important with the walk through illustrating how to keep it simple. Sure you can submit on the entire plan(s) but my main suggestion is pick a few points, flag them with post it notes and submit on that.


The Otara-Papatoetoe Local Board Area Plan seeks the endorsement (so it go to submissions) this Thursday at the Auckland Development Committee. After my own presentation I will be live Tweeting the deliberations as the Area Plan seeks endorsement.


A “place holder” for the Manukau City Master Plan


The Super Metropolitan Centre concept in my Unitary Plan submission