Auckland City Centre and Manukau City Centre. Major Centres and the Auckland Plan Refresh

Auckland Plan Refresh set for consultation


Today at the Planning Committee the draft Auckland Plan Refresh will be approved to go out for consultation next year. The Auckland Plan refresh is a mandatory review of the Auckland Plan that went operative in 2012 top update it to reflect the current circumstances of Auckland. Since the Auckland Plan went live in 2012 things like the City Rail Link progressed and the master planning document – The Auckland Unitary Plan going operative so our Auckland Spatial Plan (the full name of the Auckland Plan) needs a bit of a refresh to match what is going on now.


You can see the full Auckland Plan Refresh inside the Planning Committee Agenda at the bottom of this post.

From the Agenda:

Planning Committee – 28 November 2017

Approval of draft Auckland Plan for consultation

File No.: CP2017/22113


  1. To approve the draft Auckland Plan for formal public consultation.

Executive summary

  1. This report seeks approval of the draft Auckland Plan (Attachment B) for formal public consultation which commences on 28 February 2017.
  2. The draft Auckland Plan has been developed over the course of 2017 under the direction of the Planning Committee.
  3. It has been informed through two phases of engagement with our partners and stakeholders.
  4. An integrated spatial plan, it sets a 30 year direction and addresses the key issues facing Auckland and Aucklanders. This is done through six outcomes that integrate social, economic, environmental and cultural objectives.
  5. As a spatial plan, providing direction on Auckland’s future development, how and where communities form and how infrastructure may be provided to support them to prosper, is critically important to our ability to plan for the future.
  6. The draft plan therefore also contains Auckland’s Development Strategy which sets out where and when development is expected to occur and where investment in infrastructure needs to be made to meet the significant growth that is anticipated.
  7. The draft plan includes maps that identify a range of infrastructure investments required across 30 years. This gives infrastructure funders and providers a basis from which to do their own planning. The first decade of growth and investment is understandably more certain than the following two decades. Monitoring actual on-the-ground growth and development is therefore essential so that informed adjustments can be made as is needed.
  8. Measuring progress is fundamental to successful implementation. The draft plan includes 33 measures which will provide an ongoing evidence base for aligning implementation and the regulatory plans and funding programmes of Auckland Council and other stakeholders.
  9. The refreshed Auckland Plan is digital which will enable the plan to reflect updated data and evidence more easily and therefore remain relevant over time.
  10. The digital plan will be the primary platform for formal public consultation.
  11. This report also seeks approval of theDraft Auckland Plan: Overview (Attachment D). This document provides a summary of the draft plan and will be used to support consultation.
  12. The Planning Committee has previously agreed to a joint consultation process for the Auckland Plan and 10-year Budget 2018-28. The consultation document, including specific questions, will be approved by the Governing Body on 7 February 2018.
  13. Public consultation runs from 28 February to 28 March 2018.


That the Planning Committee:

a)      approve the draft Auckland Plan for public consultation, commencing on 28 February 2018, as shown in Attachments B and C of the agenda report.

b)      approve the Draft Auckland Plan: Overview document, which will be used to support consultation, as shown in Attachment D of the agenda report.

c)      recommend to the Governing Body that there is a question for each outcome and for the Development Strategy in the joint Auckland Plan and 10-year Budget consultation document.

d)      thank stakeholders for their involvement and feedback in the development of the draft Auckland Plan and that this be communicated.

e)      extend the existing delegation of authority to the Chair of the Planning Committee, the Deputy Mayor, the Chair of the Environment and Community Committee, the Chair of the Finance and Performance Committee, and a member of the Independent Māori Statutory Board; to review and approve any final changes and corrections to the draft Auckland Plan for consultation and the Overview document, including visual material under development as part of the digital Auckland Plan; and to review the consultation questions prior to approval by the Governing Body.


Source: The Agenda

Multi Node City


Of note and probably significant note is that the Auckland Plan Refresh is looking at a multi-nodal approach to Auckland’s development strategy. This is compared to in the past where focus was around the City Centre then you had the Metropolitan Centres under that, then the Town and Local Centres and along the way industry might be mentioned – but essentially a single node was the name of the game.


This from the draft Auckland Plan Refresh:

The Multi Node Approach The Auckland Plan Refresh Development Strategy Source: Auckland Council


Albany and Manukau have been included in material before to be considered nodes or Primary Centres in the first Auckland Unleashed document which would become the Auckland Plan in 2012.


