Planning Committee (March 28) Digests. Decision on Mooring Dolphin

Busy agenda for a busy Auckland


From Auckland Council:

Committee supports inner dolphin for cruise berths

The decision on the best option for berthing large cruise ships went before the Planning Committee today, with councillors providing in principle support to an inner dolphin as the preferred option of the Auckland Council Group and Ports of Auckland.

A resource consent will be lodged once all technical work has been finalised.

Also discussed were the first plan changes to the Auckland Unitary Plan and updating the Implementation Plan of the Auckland City Centre Masterplan.

On the Auckland City Centre Masterplan, Councillor Chris Darby, Planning Committee Chair, said that there is an inevitable tension between the success and the blossoming of the city centre over the last five years and the efficient access required to it.

“A love affair has arisen with the city centre amongst Aucklanders who are visiting in huge numbers. It’s become a place to linger, reside, celebrate and feel ownership of and so it has got to be a place that is more enlivened by people on its streets.

“We have got to connect people to the city centre and it can’t be by private motor vehicle as in the past and we have got to be drawn back to the vision and goals of the City Centre Master Plan in 2012 which are still the visions and goals of this council in 2017”, Mr Darby says.

The agenda is available on Auckland Council’s website and minutes will be added once confirmed. This meeting was also webcast on the council’s website and items are available on demand.

Items 1-8 are administrative items, excluding public input which is summarised below. There was no local board input.


Item 5: Public Input

Sir Stephen Tindall, Julie Stout, Richard Didsbury and Shane Vuletich presented to the committee on plans for waterfront planning.

Mr Vuletich spoke about the need to realign current waterfront plans with the latest thinking from the Port Future Study and that Auckland needs a 50-year, long-term waterfront plan based on a future where the port has been relocated.


Item 9: Engagement approach and proposed options for the Auckland Plan Refresh

The committee approved a streamlined spatial plan refresh approach that addresses Auckland’s biggest challenges to make it more strategic, integrated and focused on spatial issues. It will be a substantially smaller document than the existing plan and will be digitally accessible.

Also approved was a process of early targeted engagement with communities from May to June 2017 on Auckland’s big issues and on the high level strategic direction of the refreshed Auckland Plan.


Item 10: Auckland City Centre Masterplan Delivery and Implementation Progress Update

With population growth and increases in public transport use occurring faster than expected, an update to three projects within the City Centre Master Plan is required.

The projects include:

  • Victoria Linear Park and Midtown East–West Public Transport
  • Quay Street Harbour Edge Boulevard and Hobson Street Flyover
  • Queen Street – Issue Identification and Project Implications.

The Committee reiterated its support for the vision set out in the City Centre Master Plan including the outcomes and targets of that vision, and the three transformational moves in the current implementation plan – The Green Link (connecting Albert Park, Victoria Park, Auckland Domain), The Harbour Edge Stitch (Quay Street Harbour Edge), The Engine Room (Queen Street valley, CBD, and retail district).


The committee also endorsed the proposed approach for updating the Implementation Plan of the Auckland City Centre Masterplan for the three projects, reflected by the three key transformational moves.


Item 11: Waterfront Planning and Implementation

The Committee was informed that a targeted refresh of the Waterfront Plan is under way, focusing on development of Wynyard Point and optimising the use of the central wharves.

As part of decisions on the waterfront that are required more immediately, the committee gave its in principle support to an inner dolphin off Queens Wharf, as the preferred option of the Auckland Council Group and the Ports of Auckland, for berthing large cruise ships in Auckland. This is subject to further technical work and risk assessment undertaken by the Auckland Harbour Master and all consent approvals being obtained.

The total capital cost of the inner dolphin will be $10 million paid by Auckland Council and recovered through cruise ship passenger levies imposed and collected by Ports of Auckland. 

The inner dolphin will be in place for the 2018/19 cruise season. The Waterfront Plan will come back to the Planning Committee for consideration later in 2017.


Item 12: Update on Panuku Work Programme

Panuku Development Auckland provided an update on their work programme with the committee endorsing Avondale as an “Unlock” location – where Panuku facilitates development opportunities for private sector investment in town centres.

