Tag: Auckland Plan Committee

Unitary Plan Updates – Day 3.1

An Update from Auckland Council


From Auckland Council on the last three days of Unitary Plan proceedings

Council progresses towards Proposed Unitary Plan 

Councillors and local board chairs have wrapped up the first three days of decisions on changes to the draft Unitary Plan. 

Key parts of the plan, including residential zones, affordable housing, business zones, parking, the Port and the City Centre were covered at the meetings. Changes were discussed for each topic and the majority of issues resolved. 

Residential zones were the major focus of the discussions. Decisions were reached on all of the residential changes except for one proposal regarding greater flexibility for density on sites larger than 2,500 sqm in the Mixed Housing Suburban Zone, which will be revisited next week. 

Auckland Plan Committee Chair, Penny Hulse says “We have had three days of robust debate, discussions and decision-making. The involvement of the local board chairs has been extremely valuable in these discussions and I am pleased with the progress we’ve made.” 

Some of the key changes decided at the Auckland Plan Committee meetings included: 

  • Further reclamation for the Port to be a non-complying activity and a stage 2 study to be undertaken
  • Require all residential development of 15 or more dwellings to include at least 10% of dwellings as retained affordable housing
  • On 1200 sqm (or more) sites in the Mixed Housing Suburban Zone, a maximum of one dwelling for every 200 sqm
  • Residential developments of five or more houses will require a six star Homestar energy rating
  • Primary and secondary schools will now have a special purpose school zone


Additional Auckland Plan Committee meetings will continue next week to discuss the remaining issues on the agenda.



Due to the prolonged debate over the Residential Provisions thanks to the now defeated Councillor Hartley/2040 Auckland amendments to the Mixed Housing Zone, we have an extra two days of Unitary Plan proceedings. They are as followed (subject to any other possible updates:

Monday 2 September

The proposed issues for discussion are as follows:

  • Historic Heritage and Special Character
  • Zoning
  • Heights in Centres
  • New Growth
  • Rural

Thursday 5 September:

The Auckland Plan Committee meeting is likely to continue into Thursday 5 September. All remaining issues will be discussed.


I will not be at either of those proceedings at this point and time. However, where possible I will keep an eye via the All About Auckland video feed as I did yesterday.

My own commentary on Day Three’s proceedings will be posted tomorrow.



Unitary Plan Updates – Day 2

We Finally Move on from Residential Provisions


Two days later the Auckland Plan Committee finally got through Recommendations A-E, V, and W. Effectively 7 out of 69 recommendations have been passed since yesterday.

What happened on those two days? Some rather shameless (or is it shameful) politicking and lobbying via the now defeated Councillor Ann Hartley-slash-Auckland 2040 lobby group’s amendments. If some of the more dangerous ones passed, they would have held Auckland back towards 1950’s style planning for the next 30 years. There were a few amendments though that were needed to clear things up in which the planners supported any how (these were not wrecking amendments though). Councillor Hartley’s amendments had effectively grounded down the Auckland Plan Committee into spending two full days covering residential provision. The Committee has not even started yet on such topics as:

  • The Rural Urban Boundary
  • Business Zones and The Centres
  • Social and Physical Infrastructure
  • Port of Auckland
  • Heights in some centres


Despite what some representatives and others might think, I hold the liberal view that through defeating these amendments Auckland has stepped one bit closer a more liberalised planning framework. What does that mean? For every control the conservatives lug onto the Unitary Plan whether it be: 80m2 minimum backyards in the Mixed Housing Zones, minimum parking on the Terrace Housing/Apartment Zone and Mixed Housing Zones, minimum lot sizes (so opposite unlimited density in certain circumstances) and so on is a cost to the developer that is passed on to the end-user – the resident.

