Auckland Council to adopt new Development Contributions policy

Publish Date : 27 Apr 2023
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Auckland Council’s Governing Body has agreed to adopt an amended development contributions policy from 1 June 2023.

Development contributions help recover a portion of the costs of the infrastructure required to support growth in Auckland and ensure developers contribute to the cost of infrastructure that they create the need for and will benefit from.

Our current policy only seeks to recover from developers the share of the costs of infrastructure we will deliver in the next 10 years. The amendment is to recover the costs of infrastructure in Drury that will be delivered over the next 30 years, from all the development that will occur over that time.

Auckland Council Manager Financial Policy, Andrew Duncan says the new policy is designed to strike a balance for both ratepayers and developers.

“Drury is planned to grow to a city the size of Napier over the next 40 years. We need to make plans now to deliver the infrastructure to connect Drury to the rest of Auckland and provide future residents of Drury with the same access to parks and community facilities as other Aucklanders.

“We plan to gradually deliver this infrastructure over the next 30 years. Our need to invest is driven both by development happening now and that which we expect to happen over the coming decades.

“While we considered continuing with the current focus on the investments we plan to deliver in the next 10 years, this would not fairly reflect the full scale of the investment required. By making this change we also provide greater certainty for developers, landowners and other infrastructure providers.

“Without recovering a share of the costs from early developers, our ability to deliver future investment will be at risk and greater demands will be placed on future ratepayers across the rest of the region.”

Using the Drury-Ōpaheke area as an example, government and council investment in infrastructure over the next 30 years is estimated at around $4.2 billion. This includes transport, water, wastewater, community facilities and parks to support growth in the area. The development contributions will recover around $1 billion of this.

Transport is the key element with $3.3 billion of investment planned for a public transport system based around connection to the rail network. The council’s $1.6 billion share of the transport investment will provide connections to the rail stations, including bus lanes and active modes, with the government developing the two Drury rail stations and upgrading State Highway 1.

Watercare has provided for $223.5 million of water and wastewater investment in the 10-year Budget 2021-2031. Requirements for additional water and wastewater investment will be established as development proceeds. Stormwater investments are dependent on location and form of development and will also be confirmed as development progresses.

The council plans to invest $524 million to provide 43 new parks across the Drury-Ōpaheke area, requiring 32.4 hectares of land. A single, multi-purpose facility, forecast to cost $183 million, is also planned for 2039 that will house a community facility, leisure centre, library and a local pool.

Long-term approach for development infrastructure

The amendment supports the council’s long-term approach towards demand for new infrastructure by matching investment with that growth.

In December 2021, the council agreed to apply this approach to the Investment Priority Areas (IPAs) identified in the 10-year Budget 2021-2031.

With Drury as the first step, future areas include the inner northwest, CRL stations and Auckland Housing Programme areas – Tāmaki, Mangere, Northcote, Oranga and Mt Roskill.

“While the focus of this policy change and consultation is on the growth area of Drury-Ōpaheke in Auckland’s south, it gives an indication to other areas where we’ll be looking to apply this longer-term approach,” says Andrew.

“This infrastructure needs to be funded one way or another – either by the taxpayer, the ratepayer or the developer. We think it is fair that developers pay an appropriate share.”

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