Request to the Governing Body of Auckland Council: Support the Super Metropolitan Centres Please #AKLPols

Help achieve the vision and goals of not only myself as a Citizen but also the visions and goals of the Otara-Papatoetoe Local Board

I have been enjoying my mini break from the Unitary Plan after getting in my primary evidence to the Centres Zones (051) topic earlier this month but while waiting for any rebuttal evidence to come forward by the end of this week.

In that time though I have been keeping a roving eye on what other submitters sent in as their primary evidence and whether the Council’s Unitary Plan sub Committee will convene by Friday. The reason why the sub Committee usually convenes before a Unitary Plan topic goes to its Hearing is to either take a position change on behalf of the Council or ‘authorise’ rebuttal evidence against submitter’s primary evidence.

In any case it has not been what the submitters have been up to but what a Local Board has been up to. In an earlier post this morning I had noted what the Otara-Papatoetoe Local Board were up to insofar as giving Auckland Transport and Auckland Council Property Limit the boot up the backside as both are dithering in getting crucial projects going especially in Manukau City Centre.

In particular I have noticed these resolutions from the Local Board in their August meeting:

  • c)     request that Auckland Transport and Auckland Council Property Ltd incorporate residential accommodation options to the airspace above the Manukau bus interchange (lot 59) for the board to consider.
  • d)     note the long-term plan 2015- 2025 identified Manukau metropolitan centre as a key priority area to improve public transport and quality urban living. Future proofing the bus terminal by investing in these areas will drive positive environmental, economic and social outcomes for Auckland and local areas.
  • b)      request Auckland Council Property Ltd to begin work in facilitating potential providers to fund and build residential accommodation options to the airspace above the bus interchange at Manukau (lot 59).
  • d) request that a similar sequencing strategy be developed for the development of existing urban centres in Auckland, including brown fields and centres such as Manukau and Old Papatoetoe, which could help to absorb population growth, with moderate investment and removal of blockages to development.


In short the Local Board is being dead serious in having Council both plan and properly invest into Manukau so that development blockages are removed and the Metropolitan Centre can do its share of taking the urban growth load for an existing urban area.

While that has been happening at the same time I have been through my Unitary Plan submission being pushing so that the Unitary Plan does not become that particular blockage to substantial development in Manukau.


Because I know Manukau will be a regional and even inter-regional Centre for not only southern Auckland and the northern Waikato but also acting in complement to the main City Centre further north.  The concept is known as the Super Metropolitan Centre and can be read about as my primary evidence to the Unitary Plan Centre Zones here:

The Objectives and Polices being for the Super Metropolitan Centre:

Attachment D

Relief sought to be inserted into the Proposed Unitary Plan (as part of my original submission 1606-2)

D.3.3 Super Metropolitan Centre zone

Zone Description

The Super Metropolitan Centre is the second highest in the centres hierarchy after the City Centre zone. While the City Centre zone recognises the pivotal role in Auckland’s present and future successes, the Super Metropolitan Centre can also play such a future pivotal role.

More intensive than a Metropolitan Centre in development and catchment but less so than the City Centre Zone, the Super Metropolitan Centre will act as smaller scale complementary regional hub and international centre in: business, learning, innovation, industry, entertainment, retail and hospitality, culture and urban living.

To improve the vibe of the Super Metropolitan Centre environment the zone permits a wide range of activities to establish in most parts of the SMC. The zone also manages activities that have the potential to adversely affect the amenity of the Super Metropolitan Centre. The Unitary Plan enables the second greatest level of development in terms of height and floor area to occur in the Super Metropolitan Centre (behind the City Centre zone). Within the Super Metropolitan Centre (Manukau and Albany) itself, development potential is concentrated in the core central business district. Development potential reduces towards the respective ridgelines (e.g. Redoubt Hill) and transitions to lower heights towards its surrounding flanks (e.g. bordering Papatoetoe, Manurewa/Browns Road, Wiri and Auckland International Airport.

The Super Metropolitan Centre zone manages the scale of development in order to protect important sunlight admission to parks and public spaces, and significant views to the volcanic cones and other landmarks. The significant height and scale of buildings in SMC increases their visibility from many places, affecting the quality of both public and private views at local and citywide scales. In addition to managing the scale of development, the zone manages the quality of building design to ensure new buildings successfully integrate with the SMC’s existing built form and public realm to create an attractive and recognisable skyline.

The Super Metropolitan Centre makes an important contribution to our sense of identity whether it is international, national, regional or sub-regional in sense identity construction.

A Super Metropolitan Centre does have comparisons also with the lower order Metropolitan Centres in acting as hubs for a wide range of activities including commercial, leisure, high density residential, cultural, community and civic services – but also including tourism activities. Super Metropolitan Centres development and activities are more intense level than an existing Metropolitan Centre but not as intense as a City Centre Zone as mentioned above.

