Unitary Plan Interim Guidance: Air Quality. Conclusion? More Heavy Industry Zone Needed

I wonder if Council was overreaching with Air Quality Controls through the Unitary Plan


The latest Interim Guidance from the Unitary Plan Panel while is on Topic 035 – Air Quality it does have effects to Topics 080 and 081 which deals with all the rezoning in the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan especially the industrial zones.

In summary from the Unitary Plan Panel:

Topic 035 Air Quality – released 6 October 2015

  • Air quality in the region should be kept at the same levels or improved, i.e. not allowed to get worse.
  • Most adverse effects on air quality come from motor vehicles and domestic fires which can’t be dealt with under the RMA.
  • Controls to reduce emissions should be commensurate with the extent of the effects and recognise the benefits that industry provides to the region.
  • The overlays proposed in the Plan are not supported.
  • More land should be zoned for heavy industry.
  • Industries discharging contaminants to air should be located within the heavy industry zone.

Read the full interim guidance here: 035 Air Quality (PDF 172KB)


It seems reading the Guidance we have two things in play:

  1. The overlays were overreaching into areas that should not be through the Unitary Plan as this would contravene the Resource Management Act itself
  2. More Heavy Industrial Zone placement is needed which is a given that we are short on that sort of zoned land anyhow. It also seems the Unitary Plan Panel is warning the Council against any perceived anti-heavy industry bias it might have given that the big five heavy industry complexes are significant economic and job generators especially for Southern and West Auckland.


On another topic the Council Rebuttal Evidence for the Unitary Plan Residential Zones is out. Time to take a look what they have said before the Hearings in a week’s time.