Furthermore the planning disasters we have had in Auckland are actually owing to two things:

  • The Building Act reforms of the late 90s and early 00’s which led to the leaking housing disaster
  • Over Planning (too many controls) which as an example led to the shoe box apartments we see in the city today

And so if the cost has to be passed on from the developer to the end-user what do we get? Housing Affordability and Choice out of reach even further for everyone, not just Anglo-Saxon nuclear families.

Now I do advocate quality urban design via the Auckland Design Manual and solid building of dwelling (such as treated timber, eaves, and good heating and ventilation of the house interior). But I will not advocate controls that interfere with a freer market to deliver the choices and price ranges to every single person whether they are in a collective or nuclear family living in Auckland. Controls as seen in Councillor Hartley’s amendments that were defeated today, and Councillor Brewer’s parking amendments that also need to be defeated.


I do give my absolute congratulations for Councillor George Wood for his reasoning, logic and sanity in voting down those Auckland wrecking amendments. Thank you George for allowing us to bring Auckland slowly out of 1950 to the 21st Century.


I have decided to be at tomorrow’s proceedings as the Councillors pass the recommendations on:

  • The Business Zones (including the Metropolitan, Town and Local Centres)
  • The City Centre which includes Port of Auckland
  • Social and Physical Infrastructure


Live Tweets and updates will occur as they happen.

Oh one last thing:

“Any urban plan thicker than one’s thumbnail length will fail and cost the city due to the said plan’s over complex nature which makes it beyond comprehension.”

Controls add to the thickness of an Urban Plan…

Remedy? DIET!



Talking Auckland: Blog of TotaRim Consultancy Limited

TotaRim Consultancy
Bringing Well Managed Progress to Auckland and The Unitary Plan

Auckland: 2013 – YOUR CITY, YOUR CALL

Unitary Plan Updates – Day 1

Long and Only One Actual Decision Made


If I was to give a one line summary of Day One of the Unitary Plan proceedings it would be this:

Elect Councillors who know how to give 30 second speeches. Anything beyond that is always irrelevant dribble stuck on a Merry-Go-Round with the Emergency Stop Button busted.

Okay a bit more than a single line but the sums up yesterday after only one major resolution (out of a few pages worth (which I will stick up in a moment)) was passed and we have only two days left.

I will not be present at Day Two of the Unitary Plan proceedings today. I will be on TotaRim business in Manukau today advancing the Manukau Super Metropolitan Centre concept with potential stakeholders. Tomorrow I might be back at Town Hall depending on today’s outcomes both in Manukau and at Town Hall. However, if Councillors are that damned slow in getting through the recommendations I might consider Friday a write off entirely and go do something else.


So what did we get out of Day One? Well two three things.

Starting with Councillor Brewer’s shameless motion to effectively kill off the three day proceedings and stall it until November 30. This was his motion which he tried to get through but failed on a vote of 6-15 (and thankfully):

My amendment by 15 votes to 6:


Brewer/Fletcher: “That the Auckland Plan Committee delays its decision until November to approve the notification of an amended  draft of the Auckland Unitary Plan to allow the local body elections to conclude, and to give the newly publicly mandated second term council the opportunity to review and seek advice, and to allow the wider community and stakeholders more time and input on the latest revised changes and significant new information still emerging.”


The 6 that voted for this were: Brewer, Fletcher, Lee, Stewart, Quax and one other (but can’t be seriously bothered digging that up).


Once that shameless motion was defeated soundly the Committee moved onto Residential provisions in the Unitary Plan – which we are still on as I write this very post today.

Basically what the Councillors are trying to do is get through all these recommendations (embedded below) so that the Unitary Plan can be decided on September Five whether to be notified or not.

