Council Rebuttal Evidence for Centres Zones In. Case of Inter-Regional Planning Needed? #nzpols

Bit of a loss here folks

Yesterday in my Question: Should the Unitary Plan Take Into Account Inter-Regional Matters? #AKLPols I asked:

Do we via the Unitary Plan ignore all those commuters from Pokeno and Huntly coming to work in Auckland or do we factor them in?


The question basically comes down to transport and integrated land use planning.

The reason why I asked the question was the Council’s Rebuttal Evidence against my Super Metropolitan Centre zone for Manukau and Albany was somewhat odd.

This is what they had to say through their planning consultant Matthew Bonis:


Manukau – Super Metro

  • 10.1 Mr Ben Ross (Ben Ross, 1606) has pursued his submission that the Manukau Commercial centre be rezoned as a ‘Super Metropolitan Centre Zone’ and a suite of objectives, policies and rules be inserted into the Unitary Plan to manage growth in the centre. The central premise is that Manukau (and Albany131) should be afforded greater regional and inter-regional prominence, than the current position as contained in the Metropolitan Centre tier of the commercial hierarchy.
  • 10.2 I have read Mr Ross’s evidence in its entirety. I do not agree with his proposition. I retain my views as expressed at paragraphs 10.8, 10.9, 10.32 to 10.34 of my EiC.
  • 10.3 Principally, I reiterate my EiC paragraph 10.34, that there is no appreciable benefit in the proposition. The Ross approach would not in my view: better give effect to the provisions of B3.1; would increase the extent of complexity in the plan provisions; inappropriately be predicated on servicing markets outside the region132 with resultant transport and retail distribution inefficiencies; and is unnecessary in terms of providing for additional commercial growth133.


The numbers in text can be seen in the evidence documents either via links provided or the embeds below.


Okay Mr Bonis’s 10.3 in his Rebuttal Evidence is odd given what I wrote in return in my Primary Evidence rebutting that.

Bonis’s 10.34 was:

10.34 The addition of a further tier of centres that are equivalent to that of the city centre is unjustified given the primacy of the Auckland CBD as the dominant location for commercial employment, diversity of activities and economic activity. Inserting a new classification between the city centre and metropolitan centres would not aid in the clarity of land use provisions and likely blur the distinctions between the centres hierarchy for no appreciable benefit.



Unless I have missed something this is what I said in reply to 10.34 (I will have my primary evidence at the bottom of this post for referencing):

  1. Thus 10.34 of Mr Bonis’s evidence against a further tier of Centres in the proposed Unitary Plan[1] in my opinion is redundant for two reasons:
    1. Again the Super Metropolitan Centre was not designed to lift a Metropolitan Centre to the level equivalent of the main City Centre Zone. The Super Metropolitan Centre sits as an independent hierarchy although its objectives and policies are blended from both the City Centre Zone and the Metropolitan Centre Zone. However, that said given the unique geography, form and function (including social function such as Manukau being part of the Auckland Plan Southern Initiative[2]) of the Super Metropolitan Centre(s) the Objectives and Policies do incorporate specifics such as:
      1. 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[3]

 The Super Metropolitan Centre like Parramatta as Sydney’s second Central Business District is designed to be complementary to their respective main City Centres not compete against it. Again this is due unique geographies of the Super Metropolitan Centres like Parramatta on offer and should be utilised to full potential. In regards to blurring distinctions between a Super Metropolitan Centre and the City Centre, if that is going to happen that is because a Metropolitan or Super Metropolitan Centre has evolved over time to act more like the City Centre Zone. If that does happen let it and plan around it. But from what Council is saying in 10.34 it seems they are trying to shimmy or rather box the Centres into artificial boxes set by the Unitary Plan rather than allowing a Centre to evolve naturally (if it does).

[1] Point 22.c – Page 11 of this document (quoted)


[3] Page 55 – Object 6



So I am not sure what Mr Bonis is quite getting in the first part of his 10.3 rebuttal.

