Minimum car parking rules removed

Last Updated : 03 Mar 2022

Auckland Council has today, 11 February 2022, amended the Auckland Unitary Plan to remove minimum car parking requirements for developments across the city, as directed by central government.  

The government has changed how councils nationwide can provide for on-site car parking, one of a number of new requirements set out in its National Policy Statement on Urban Development (NPSUD).

The NPSUD directs all New Zealand councils to remove minimum car parking rules from their planning documents by 20 February 2022, except for accessible, or mobility, car parking which councils can still require.

John Duguid, General Manager Plans and Places, says the council is required by law to implement the NPSUD.

“To meet its statutory deadline, we updated the Auckland Unitary Plan on 11 February 2022 to remove requirements for on-site car parking to service new and existing housing and business developments.

“The council will provide for accessible parking as part of a plan change in August 2022.

“The government has also directed us to make these changes without a statutory plan change process, meaning without public consultation or any decisions required of the council.

“Over the past year, many councils across the country have already made these changes including cities like Wellington and Hamilton. In Auckland, we already have no requirements for on-site car parking in certain places where there is a high frequency of public transport.

“However, these requirements have been removed for new developments anywhere in the city and the council can no longer require developers to provide on-site car parking. This doesn’t stop on-site car parking being provided by choice, but those decisions will be made by landowners and property developers.

“Existing developments required to have car parks as conditions of consent need to apply for a variation to the consent under the RMA to remove any required on-site carparks, ”says Mr Duguid.

Additional Plan Change investigations

To ensure future developments without on-site car parks are well-designed, safe, and accessible for people, Auckland Council is looking into other potential changes to the Auckland Unitary Plan.

“We’re currently investigating our own changes around having appropriate access for residents, pedestrians and emergency services, on-site bicycle and micro-mobility parks, facilities for on-site pick-up, and for drop-off and loading”, says Mr Duguid.

“Also, where developers choose to provide off-street parking, we’re looking into new rules for providing electricity connections to install smart chargers for electric vehicles.

“The council will consider how it moves forward with these potential changes in the first half of this year, before decisions on wider changes to the Auckland Unitary Plan in August 2022.”

Auckland Transport reviewing its Parking Strategy

The removal of parking minimums and the effects this could have for on-street parking across Auckland are being considered by Auckland Transport as it updates its Parking Strategy for the first time since 2015.

Auckland Transport’s Head of Integrated Network Planning Andrew McGill says Auckland’s roads exist to keep people moving around our city, so it’s important they don’t get clogged up by becoming de facto storage yards outside new developments.

“We’re currently revising our Parking Strategy to ensure increasing demand for on-street parking doesn’t bring our streets to a standstill and get in the way of people travelling around our city, whether that’s on a bus, a bike, or in a car,” Mr McGill says.

“It’s fantastic to see so much development happening across our city, but it’s important that we strike the right balance so that this progress doesn’t get in the way of us making meaningful progress on improving the transport network Aucklanders rely on to get around each day.

“Aucklanders will soon be able to have their say on our draft Parking Strategy, which will include a wide range of changes to help us better manage parking across our city for the next decade.”

AT is expecting to consult on its draft Parking Strategy and associated parking plans in April, pending approval from its Board and Auckland Council’s Planning Committee.

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