A plan for Auckland’s growth  

By Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse

Last Updated : 18 Dec 2015
A plan for Auckland's growth 2

Auckland’s population is expected to reach at least 2.5 million people over the next 30 years, placing huge pressure on our existing housing, transport and other infrastructure. 

One of the key goals of the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan (PAUP) is to make sure Auckland is ready for this growth. It is about planning for the future by making much smarter use of existing urban land, as well as opening up some new land for development. 

The Unitary Plan has clear guidelines and significantly raises the standard of the quality of design the council expects of any new development.

Here are some of the key ways the PAUP will help to make Auckland a more liveable city: 

  • By providing more land outside the existing urban area, and making better use of land within our metropolitan area, people will have more housing choices – from standalone homes, to townhouses and apartments - providing more affordable housing in a greater variety of areas. 
  • By locating more housing developments in and around town centres, more people will be able to live close to frequent public transport routes and stations. A lot of young people and retired people want to live where they can give up their car, and are close to public transport and vibrant town centres. Others will want to live further out to enjoy more green space. A great liveable city will give them a range of options. 
  • By balancing growth with protecting the things that make Auckland a great place to live, such as historic heritage and character buildings and neigbourhoods, natural heritage areas and views to, and between, Auckland’s iconic maunga (volcanoes). 
A plan for Auckland’s Growth_mixed suburban
Example of housing in a mixed housing suburban zone.

Hearing panel to make recommendations 

The Unitary Plan has been in development for three years.  Over 11 weeks in 2013 about 21,000 pieces of feedback were received during Auckland’s most extensive consultation and deliberation period on the draft plan followed by close to 10,000 public submissions on the PAUP over a five month period.

And there is still a long way to go before the Unitary Plan is finally decided. The council is currently making decisions on its proposed positions on a range of planning matters to put before the Auckland Unitary Plan Independent Hearings Panel. 

The panel is a statutory body appointed by the government and independent of the council. It hears submissions, reviews evidence, conducts hearings and will make recommendations to the council about any changes it thinks should be made by July 2016. In some cases, these recommendations may be different to what the council proposes. 

Final decisions will not be made by Auckland Council until at least August 2016, These will be debated in public and the council will publicly notify its decisions.  

When complete, the Unitary Plan will be Auckland’s one set of planning rules to guide its growth in a more balanced way than ever before.

You can find the council’s preliminary zoning maps here, or visit our overview section to find out more about the PAUP. 

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