#AucklandPlan2050 Passes and Goes Live. Now to Node Frameworks, ‘Targets’ and Parks

18 months of work, 18,000 submissions, 300 major changes and 100% success rate!


18 months of work, 18,000 submissions, 300 major changes and 100% success rate from my submission – that was the journey of the Auckland Plan 2050 that passed the Planning Committee today (with four dissenting votes) and goes live updating Auckland’s spatial plan from our first – 2012 version.


From Auckland Council:

Aucklanders shape the city’s future direction

Published: 5 June 2018

Following significant levels of public interest, Auckland Council has adopted the Auckland Plan 2050.

The plan sets the direction for Auckland’s growth and development over the next 30 years, responding to the key opportunities and challenges faced by Auckland.

More than 18,700 written submissions were received on the draft Auckland Plan 2050, and more than 5000 people attended feedback events during the formal consultation in March.

“The level of interest in the Auckland Plan shows how deeply engaged Aucklanders are when it comes to the future of their city,” says Planning Committee Chair, Councillor Chris Darby.

“The Auckland Plan 2050 focuses on the critical issues that we and our children will have to deal with over the next 30 years – the unprecedented pace of population growth, how housing and infrastructure needs are met, ensuring that our prosperity is shared among all Aucklanders, and dealing with the increasing pressures on our stunning environment, not least being climate change.

“Community feedback and ongoing discussions with central government helped inform the final plan, ensuring the Auckland Plan 2050 provides a robust framework for our approach to a somewhat uncertain future.”

The first Auckland Plan was adopted in 2012 with a commitment to review it after six years.

“Since the first plan, we’ve seen significant change in Auckland. It’s vital that our refreshed plan reflects these changes, keeping up to pace with the lives of Aucklanders now, and anticipating the challenges of the coming decades,” said Cr Darby.

Early engagement identified better housing, reinventing transport and a healthy natural environment as the fundamental issues for Auckland’s future.

Feedback in March has led to the development of a new ‘quality of life’ focus area and changes in the timing and number of areas for development. Transport outcomes now reflect the 2018 update of the Auckland Transport Alignment Project (ATAP), a partnership between central government agencies and the council.

Next steps

“The confirmation of the Auckland Plan 2050 and the 10-year Budget 2018-2028 is the culmination of eight years of integrated planning for Auckland’s future. Auckland Council is the only regional authority to undertake planning on such a detailed and long-range scale,” said Cr Darby.

“The work isn’t over. An implementation framework will follow later this year, along with a set of targets and priorities. This enables us to move into a massive ‘build-it decade.”

Using a new, digital-first approach, the Auckland Plan 2050 will be website-based, available by August 2018.

Read the report to the Planning Committee.


Source: Our Auckland


I wrote on the Auckland Plan 2050 earlier this morning especially around the Development Strategy which the Councillors were very silent on today (but commented on everything else possible even though the Development Strategy dictates the rest of the Auckland Plan, the Unitary Plan, and the Long Term Plans). You can see that write up here: The #AucklandPlan2050 – Tracked Changes and a Plan Looking Very Good (Submissions DO Work).


In it I wrote:

My main points were around the Development Strategy:

  1. Reinforcing what the Nodes where and why they are there
  2. Targets for transit (also fell into transport category)
  3. Nodes should have a 30 year Development focus not a Year 1-3 focus (especially as the Manukau node has Transform Manukau within it and is a thirty year program)
  4. Transit Orientated Developments needed to be mentioned
  5. Better references to the northern Waikato with inter-regional spatial planning
  6. Manukau node is a regional node (even inter regional) not a sub regional node
  7. Population Growth and dwelling builds needing to be reset back to one million extra residents (not 720,000) and 400,000 new homes (not 320,000) and the National Policy Statement on Urban Development Capacity ignored by Council and revoked by Government
  8. Parks policy stunk (still does) and need to be binned and rewritten from scratch (too much focus on centralised destination parks and not enough local parks)
  9. Transport projects and their timing (which the Auckland Transport Alignment Project “solved” after the submission was sent in anyway)

How many “wins” did I get from the list above?

Taking the NPS UDC out of the mix (as the Government needs to handle this one) I got a 7/8 or 87.5% “win” rate of my submission points (except the Parks rewrite) being “executed” into the Auckland Plan 2050. For me this is brilliant news and it demonstrates submissions and advocacy can and does work in our democratic institute. The ‘Targets’ point (there was quite strong feedback from others like Greater Auckland) is being sent away to be drawn up with in coordination with Central Government given they are partners with things like Housing and the ATAP. Transport given the ATAP is taken as a win as the Southern Airport Line sits in Decades 1 and 2 (with advocacy to get it all into Decade 1 like the Northern Airport Line) and Mill Road is also a go.



Updating what happened in the Planning Committee today INCLUDING the NPS Urban Development Capacity the success rate went to 9/9 – a perfect 100 from 7/8 yesterday. That is because the Parks policy (it was brought up yesterday in the media and by Councillors Hulse and Newman today) will be subject to an extensive review sooner rather than later. Meanwhile it was said today that if Auckland’s population did surge the Growth trajectories would automatically move to a higher level rather than sit and stall waiting on a decision. That flexibility allows immediate movement in investment without any cumbersome “bureaucracy” snagging it. For now I’ll take this until the Housing Commission Urban Development Authority is established.

The point of the above? To show grandstanding Councillors Wayne Walker, John Watson, Mike Lee and Greg Sayers that communities and individuals do get involved and they do get good wins. The South was the biggest winner with the Auckland Land Transport Alignment Program, the biggest winner out of the Auckland Plan 2050 especially with the Manukau Node and will be the biggest benefactor along with the west in the upcoming Open Spaces/Parks review. How? Less whinging and grandstanding, more heads down and doing the yards. And if you are wondering setbacks happen – it is how life roles.


So with all that the Auckland Plan 2050 is live. Now to get the Targets in and the Manukau Node Framework developed!



Roads AP2050
Source: Auckland Council


Public transport RTN Proposal AP2050 final
Source: Auckland Council