Those #UnitaryPlan Maps. What is Happening – UPDATED

Rezoning changes released for submitters review before Hearing next year


The Auckland Council has taken a more unusual step in releasing some of its evidence for a Unitary Plan Hearing topic ahead of time. Technically the Council was not due to release the zoning maps until late January next year as part of its evidence to the Independent Hearings Panel for Topics 080 and 081 which cover the rezoning topics.

However, due to high public interest and to give submitters like myself time to go over the new zoning maps the Council has today released those maps into the public domain. You can get to the high-resolution maps here: Council publishes preliminary zoning maps


Central Isthmus Auckland Chamberlain Golf Course is towards the top left corner
Central Isthmus Auckland
Chamberlain Golf Course is towards the top left corner


The Rezoning Exercise

After reviewing submissions and factoring in relevant Interim Guidance from the Unitary Plan Hearings Panel the Council has released the revised version of the zone maps which affect (in this case) the spatial applications of the Residential and Business Zones.

Council stated in a sit down earlier today that while the spatial applications of the Business Zones have not changed much (some Light Industry was flipped to Mixed Use Zone near the Centres) there have been larger changes to the spatial applications for the Residential Zones.


Below is a breakdown of the extent of the changes to the spatial applications of the Residential Zones:

Zone % of Total Area in the notified version of the Unitary Plan – 2013 % of total area as Council will take the Hearings for Topics 080 and 081 in 2016
Terraced Housing and Apartment Zone 5.39 5.93
Mixed Housing Urban Zone 10.91 16.89
Mixed Housing Suburban Zone 43.75 43.82
Single House Zone (inside the RUB) 31.13 25.62
Large Lot (Inside the RUB) 8.82 7.74
TOTAL 100.00 100.00

Note: In most cases with the upzoning an area with for example Single House Zone would have been upzoned one-step to the Mixed Housing Suburban Zone. There are a few cases where their might have been two or three-step upzoning.

Source: Auckland Council


Quick Facts with the Rezoning Exercise

  • Over 75% of the total urban residential zoned land in Auckland is restricted to one or two storeys (8 metres) (so through the Large Lot, Singe House and Mixed Housing Suburban Zones
  • The main change that has been known for a while is the increase in the spatial application of the Mixed Housing Urban Zone while there is a reduction of the Single House Zone.
  • The increase in the Mixed Housing Urban Zone across urban Auckland allows for more housing choices as dwellings can go up to three storeys or 12 metres. The MHU will be found within a “moderate” distance of a Metropolitan Centre, a Town Centre or a frequent public transport network such as the Southern (rail) Line
  • This zone change is aligned with Unitary Plan’s Regional Policy Statement


Out of Scope Changes and Submissions

The business of out of scope changes has flared up recently with some Councillors running around as recently as yesterday (Councillors Leading City Residents up the Garden Path Over the #UnitaryPlan). While what those Councillors were trying to pull was illegal Out-of-scope changes are not usually made as they can be struck down in the Environment Court quickly. However, as it has been pointed out today there could be Out-of-scope changes made to zone spatial applications owing to:

  • Council taking a new preliminary position based on analysis of 4,000 submissions that mentioned rezoning (such as mine)
  • There have been cases of zone changes made where their has been no public submissions made on that change owing to:
    • Achieve constant planning outcomes and allow alignment with the Unitary Plan objectives and avoid spot zoning and inconsistencies in the planning outcomes which would have the Environment Court even more cranky
  • The legislation governing the Unitary Plan processes (this case the Local Government Act) does not allow for further submissions (so simply put you should have submitted in the first place back in 2013 even in support of the original zone your property was on)
  • The Independent Hearings Panel DOES HAVE the statutory power to include or disallow ANY out-of-scope changes in the recommendations it will make to Auckland Council on changes to the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan in July 2016


From Our Auckland to further explain

Changes to zoning

Some changes to zoning have been made where no submissions from the public have been received.

These ‘out of scope’ changes are proposed based on the Independent Panel’s guidance and best practice planning to ensure the overall objectives of the PAUP are met and to avoid ‘spot zoning’, where submissions can lead to inconsistent zone changes within some areas resulting in haphazard development across Auckland.

The release of the preliminary zoning maps does not allow the council to open up the opportunity for a further round of submissions. The submission process is set out in special legislation established by the government for the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan and submissions to that closed in February 2014.

But the Independent Hearings Panel has the statutory power to consider ‘out of scope’ changes in its recommendations to the council on the PAUP in July 2016. Final decisions on zoning, and other planning matters, will not be made by the council until at least August 2016.

The council will submit its evidence on zoning to the Independent Hearings Panel on 26 January 2016, with hearings being held from March to April 2016.

You can find council preliminary zoning maps here and if you have any questions relating to these maps, please



I will post the fact sheets tomorrow as well as any other information that has come about since today. Below is a selection of the revised zoning maps that Council will take to the Hearings next year:


The Isthmus including the City Centre





The South including Manukau City Centre and Manukau (the suburb)







Takapuna and Milford