These are the recommendations the Auckland Plan Committee are trying to get through:


The only recommendations that passed yesterday were the following:

  • A
  • B
  • L – which was amended to allow 10% “affordable” housing in a Greenfield development area – not the original 7%. It is to note that the amendment only passed on a vote of 11-9


For more “fast” updates check my Taking Auckland Facebook page or @BenRoss_AKL Twitter link. There is really no point doing a 5000 word post on giving the breakdown of yesterday’s proceedings believe me. Not unless you want to share my utter pain of being stuck on a Merry-Go-Round stuck on fast with the emergency button busted…


In saying this with Day Two, I will be keeping tabs on the live video feed and will Tweet happenings as they happen – if they happen today. The live feed can be found here http://www.allaboutauckland.com/


Oh one thing seeming we are dealing with the Residential provisions in the Unitary Plan. I have a copy of all of Councillor Ann Hartley’s amendments to these residential provisions in the Unitary Plan. Councillor Hartly seems to have done a total U-Turn on her stances – owing most likely to being “influenced” by lobby groups possibly like Auckland 2040. I will get the amendments up today on Scribd for your viewing ASAP.


More Unitary Plan Updates and documents will be posted later today and tomorrow. However Manukau business must be attended to.


Talking Auckland: Blog of TotaRim Consultancy Limited

TotaRim Consultancy
Bringing Well Managed Progress to Auckland and The Unitary Plan

Auckland: 2013 – YOUR CITY, YOUR CALL




Unitary Plan – The Final Countdown

VOAKL Reporting Live

Morning Auckland and beyond


NOTE; The Tracked Changes and Clean Version of the Amended Unitary Plan is over 600MB in size. This makes it hard to upload easily. However, I will have them up and notify you when I do.



Today starts the three day super marathon where the Councillors and the Independent Maori Statutory Board begin the final decisions on the Draft Unitary Plan. These decision will solidify the next version of the UP that will go to the Governing Body on September 5. At that September 5 meeting the Council will decide either:

  • A date on formal notification (which at the minimum can be four weeks after the Governing Body meeting itself)
  • Send the Unitary Plan back to the Auckland Plan Committee for further refinement

VOAKL will be reporting Day One live as it happens via both the blog and Facebook/Twitter.

I also have a copy of the 7000 pages of tracked changes that the Committee will be going through over the three days that I will be using to follow this line by line. I will try to get the 7000 pages up later tonight.

Comments and thoughts can be left in the comment box below. I will be moderating if required (so be civil).


Final Meeting before the Super 3-Day Run

Elected members meet for final Unitary Plan workshop


From Council

The Auckland Plan Committee today met for the final draft Unitary Plan workshop before decisions are made later this week. 

A legal overview and the draft Section 32 analysis, which is an evaluation of the process undertaken during the development of the plan, were discussed by councillors and local board chairs. 

Auckland Plan Committee Chair Penny Hulse says “Today was important in order to give elected members confidence that the plan has been tested and evaluated from a legal perspective and in accordance with the RMA.” 

Elected members were also taken through the process that follows notification including the submissions phase, engagement with Aucklanders on the notified plan, and information that will be provided to the public to explain the changes and assist with submissions support. 

The Auckland Plan Committee will start making decisions on changes to the draft Unitary Plan on Wednesday this week.



Still waiting on those 7000 pages of Tracked Changes before Wednesday so I can at least follow line by line what the Councillors are going through when making decisions on the Unitary Plan.

Again; I will be there all three days reporting live from Town Hall as the Council grinds its way through the formal decisions that will set the draft Unitary Plan ready for September 5 – and arguably formal notification.



Here We Go – The Unitary Plan

Final Countdown until September 5


September 5 is when the Governing Body of Auckland Council will formally decide whether to set a date for formal notification of the Unitary Plan (lead-in time will be four weeks if so) or, have the draft sent back to the Auckland Plan Committee for more refinement.


But yes, the final countdown is on with August 28-30 being the three days where the Auckland Plan Committee sets the decisions that will make up the draft Unitary Plan for September 5.

From Auckland Council:

Decisions to be made on Unitary Plan changes 

Next week councillors will make decisions on changes to the draft Auckland Unitary Plan before it is notified for public submissions.

 Changes to the plan are based on approximately 22,000 pieces of feedback received from individuals, businesses, community groups and experts, when the plan was released as a draft for 11 weeks of informal engagement. 

