Southern Auckland and the #UnitaryPlan Recommendations

South does pretty well on all fronts


Yesterday the Unitary Plan recommendations along with the revised maps came out.

For the recommendations and map links see:


From Auckland Council:

Auckland Council publishes final recommendations on Auckland Unitary Plan 

Auckland Council today published the recommendations provided by the Independent Hearings Panel on the new planning rulebook for Auckland, the Auckland Unitary Plan.

The Panel’s report sets out detailed recommendations on the final shape of the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan, notified by Auckland Council in September 2013.

The recommendations take into account over 13,000 submissions, 10,000 pieces of evidence and 249 days of hearings over the past two years.

Decisions on the Panel’s recommendations will be made by the council in meetings open to the public from 10 to 18 August, with the decisions publicly notified on 19 August.

The Unitary Plan aims to provide a single set of rules to manage how Auckland’s housing and infrastructure develops over the coming decades. It will also ensure that future growth is balanced with enhancing and protecting the things Aucklanders value most like our historic heritage and natural environment.

Auckland Council’s Director of Regulatory Services, Penny Pirrit said: “From our initial assessment, it’s clear that the Panel has endorsed and retained much of what was included in the council’s proposed Unitary Plan, along with many aspects of the evidence presented by the council and other submitters at hearings.

“Overall, the Panel recommends that growth within Auckland’s urban areas be focused around town centres, transport hubs and corridors, along with an expansion of the Rural Urban Boundary to open up more new land for development as the city grows.”

Among the many issues covered, the Panel’s report includes recommendations that the Panel says aim to:

  • Focus urban growth on centres, transport nodes and corridors to achieve a quality compact urban form.
  • Retain the Rural Urban Boundary but expand it to include 30 per cent more land and enable it to be changed by private plan changes.
  • Enable a development pattern to meet demand for the next 30 years and double the feasible enabled residential capacity to exceed 400,000 dwellings.
  • Ensure sufficient capacity for the next seven years.
  • Enable the growth and development of new or existing rural towns and villages.
  • Provide live residential and business zonings for some developments on the edge of existing urban areas.


The full set of recommendation reports and the Panel’s recommended version of the Unitary Plan is available to view at

The Panel has also provided the council with maps which represent its recommendations in relation to rezoning, precincts, the location of the Rural Urban Boundary and the extent of the overlays. These maps are available through the council’s GIS viewer.\



From the initial lowdown out of yesterday’s Unitary Plan briefing:

  • Reports on:
    • Capacity modelling which was pinged hard by the Hearings Panel in the Topic 013 Regional Policy Statement – urban growth hearings
    • The Rural Urban Boundary
    • The Zones
    • Rest of the 58 topics
  • Panel believes of objective policies with the Unitary Plan
  • Unitary Plan has been reformatted with a new Infrastructure chapter
  • Unitary Plan still goes on Auckland Plan’s compact city ideals
  • Panel recommends that the 60:40 Brownfield : Greenfield development split per the Auckland Plan
  • Most of the PAUP is endorsed by the Panel
  • Key change: spatial extent of the zones
  • Panel has clearly highlighted with their recommendations what was from In and Out of Scope evidence
  • Need to read the recommendations ALONGSIDE the Recommended Auckland Unitary Plan (RAUP)
  • Capacity Modelling
    • Based on a measurement rather than a forecast or limit
  • Panel has removed the Metropolitan Urban Limit 2010 references and uses existing urban area as of 2010
  • Panel seems to have juggled the spatial extent of the zones to allow over-supply of dwellings through to 2040. Panel rather prefers an over-supply of housing and supporting infrastructure. Council had been dead against this with infrastructure being in surplus mode
  • Panel has recommended to allow 422,000 dwellings rather than 400,000 as Council had written in its plans
  • Panel has also recommended more Future Urban Zone be flipped to live urban zones fast as possible
  • Residential Zones remains as is
  • Greater Spatial application of the Terraced Housing and Apartment Building and Mixed Housing Urban zones
  • Walking Catchment changed from 200-400m to 800 metres
  • No Density Controls remain as in PAUP as well as the Mixed Housing Suburban Zone
  • Minor Dwellings allowed again in Single House Zone
  • 47% increase in the Mixed Housing Urban Zone applications across the City
  • 25% increase in the THAB zone applications across the City
  • Increase in General Business Zone (used for large format retail)
  • Manukau City Centre Metropolitan Centre Zone to be expanded taking in the Manukau Supa Centre which was originally General Business Zone
  • Southern Auckland to have its General Business Zone reduced for expansion of Local Centres and the Manukau Metropolitan Centre Zone
  • Increase in Countryside Living Zone especially in the North West
  • More Future Urban Zone especially in Southern Auckland
  • Parking Minimums removed from:
    • City Centre
    • Metropolitan Centres
    • All Centres
    • Mixed Use Zone
    • Terraced Housing and Apartment Zone
  • Pre 1944 Overlay recommended to be removed
  • Framework Plans not to be needed



This is what the Independent Hearings Panel had recommended in terms of increasing residential dwelling supply:

Unitary Plan New Dwellings Source: Auckland Council
Unitary Plan New Dwellings
Source: Auckland Council


While the Isthmus takes a lot of rezoning with more Mixed Housing, and Terraced Housing and Apartment Zones added through the area South Auckland has also had some large-scale rezoning done as well.

Business Zones and Future Urban Zone expand in Southern Auckland

The main large-scale rezoning I saw with Southern Auckland had to do with the Business Zones and the Future Urban Zone in the deep south. That said there was still some large areas upzoned in the residential department as well with Mangere being upzoned from Mixed Housing Suburban to Mixed Housing Urban, Terraced Housing and Apartments and an expansion of the Mangere Town Centre zone.



The rezoning of Mangere does make the Airport heavy rail Line via Otahuhu more viable with intensification in the Mangere area being able to support the line and two of the stations that Line would have going to the airport. The Otahuhu to Airport Line case was also strengthened in an Auckland Transport report out earlier last year stating it is more viable to build the Dominion Road Light Rail Transit line from the City Centre to State Highway 20 with the Mt Roskill heavy Rail Spur following SH20 up to the Western Line.  The suggestive run pattern would be the Mt Roskill Spur to the Western Line near Avondale, then on to the City Rail Link, Newmarket, Otahuhu and finally the Airport. I will go into this in another post.


Back to the Unitary Plan the Manukau Metropolitan Centre zone was expanded west to incorporate the Manukau Supa Centre, Bunnings and Mitre 10 sites:

Unitary Plan recommended Manukau
Unitary Plan recommended Manukau

Also seen is the return of Terraced Housing and Apartments to just south of State Highway 20 as well as Mixed Housing Urban in the Rata Vines area. Housing New Zealand and my own request for THAB right through the Wiri residential area was declined and the area stayed Mixed Housing Suburban.


More Heavy Industry zone has been applied to both Wiri and Takanini thus increasing industrial capacity of the South. The Puhinui Gateway area south of SH20B to the Airport has been flipped to Future Urban Zone in anticipation of a Plan Change to allow that area to go to Light or Heavy Industry within the next ten years. The Future Urban Zone was also extended east of Alfriston, Takanini and Papakura as well. Pukekohe by the looks of it has more Future Urban Zone as well as more live urban zones than what was in the 2013 proposed version of the Plan.


I will post further updates on the Recommended Unitary Plan as I work my way through it.


In the mean time reports from the Panel concerning the City and the South


RUP – Topic 013 – Regional Policy Statement


Rural Urban Boundary, Rezoning and Annexure



The Recommendations



Planning Source: Auckland Council
Source: Auckland Council