A High Level Project Plan will come to the Planning Committee later in the year for approval.


Item 13: Onehunga High Level Project Plan

The committee adopted Panuku Development Auckland’s High Level Project Plan for the transformation of the Onehunga town centre and surrounding area. The focus is on developing a more attractive town centre while retaining its heritage character and connection to its environment, including the Manukau Harbour.

More information is available on OurAuckland and on the Panuku website and a copy of the High Level Project Plan is attached to the committee agenda item on the council website.


Item 14: Submission on Draft Government Policy Statement on Land Transport

The committee approved the council’s submission on the Draft Government Policy Statement on Land Transport which is the key Government strategy guiding transport investment decisions across New Zealand, including Auckland over the next 10 years.

A copy of the council’s submission is attached to the Planning Committee agenda on the council website.


Item 15: Northern Corridor Improvements Project – Political Reference Group and Delegations

The committee approved of extending delegations for council’s Northern Corridor Improvements Project – Political Reference Group so it can provide direction and decisions on council’s position that may arise during the Board of Inquiry hearings on the New Zealand Transport Agency project.


Item 19: Auckland Unitary Plan (Operative in Part) – Future Plan Changes and processing of Private Plan Changes

A report was presented to highlight possible future council initiated plan changes to the Auckland Unitary Plan and the Committee approved the criteria for dealing with private plan changes over the next two years.

Private plan changes must meet the criteria outlined in Resource Management Act. To guide the consideration of private plan change requests over the two years following the Auckland Unitary Plan becoming operative in part, additional criteria are recommended. This includes alignment with key strategic documents and plans such as the Future Urban Land Supply Strategy and the Auckland Plan.

If a private plan change does not meet the criteria it will be rejected. If the criteria are met and the private plan change has merit it will be brought to the Planning Committee for further decision-making.


Item 16: Draft Whenuapai Plan Change – Approval and Public Engagement

The committee approved of public consultation on a draft Whenuapai Plan Changethat will allow for the implementation of the Whenuapai Structure Plan, approved by the council in September 2016. Public consultation will occur from 10 April to 14 May 2017.


Item 17: Development of Plan Change to Auckland Unitary Plan (Operative in Part) and the Auckland Council District Plan (Hauraki Gulf Islands Section): Sites of Significance to Mana Whenua

The committee approved of the council engaging with mana whenua and landowners on 270 nominated sites of significance to mana whenua as the next step to preparing a plan change to the Auckland Council Unitary Plan. 

The 270 sites have been nominated by mana whenua because of their cultural and historical importance as part of a wider Māori Cultural Heritage Programme between council and 19 mana whenua groups under way since 2014. Existing planning rules arguably do not adequately protect these sites.

The next step is early engagement with mana whenua and landowners on the sites themselves and the nature of any planning rules. The committee will be updated on the outcome of engagement and on accurate mapping of the sites before proceeding with a statutory plan change for further consideration early next year.

More information is on OurAuckland.


Item 18: Auckland Unitary Plan (Operative in Part) – Assessment of errors to produce the first two administrative plan changes

The committee agreed to develop two Administrative Plan Changes – one to correct errors, anomalies and technical details to the text and maps within the Auckland Unitary Plan and the other to correct errors in the notable tree schedule.

The first Administrative Plan Change will correct errors that are the result of mistakes on the part of Auckland Council and/or discrepancies between what was recommended by the Panel and what was carried over to the Auckland Unitary Plan.

Correcting errors will not affect the overall intent of the policies or rules within the Auckland Unitary Plan.

The Notable Trees Schedule will undergo a review to ensure information and maps are correct with a draft Administrative Plan Change completed in 2018 for further consideration.

The committee also requested a comprehensive review of tree protection under the Auckland Unitary Plan as part of the Auckland Council tree schedule and report back on prioritisation and timeframes.



And yes it seems some Councillors are quite surprised at Auckland is still maintaining the ‘high population’ growth trajectory after going on that we should be scaling back and planning for ‘moderate growth’. The mission is to make sure our infrastructure keeps up.


6 car passenger train at Manukau Station