In further reinforcement to the urban-scape of the Super Metropolitan Centre while still recognising its higher order hierarchy, the SMC again must have some street frontages within the zone are subject to a Key Retail Frontage or General Commercial Frontage overlay. Key retail streets are the focal point of pedestrian activity within the centre. General commercial streets play a supporting role. Development fronting these streets is expected to reinforce this function. Rules for the overlay are incorporated in the zone rules. New development within the zone requires resource consent in order to ensure that it is designed to a high standard which enhances the quality of the centre’s public realm. This recognises that the Super Metropolitan Centre is a blend of the higher order City Centre zone owing to sense of identity and greater intensity of development, production and catchment; as well as the lower order Metropolitan Centre zone in the fact an SMC still will act as the “sub regional” (as well as wider regional) “place” as well.

In saying that a Super Metropolitan Centre is viewed as a complementary City Centre area in-lieu of the existing City Centre Zone by some as part of their sense of identity attached to the SMC.


Manukau SMC Zone MK2 Will be part of Topic 080 - rezoning
Manukau SMC Zone MK2
Will be part of Topic 080 – rezoning
Renaming the Residential and Business Zones in Manukau and Manukau City Centre
Relief Sort Map Reference Replaces existing Draft Unitary Plan Zone
Super Metropolitan Centre Zone A Metropolitan Centre


  • Other changes sought in above map will be covered in Topics 080 and 081


  1. To serve as complementary to the main City Centre Zone in servicing core parts of the region (Manukau serving Southern Auckland and arguably the northern Waikato, and Albany in time serving the North Shore, Rodney and Northland), as well as reflecting the linear Geography from Auckland.[1]*
  2. The Super Metropolitan Centre is an attractive place to live, work and visit with a 24-hour vibrant and vital business, entertainment and retail areas.
  3. Development in the Super Metropolitan Centres is managed to accommodate growth and the second greatest level intensity of development in Auckland (the City Centre Zone being the first) and New Zealand while respecting its surrounding physical geography features such as hills, volcanoes, streams, lakes and harbours
  4. A hub of an integrated regional (and inter-regional)*[2] transport system is located within the Super Metropolitan Centre and the Super Metropolitan Centre is accessible by a range of transport modes.
  5. Key retail streets are the focal point of pedestrian activity, with identified general commercial streets supporting this role. Malls continue to act as centre anchor points but are retrofitted to incorporate functionality with the surrounding Super Metropolitan Centre rather than operating in their isolation away from the wider surroundings of the Super Metropolitan Centre as they are now
  6. For Manukau Super Metropolitan Centre: Support for the social policy initiatives and approach reflected in the broader Manukau Community and the opportunities the Manukau City Centre derives to support these policies


Land use and development activities
  1. Provide for a wide range and diverse mix of activities that enhance the vitality, vibrancy and amenity of the city centre including:
  2. commercial and residential activities
  3. arts, entertainment, events, civic and community functions
  4. high-quality visitor experiences, visitor accommodation and associated services
  5. learning, teaching and research activities, with a particular concentration in the learning precinct.
  6. Enable a significant and diverse residential population to establish within a range of living environments and housing sizes.
  7. Enable the significant concentration of office activity in Auckland (behind the City Centre Zone) to locate in the Super Metropolitan Centre by providing an environment attractive to office workers.
  8. Provide for a wide range of retail activities throughout the Super Metropolitan Centre while maintaining and enhancing the vitality, vibrancy and amenity of core retail areas within the Super Metropolitan Centre and centres outside of the Super Metropolitan Centre. In particular:
  9. enable small-scale, niche retail to occur throughout the Super Metropolitan Centre
  10. Encourage supermarkets and department stores within metropolitan centres by recognising:
  11. the positive contribution these activities make to centre viability and function, and
  12. Designs that positively contribute to the streetscape and character of their surroundings, having regard to the functional requirements of these activities.
  13. avoid large department stores and integrated retail developments locating outside the core retail area where they would adversely affect the amenity, vitality and viability of core retail areas within the Super Metropolitan City Centre and/or centres outside of the Super Metropolitan Centre.
  14. Support the development of public transport, pedestrian and cycle networks and the ability to change transport modes.
  15. Identify and encourage specific outcomes in areas of the Super Metropolitan Centre that relate to:
  16. distinctive built character; and/or
  17. concentration of particular activities; and/or
  18. activities that have specific functional requirements; and/or
  19. significant transformational development opportunities.
  20. Use framework plans to encourage comprehensive and integrated development of key development sites or precincts in the Super Metropolitan centre.
  21. Recognise the reverse sensitivity effects of the airport flight path can complicate (but not inhibit entirely) residential developments within the Manukau Super Metropolitan Centre.