ACPL’s submission to Auckland Plan on Centres’ Hierarchy


This however, is the first time I have seen Westgate included as a major node to go alongside Manukau and Albany. If Manukau is the core to Southern Auckland, Albany the core to the North then I can see Westgate supporting the West and North West. Effectively each node supports their sub-region although Manukau has traditionally taken a regional and even inter-regional catchment as Panuku has noted below:




Of further note I dug this gem out about the City Centre and Manukau in terms of output:

Auckland And Manukau
Auckland Plan Refresh
Source: Auckland Council


Now someone has fluffed the GDP numbers but for now we will stick with the 17% and 20% GDP figure for now. Why? Share power in terms of output with the City Centre on commerce and services and Manukau with its industrial complexes. Both underpin strong employment bases and local economies with effects beyond their boundaries. Fluffed GDP numbers aside it does demonstrate the importance Manukau is as the largest and most established node outside the City Centre itself. Along with Albany and Westgate Manukau supports the City Centre rather than competes against it.


This multi modal development strategy is very reminiscent of my Super Metropolitan Centre concept I tried to introduce into the Unitary Plan three years ago.

The Super Metropolitan Centre being:

How the Super Metropolitan Centre Zone Fits in D.3 Business Zones of the Unitary Plan

The following to be inserted into the Unitary Plan to incorporate the Super Metropolitan Centre business zone:

D.3.3 Super Metropolitan Centre zone

Zone Description

The Super Metropolitan Centre is the second highest in the centres hierarchy after the City Centre zone. While the City Centre zone recognises the pivotal role in Auckland’s present and future successes, the Super Metropolitan Centre can also play such a future pivotal role.

More intensive than a Metropolitan Centre in development and catchment but less so than the City Centre Zone, the Super Metropolitan Centre will act as smaller scale complementary regional hub and international centre in: business, learning, innovation, industry, entertainment, retail and hospitality, culture and urban living.

To improve the vibe of the Super Metropolitan Centre environment the zone permits a wide range of activities to establish in most parts of the SMC. The zone also manages activities that have the potential to adversely affect the amenity of the Super Metropolitan Centre. The Unitary Plan enables the second greatest level of development in terms of height and floor area to occur in the Super Metropolitan Centre (behind the City Centre zone). Within the Super Metropolitan Centre (Manukau and Albany) itself, development potential is concentrated in the core central business district. Development potential reduces towards the respective ridgelines (e.g. Redoubt Hill) and transitions to lower heights towards its surrounding flanks (e.g. bordering Papatoetoe, Manurewa/Browns Road, Wiri and Auckland International Airport.

The Super Metropolitan Centre zone manages the scale of development in order to protect important sunlight admission to parks and public spaces, and significant views to the volcanic cones and other landmarks. The significant height and scale of buildings in SMC increases their visibility from many places, affecting the quality of both public and private views at local and citywide scales. In addition to managing the scale of development, the zone manages the quality of building design to ensure new buildings successfully integrate with the SMC’s existing built form and public realm to create an attractive and recognisable skyline.

The Super Metropolitan Centre makes an important contribution to our sense of identity whether it is international, national, regional or sub-regional in sense identity construction.

A Super Metropolitan Centre does have comparisons also with the lower order Metropolitan Centres in acting as hubs for a wide range of activities including commercial, leisure, high density residential, cultural, community and civic services – but also including tourism activities. Super Metropolitan Centres development and activities are more intense level than an existing Metropolitan Centre but not as intense as a City Centre Zone as mentioned above.

In further reinforcement to the urban-scape of the Super Metropolitan Centre while still recognising its higher order hierarchy, the SMC again must have some street frontages within the zone are subject to a Key Retail Frontage or General Commercial Frontage overlay. Key retail streets are the focal point of pedestrian activity within the centre. General commercial streets play a supporting role. Development fronting these streets is expected to reinforce this function. Rules for the overlay are incorporated in the zone rules. New development within the zone requires resource consent in order to ensure that it is designed to a high standard which enhances the quality of the centre’s public realm. This recognises that the Super Metropolitan Centre is a blend of the higher order City Centre zone owing to sense of identity and greater intensity of development, production and catchment; as well as the lower order Metropolitan Centre zone in the fact an SMC still will act as the “sub regional” (as well as wider regional) “place” as well.

In saying that a Super Metropolitan Centre is viewed as a complementary City Centre area in-lieu of the existing City Centre Zone by some as part of their sense of identity attached to the SMC.


Source: Unitary Plan submission 2014


In any case will be interesting to see how the Committee handles the Refresh today and how it will look when it comes out for consultation next year.



The Planning Committee Agenda – November 28, 2017