Inside ‘The Auckland Plan 2050’

Publish Date : 14 Feb 2022
Auckland Plan Main Image Resize

‘Do you have a plan?’ It’s a fair question.

The answer is yes. Auckland has a long-term plan called The Auckland Plan 2050 [PDF]. It is the city’s blueprint which aims to ensure Tāmaki Makaurau grows well, meeting the opportunities and challenges of the future.

It is underpinned by six outcomes which were developed through extensive consultation with Aucklanders:

  • Belonging and participation - All Aucklanders will be part of and contribute to society, access opportunities, and have the chance to develop to their full potential.
  • Māori identity and wellbeing - A thriving Māori identity is Auckland’s point of difference in the world – it advances prosperity for Māori and benefits everyone.
  • Homes and places - Aucklanders live in secure, healthy, and affordable homes, and have access to a range of inclusive public places.
  • Transport and access - Aucklanders will be able to get where they want to go more easily, safely and sustainably.
  • Environment and Cultural Heritage - We preserve, protect and care for the natural environment as our shared cultural heritage, for its intrinsic value and for the benefit of present and future generations.
  • Opportunity and Prosperity – Tāmaki Makaurau is prosperous with many opportunities and delivers a better standard of living for everyone.

Our approach to growth: Create a quality compact city

Auckland is taking a quality compact approach to growth and development. A compact Auckland means future development will be focused in existing and new urban areas within Auckland's urban footprint, limiting expansion into rural areas.

By 2050, most growth will have occurred within this urban footprint, particularly focused in and around:

Benefits of focusing most of our growth around urban centres

  • Allows for more homes to be built in places where people have good access to jobs, shops, public transport, parks, and schools – so more Aucklanders can live closer to the everyday things they need and want.  
  • It allows more housing choices from a greater variety of new homes, such as apartments and townhouses, giving Aucklanders more options to live in the places they want without being pushed to the outskirts of the city.
  • It provides greater productivity and economic growth with more people and customers living closer to jobs, goods and services
  • Better infrastructure can be provided and maintained as the cost of building rail, roads, stormwater systems, parks, and schools is less per household, which results in a higher overall level of service
  • Living close to urban centres and to jobs and education means Aucklanders will drive shorter distances and spend less on travel, reducing urban sprawl, congestion and greenhouse gas emissions. 
  • It supports faster, more frequent public transport services and more options to walk or cycle to access jobs, services and education, improving people’s health and lifestyles
  • It brings more vibrancy and diversity to the city with more people, shops, restaurants, and events, and creates a strong sense of place and community.

Residential growth in rural areas will be centred on the two rural nodes of Pukekohe and Warkworth. Some growth is anticipated in the smaller towns and villages. Limiting residential growth in rural areas will maintain their values and support ongoing rural production. For more information on this visit the Auckland Plan 2050.

Progress so far

In 2016 through the Auckland Unitary Plan (the planning rulebook that goes hand in hand with The Auckland Plan 2050) we made major changes to encourage the right growth in the right places. This is the progress so far:

  • Enabled over 900,000 new homes to be built within Auckland’s residential areas alone, of which around 650,000 are commercially viable
  • Opened up more opportunities for housing. 88 per cent rise in dwellings consented annually since 2016
  • Enabled more variety in the types of houses that can be built in urban areas, and this type of housing is in high demand. Consents for higher density dwellings (townhouses, units and apartments) increased by 170 per cent in 2020/2021 compared with the 2016/2017 year. Over the same period consents for stand-alone houses only grew by 34 per cent.
  • Auckland is leading the way. High density housing in Auckland accounts for 62 per cent of the homes we are now consenting, compared with only 30 per cent across the rest of NZ.

In the future, we will have the opportunity to add to this plan based on changes that are made through the NPS-UD to the way Auckland grows.


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