Super Metropolitan Centre form
  1. Enable the tallest buildings and the greatest density of development to occur in the core Super Metropolitan Centre district (subject to overlays such as the flight path).
  2. Manage adverse effects associated with building height by:
  3. requiring building height and development densities to transition down to neighbourhoods adjoining the Super Metropolitan Centre
  4. protecting sunlight to identified public open spaces and view shafts
  5. requiring the height and form of new buildings to respect the surrounding physical geography form of the Super Metropolitan Centre and the existing established or proposed character of precincts
  6. managing the scale and form of buildings to avoid adverse dominance and/or amenity effects on streets and public open space.
  7. Maximise light and outlook around buildings.
  8. Encourage public amenities to be provided within developments where possible, including publicly accessible open space, works of art and through-site links.


Public realm
  1. Require building and development of the highest quality that contributes to the city centre’s role as an international centre for business, learning, innovation, entertainment, culture and urban living.
  2. Require building frontages along identified public open spaces and streets to be designed in a way that provides a sense of intimacy, character and enclosure at street level.
  3. Enable high quality and interconnected public open spaces that are accessible and provide spaces for recreational opportunities, facilities and events.


  1. Recognise the importance of particular streets identified on the Key Retail and General Commercial Frontage overlay as primary places for public interaction:
  2. by requiring buildings with frontages to these streets to:
  3. provide greater ground floor heights to maximise building adaptability to a range of uses
  4. avoid blank walls

iii. provide easily accessible pedestrian entrances.

  1. and in addition, require building frontages subject to the Key Retail Frontage overlay to:
  2. maximise glazing
  3. erect frontages of sufficient height to frame the street

iii. provide weather protection to pedestrians

  1. avoid new vehicle crossings.
  2. In the terms of the Manukau Super Metropolitan Centre: Recognise and facilitate the fact that the Manukau Super Metropolitan Centre is the “commercial” hub supporting the southern Auckland industrial complex in: Wiri, Takanini, Drury South, Glenbrook, East Tamaki, as well as the rural sector of Southern Auckland and northern Waikato

[1] See Golden Triangle Note on page: 43

[2] See Golden Triangle Note on page: 43


Request to Council

It seems that ACPL through their original Auckland Plan submission (contained in the evidence document), the Otara-Papatoetoe Local Board and myself are all trying to tell the main Auckland Council and the Governing Body the same thing:

Elevate Manukau up in the Unitary Plan and remove the impediments to development the Unitary Plan would cause that Manukau would otherwise be allowed to do in taking increased brunt of urban growth over the next 30 years. Already Council evidence is saying as a neutral stance:

  1. I do not consider that a new zone of the type described is necessary at this stage of Auckland’s development.

Well again I have a CCO, a Local Board and myself basically saying that the new zone as described is necessary NOW at THIS STAGE of Auckland’s development – which will take off once the Unitary Plan is operative.

Place making planning is important to get right. This is my own place making alternative ideas for the Manukau Super Metropolitan Centre
Place making planning is important to get right. This is my own place making alternative ideas for the Manukau Super Metropolitan Centre

So please Deputy Mayor and Auckland Development Committee Chair Penny Hulse reconvene the Unitary Plan or the Auckland Development Committee this week and resolve via Resolution that would state that the Council position on the Super Metropolitan Centres goes from ‘neutral’ to ‘support’ given that (per my primary evidence:

Final Remarks

  1. Finally I go back to the comment from Mr Bonis (point 48.a) that I had placed in bold: “I do not consider that a new zone of the type described is necessary at this stage of Auckland’s development.”

  2. As I see it Auckland Council needs to be very specific on two aspects of that quote for sake of clarity now and for the future of Auckland.
    1. Does the Council support the Super Metropolitan Centre Zone concept (regardless of timing)?
    2. As for timing when would Council consider the Super Metropolitan Centre necessary as part of Auckland’s development?
  3. Given that
    1. the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan falls short in enabling enough capacity for residential dwellings over the life of the Plan and
    2. the potential Albany and Manukau City Centre a Super Metropolitan Centres to not only help fulfil the realisations on the Auckland Plan but remedy some of the development capacity shortfalls noted in this document.
  4. If the Panel does believe a Super Metropolitan Centre zone should be inserted into the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan, may it please the Panel in lieu of Points 58 and 59 above and the evidence provided in this document that an Expert Conference should be facilitated. The expert conference would between mutual parties work through the details including development and notification controls for the Super Metropolitan Centre ready for Council consideration.


That consideration being when the Council adopts the final recommendations next year.