What the unitary plan means for your neighbourhood

Last Updated : 07 Sep 2016

Read the latest on the Auckland Unitary Plan decisions.

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Final decisions on Auckland Unitary Plan - 15 August

A historic moment in New Zealand planning history and a new landmark for Auckland’s future has been reached today (15 August) with final decisions completed on the Auckland Unitary Plan.

The council’s governing body made its last decisions on the recommendations from the Independent Hearings Panel following four days of decision-making.

The next step will be public notification of the council’s decisions on Friday 19 August followed by a statutory 20 working day period for limited appeals, which closes on Friday 16 September.

Today’s milestone means that, after four years of work, Auckland now has a new single set of planning rules to manage the city’s future growth. The plan will provide for more housing and infrastructure that will be balanced with the protection of Auckland’s heritage and natural environments.

Key decisions made by the council means the new Auckland Unitary Plan will provide for:

  • More than 400,000 new residential  homes to meet the demands of Auckland’s growth over the next 30 years.
  • Expansion of the Rural Urban Boundary to open up more new land for development as the city grows, with flexibility to move the boundary through private plan changes.
  • A more compact city with opportunities to build more homes in the existing urban area of two to three stories, and up to six stories close to town centres and transport hubs.
  • A focus on high quality urban design, including the requirement for a resource consent for more than three dwellings on a site that complies with urban design rules and a minimum size for apartments.
  • Protection of our historic heritage with approximately 120 additional historic places scheduled, as well as the retention of protection of 74 volcanic viewshafts.
  • Managing our rural areas so that rural activities are the primary focus.

Auckland Mayor Len Brown said the decisions on the Auckland Unitary Plan were passed with a high level of goodwill.

“My colleagues are to be applauded for their positive manner, as is the public for allowing us the space to deliberate accordingly. We now have a very finely balanced plan which will ultimately deliver for the benefit of Auckland.  I also salute the outstanding professionalism of council staff.”

Penny Hulse, Deputy Mayor and Chair of the Auckland Development Committee, has led the bulk of the unitary plan process. She thanked communities across the region who had taken part in the process and have been involved since the draft and proposed plans were notified in 2013.

“Without a doubt, this is the biggest exercise undertaken by Auckland Council since its inception and it simply couldn’t have happened without the drive and passion from everyone involved.

“Without them, we would not have the plan we have today – a plan that will help grow and shape our incredible city in decades to come,” says Ms Hulse.

The end of the council’s decision-making process is a critical milestone in the four-year process which involved extensive public consultation, hearings, evidence review and decision-making.

Close to being decided - 10 August 

Auckland Council's Auckland Development Committee (ADC) has voted to move decision-making on the unitary plan directly to the council’s governing body.

The Auckland Unitary Plan is close to being decided. The Auckland Development Committee will consider the Independent Hearings Panel’s recommendations and then make recommendations to the council’s governing body, which will finalise the decisions.

To assist the council in its decision-making, council staff have undertaken a full review of the panel’s recommendations and recommended to the council which of the panel’s recommendations to accept or reject. Read the report (PDF)

What you need to know

The unitary plan: A very simple guide 

A timeline of the Auckland Unitary Plan

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