Manukau development sites Land owned by Auckland Council
Manukau development sites
Land owned by Auckland Council

As for the rest I am wondering what the Planners are thinking here. That said they have reiterated their 10.9 in Primary Evidence again which states:

  • I do not consider that a new zone of the type described (the Super Metropolitan Centre) is necessary at this stage of Auckland’s development.

But it is 10.3 from Mr Bonis’s Rebuttal Evidence that has me post perplexed here. He states that the Super Metropolitan Centre “inappropriately be predicated on servicing markets outside the region” 

Okay did we all miss this very crucial part from then Auckland Council Property Limited now Development Auckland when they wrote this to for the Auckland Plan:

1.2 Auckland Hamilton Growth Corridor

  • Over the next 20+ years, the corridor that links Auckland and Hamilton will provide a strong opportunity to harness economic growth in the north of the Waikato and the south of Auckland regions.
  • As a continuation of Section 2.1.1, it is suggested that this growth corridor and the Provincial Towns located in this corridor are a critical element of Auckland’s growth strategy. This corridor should be strongly and formally recognised in the Auckland Plan. It provides the basis for a future “conurbation” encompassing South Auckland and North Waikato regions.
  • Auckland’s economic and population growth must have an interest in, and relationship with, the Waikato and its primary agriculture base as it is so essential to the New Zealand economy. Auckland needs to recognise the opportunity that Auckland’s proximity to the Waikato, as the engine room of New Zealand’s leading industry of international scale and quality (i.e., dairy, agriculture and biotechnology), will provide in the future. There is significant opportunity for Auckland in the economic involvement, support and servicing of this industry.
  • Auckland will benefit from this (as will the Waikato) in economic returns as much as in the opportunity that such a corridor presents to accommodate future growth in the South Auckland/Northern Waikato “super region”.
  • The significant existing investment in rail, road and broadband infrastructure between Auckland and Hamilton also offers significant opportunity for Provincial Centre development along this major transport corridor. Further investment in this corridor may yield large gains for Auckland and relieve pressures elsewhere within the system. The relative merits of leveraging this infrastructure against alternate transport and economic investment is at least worthy of consideration in the next 2-5 years.
  • There is a significant opportunity to provide both residential and business land and to accommodate a material number of businesses and residents over the next 20-30 years.
  • Pokeno and areas south of Bombay are considered to be attractive to the market and the southern growth corridor should consider carefully the impact and importance of such areas.
  • With the main New Zealand market and economy located in Auckland and to the south, vacant land supply south and the connections to primary transport make the Auckland-Hamilton corridor a critical factor that warrants recognition and close consideration in the future.


Source: My primary evidence as embedded below (page 18)

It provides one of the main reasons for the Manukau Super Metropolitan Centre. A primary centre that both complements the main City Centre while servicing its core region which in Manukau is South Auckland as part of the Auckland region. But at the same time looking at the South Auckland/Northern Waikato super region mentioned above the Manukau Super Metropolitan Centre as it stands is in the best position to service this “super region” or conurbation.

And with more residents living in northern Waikato towns and commuting into Auckland including Manukau now and in the future then I suggest Auckland Council take a serious look at the situation right now. Because as I will stress on Monday at the Unitary Plan Panel:

The Manukau Super Metropolitan Centre does in part (but not entirely) predicate on servicing markets OUTSIDE the Auckland region given where more residents are living (the Northern Waikato), working (often Southern Auckland), and would utilise facilities provided by the Manukau City Centre – Super Metropolitan Centre that acts as a Primary Centre hub for the South Auckland/Northern Waikato super region!

Have I missed anything folks?

My Primary Evidence

2 thoughts on “Council Rebuttal Evidence for Centres Zones In. Case of Inter-Regional Planning Needed? #nzpols

  1. Did Bonis really shoot himself in the foot there? Is he actually aware there is a world outside the Auckland CBD?

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