Consultation closing on proposed changes to Auckland’s planning rulebook

Have your say by midnight Monday 9 May

Publish Date : 05 May 2022
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Auckland Council is encouraging all Aucklanders to have their say on some proposed changes to the city’s planning rulebook – the Auckland Unitary Plan before public consultation closes this coming Monday 9 May.

The council is currently seeking public feedback following central government’s new requirements for more housing across the city at greater building height and density. This is available at

The government’s changes include apartments of six storeys or more within walking distances of Auckland’s city centre, 10 large metropolitan centres and around Auckland’s train and busway stations and more medium-density housing of up to three storeys across almost all Auckland suburbs.

Councillor Chris Darby, chair of the Planning Committee, is urging all Aucklanders to give feedback before consultation closes on Monday 9 May.  

“Aucklanders care about and have strong views on housing in our city, and we want them to help us understand if we’re on the right track with the limited decisions we can make.

"While most of the government’s changes are mandatory, the council’s decisions will be crucial to shaping how our city grows to meet the housing needs of current and future Aucklanders.

“It is a key opportunity for everyone to inform the council’s proposed changes to the Auckland Unitary Plan before a draft plan change is decided,” says Councillor Darby.

Councillor Josephine Bartley, deputy chair of the Planning Committee, says: “It is vital that all our diverse communities across Auckland make their voices heard about how our city grows in the future.

"These changes will directly impact how we allow for more housing and more choices for all people in communities across our whole city.

“This is one of the most important consultations Auckland Council is holding this year. There’s still time to submit feedback and I encourage everyone to have their say.”

The 3 key topics

Auckland Council wants to know what Aucklanders think about three key proposed changes to the city’s planning rulebook – the Auckland Unitary Plan. These include:

The size of the walking distances (or ‘walkable catchments’) where building heights of six storeys or more must be enabled

We are proposing a 15-minute walking distance to the city centre (around 1200 metres) and a 10-minute walking distance (around 800 metres) to our 10 metropolitan centres, places like Newmarket and Manuaku, and around Auckland’s train and busway stations.

Where additional intensification can occur around suburban town and local centres and what the building height and density limits should be

We are proposing to enable more townhouse, apartment, and terrace housing around a number of Auckland’s larger town and local centres that have good access to public transport - up to 200 metres around large local and smaller town centres and up to 400 metres around large town centres. These include places like Mangere East, Meadowbank, Milford, and Hunters Corner.

Some proposed exemptions to limit building heights and density in some areas

Central government allows some exemptions for its mandated three and six-storey building heights, called ‘qualifying matters’. 

We are proposing some ‘qualifying matters’ that the council has identified as relevant and important for Auckland. These are the characteristics within some areas that may allow the council to limit building heights and density, which include some areas of special character value.

How to have your say

The consultation is currently open and will close at midnight on Monday 9 May 2022.

We are encouraging all people to give feedback online at by completing an online feedback form. They can also view consultation documents, translated material, and further information.

Alternatively, people can also scan and email a completed hardcopy feedback form and email it to

Next steps

Following consultation, feedback will inform the council’s proposed plan change to the Auckland Unitary Plan, which must be publicly notified by 20 August 2022.

This will be an important second opportunity for people to have their say on the council’s proposed plan change.

As required by the government, an Independent Hearings Panel will consider all public submissions, hear from submitters, and then make recommendations to the council on changes to the Auckland Unitary Plan.

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