Unitary Plan Falls Very Short of Enabling Those 400,000 Homes Needed by 2041

Try on current proposed provisions 316,000 (approximate) short

Finally the updated Residential Capacity Model has come out for submitters to use in their Hearings, and for the Unitary Plan Panel to consider in their recommendations next year.

I have the expert conference report below and will upload more material later next week.

In short the Unitary Plan is meant to enable some 400,000 dwellings on a 60% intensification, 40% Greenfield split through to 2041 as per the Auckland Plan. That means at minimum 240,000 residential dwellings need to be built in the existing urban area of Auckland (so Brownfield development).



The initial output of the ACDC15 development feasible dwellings, which total 64,420, or 20% of the CfGS13 (published) dwellings and 11.4% of the ACDC15 plan-enabled. If we were to add the 19,000 HNZC dwellings (conservative) that the PAUP allows, this would provide a total developable feasible dwelling number of 83,420 or 26% of the reported CfGS13 plan enabled.


Source: See below (page 5)

So for the 240,000 dwellings we need in urban Auckland the Unitary Plan currently looking at the report will only allow 83, 420 to be “enabled” (meaning commercially viable to be built). The shortage is even worse if we go for the 280,000 dwellings or 70% in the existing urban area.

A slight problem here on what the Unitary Plan is meant to enable and what it actually would enable all things considered right now. Remember we are meant to have anywhere between 700,000 to one million new people here by 2041 hence the 400,000 new dwellings. And remember when demand out paces supply you get what we are getting know – run away housing prices!

So why the shortage? Is it:

  1. Under zoning the exist urban area of Auckland that might be better suited for a higher density zone that can actually take the higher density
  2. Infrastructure costs (more likely to be with Greenfield development but can occur on Brownfield sites)
  3. Geo technical reasons (otherwords the topography sucks like the swamp land out Takanini way which causes large and expensive works to be done prior to any house being built)
  4. Development Controls within the existing proposed zones in the Unitary Plan?

Not much we can do about number three apart from new residents wearing the costs of any developments in a geo technical difficult area.

Number two is a case of Central Government needing to pull finger a heck load more with and actually help in investing in.

Numbers one and four is something we can address right now through the Unitary Plan provisions.

Manukau SMC Zone MK2
Manukau SMC Zone MK2

Given that Council Planners have told me repeatedly (thus their outright opposition) to my Super Metropolitan Centre Zone concept (which allows more development in an already commercial viable area than the standard Metropolitan Centre Zone proposal) wont fly due to lack of “demand” for such intensity well with:

  • the shortages shown in the report,
  • the demand for housing in Centres that are well served by transport,
  • and the bonus effects of agglomeration a high density Centre would experience

I believe that the demand is certainly there for two Super Metropolitan Centres now (Manukau and Albany). As for the opposition on the grounds of “Notified provisions do not elevate individual metropolitan centres over others.
Current framework enables enough potential/capacity” (from Mediation report into Topic 051 – Centres Zones) well I see a report (above) that disproves that quite quickly. As for elevation, well we are going to get that if Centres are rezoned and/or residential areas are rezoned for whatever reason so the precedence is already there.

I will leave with this piece from Todd Niall of Radio New Zealand:

Report questions Auckland population forecasts

Updated at 5:52 am today Todd Niall, Auckland Correspondent – todd.niall@radionz.co.nz


2 thoughts on “Unitary Plan Falls Very Short of Enabling Those 400,000 Homes Needed by 2041

  1. Hey Ben. I understand a lack of qualified and registered builders is currently an issue? What are your thoughts on this going forward?

    1. Ive heard that one and the reasons behind it (National and probably the GFC knocking things round)

      So how to go forward
      1) Government fund Tech Schools and apprenticeships properly
      2) We get the Unitary Plan right
      3) Government pulls finger with infrastructure.

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