“Councillors together with our local board chairs have attended 22 Unitary Plan workshops in the last eight weeks to discuss issues raised by Aucklanders and to consider where changes were needed,” says Auckland Plan Committee Chair, Penny Hulse. 

“This extensive process has involved many hours of discussions and debate and we have come a long way towards resolving most of the big issues. The Auckland Plan Committee meetings are the next step in the process, where councillors will make formal decisions on the changes and a recommendation on notification.” 

Councillors have received a report outlining all key changes as well as an amended version of the draft Unitary Plan. This information is also now available to the public on Auckland Council’s website as an attachment to the Auckland Plan Committee agenda. 

The Auckland Plan Committee meetings will run from Wednesday to Friday next week (28-30 August).



Of course I will be there all three days reporting live from Town Hall as the Council grinds its way through the formal decisions that will set the draft Unitary Plan ready for September 5 – and arguably formal notification.

The Council website containing the agenda and Section 32 Analysis (required by the Resource Management Act 1991) can be found HERE.

The agenda thus far can be found in the embed at the bottom of this post.

I have also requested a copy of the amended version of the Draft Unitary Plan that the Councillors will be discussing over the three-day period. It is formidable in size but I will see if I can upload it somehow for your viewing too.

The Agenda



Talking Auckland: Blog of TotaRim Consultancy Limited

TotaRim Consultancy
Bringing Well Managed Progress to Auckland and The Unitary Plan

Auckland: 2013 – YOUR CITY, YOUR CALL


Updates and Coming Ups

All Go as we march towards September 5


Things are “quiet” at the moment as we head towards September 5 – the day when the Governing Body (Council) either: sets a date for formal notification for the Unitary Plan or sends it back to the Auckland Plan Committee for more refinement after the elections (October 12).

Prior to September 5 though we have the final Auckland Plan Committee meetings to be held 28-30 August. These meetings will formally decide what from the 7000 pages of “tracked changes” made to the Unitary Plan goes into the next version of the UP that will be decided for notification. Of course I will be at the Auckland Plan Committee meetings running live commentary as the proceedings happen. Also once I receive a copy of the tracked changes I will see if I can upload it for those who wish to view it.


While we wait for all this to occur, feel free to brush up on the latest in the run up to September 5. As we call for level heads as the Councillors make these big decisions, a reminder what is at stake can be seen in these two posts:


The Congestion Free Network

Mayor Len Brown has met with representatives from Generation Zero and Auckland Transport Blog to discuss the overall narrative of the Congestion Free Network alternative (to the 2012 Integrated Transport Program). You can read ATB’s report on it here: Len Brown and the Congestion Free Network

Talking Auckland is supportive of this move and will be keeping a close eye on this as preparations are made for the 2015 Integrated Transport Program. Of course I wonder if they should be adding a line to Manukau from the south as the South Link continues to build momentum. The report on the South Link is due around November and I will be keeping tabs with Auckland Transport as time draws nearer.


Manukau Super Metropolitan Centre

Work continues to advance on restoring the love in Manukau. TotaRim and stakeholders are working together in preparing to draw up plans to present to Council on both the “theory” and “practical” fronts.

The theory front is getting the Super Metropolitan Centre definition inserted into the Unitary Plan. This is important for two reasons. First reason is that the SMC definition has wider implications to the city and allows Albany to be upgraded to that definition when they are ready to do so. The second reason is that the definition gives weight to the emphasis on social planning as well as physical planning. No point building a grand physical city centre if people identify it negatively now is there.

As for practical, this mean getting an Area Plan drawn up for Manukau and to be executed through the life of the Unitary Plan.

Updates will be posted as they occur with this being the most recent: Continued Advancement with Manukau and Southern Auckland


This brings to a close this round of updates. Talking Auckland will post the tracked changes of the Unitary Plan if possible to do so as soon as I receive a copy.