Auckland Unitary Plan video transcript (PDF 26KB)
Like all successful cities across the world, Auckland is growing. This growth brings challenges, as well as opportunities, as we work towards achieving our vision of becoming the world’s most liveable city. We need to protect and enhance what already makes our region great, while facing up to what’s needed to make it even better.
The Unitary Plan will be the rulebook that shapes the way Auckland grows. It will determine:
- what can be built and where
- how to create a higher quality and more compact Auckland
- how to provide for rural activities
- how to maintain the marine environment.
It will help to create a stronger economy, more affordable housing, better design in our buildings and public spaces and consistent protection of Auckland's heritage, harbours, volcanic cones (maunga), environment and character.
It will be the key tool in delivering The Auckland Plan and managing growth through initiatives such as The Rural Urban Boundary.
Auckland's predicted growth is one million people over the next 30 years. This means that more than 600 people per week will be born, move here or come back for the opportunities and quality of life Auckland offers.
With proper planning and quality development, we can make the region stronger, prouder and more vibrant.
The Auckland Unitary Plan will replace the 12 existing district and regional plans, many of which are already more than 10 years old. It will also be online and easier to use – saving time and money.
Have your say
We want as many people as possible to have their say on the Unitary Plan, so
Auckland can grow in the way we all want.
You can have your say, both online and in your local area up until 31 May
Ways to have your say:
- Fill in the
feedback form - this is the way to have your say if you have detailed or
specific feedback on the draft plan
- Come to an event
- Leave a comment on our Shape Auckland blogs
- Tweet @aklcouncil using the hash tag #shapeauckland
- Leave a comment on our Facebook page.
Your feedback will be used to develop the proposed plan that will go out for
formal notification later in the year.
Note comments via the Shape Auckland blogs and social media will count for
this consultation but will be summarised and reported on in general not
responded to on an individual basis.
Frequently asked questions
A: The Auckland Unitary Plan is one of the key tools to implement the Auckland Plan, which provides the strategic direction of how and where the city will grow and develop over the next 30 years.
Following consultation and public hearings, the Auckland Plan was finalised in May 2012.
A: The Auckland Unitary Plan will contain policies and controls for what you can and cannot do on your property and how the region's natural resources can be used.
It will cover things such as whether or not you need a resource consent (i.e. planning approval) to build a house, make alterations or demolish a building. It will also identify protected heritage buildings and trees, and other features of Auckland’s environment that need to be protected, and determine what you can do on or with our water resources (i.e. streams, lakes and the sea).
A: When completed, the Auckland Unitary Plan will be published as a plain English, easy-to-use online tool on the council’s website to simplify searches for the rules applying to your property and to provide you with guidance on applying for a resource consent where you need one.
A: Yes, Local Boards play a key role in the development of the Unitary Plan. Local Boards have an important role identifying and communicating the views, local impacts and issues facing their communities to the governing body. The governing body must consider the Local Boards' views on the Auckland Unitary Plan. Local Boards will lead engagement on the Unitary Plan with their communities.
A: A political working party is guiding the draft Auckland Unitary Plan and recommendations are being made to the Auckland Plan Committee and the governing body of Auckland Council.
A: The Auckland Unitary Plan will look to provide greater consistency across the region, while recognising local characteristics as reflected in the Auckland Plan, and local place-based planning initiatives which will help apply the Auckland Plan at a local level.
|Stage one: to August 2012
||Direction setting and development of draft provisions|
|Stage two: August - November 2012
||Local Board and stakeholder input to development of draft plan|
|Stage three: March - May 2013
||Engagement with public on a draft plan|
|Stage four: May - August 2013
||Prepare proposed Unitary Plan for Council decision to notify|
|Stage five: from September 2013
||Statutory consultation on proposed Unitary Plan|
A: Under the Resource Management Act the Unitary Plan must be reviewed at least every 10 years. In reality the council will look to update the plan before then to keep it relevant.
A: The Auckland Unitary Plan will be a key tool to implement the Auckland Plan, which sets the strategic direction of the region’s growth over the next 30 years. It is developed under the Resource Management Act and provides a regulatory means of implementing the Auckland Plan.
The council will also prepare an Area Plan for each of the 21 Local Board areas. The Area Plans will reflect the Auckland Plan at a Local Board scale. The land use aspects of the Area Plans will be incorporated into the Auckland Unitary Plan progressively over time.
Your questions and comments
These questions represent topics we have encountered online, in public meetings or through the media.
A: We do rank well today, but we can’t be complacent; besides, we want to make Auckland an even better place to live. There are many different ways of measuring liveability, including the Mayor’s scorecard, but in short they can be broken down into three strands:
Our natural environment: here we do very well - beautiful landscape, great weather, green, blue and vibrant.
Our people: again, we do very well - friendly, tolerant, honest, diverse and largely well-educated and innovative.
What we’ve built: and this is where we don’t do quite so well. The great news though is that this is the strand that’s easiest to address, and that’s what we’re trying to achieve through the Auckland Unitary Plan.
A: No. The Auckland Unitary Plan is not a bulldozer and a construction crew, it is a rulebook. It is for people to decide what they want to do with their land, within the rules that the Unitary Plan sets out. In many cases, people will now be able to do more with their land, particularly if they are near town centres or transport hubs. View the e-plan to find the rules for your property.
A: Smaller homes take up less land.
More efficient use of land could, in many areas, increase overall land values. Particularly if this is near town centres, transport or amenities, which are more likely to improve over time if they have more people living near and using them. Compact areas are often more vibrant, attract more people, and therefore generate greater demand. But, clearly, building on a smaller piece of land, or building an apartment, means there is less land value in the mix.
What’s important is to have a mix of homes for people at different stages of life that allows them to stay within their communities. This also means that they are not driven by lack of choice to compete with everyone else for the same few homes, thereby pushing up prices.
A: More people. More customers for your local shops, more passengers on public transport, more users of local facilities such as libraries, parks, playgrounds and leisure centres. Greater use makes them more viable, more sustainable and more able to attract further public or private investment.
A: No. Auckland’s vision is to become the world’s most liveable city. We won’t achieve that by being a version of anywhere else; we’ll achieve it by looking after what already makes Auckland a great place, while being honest about and tackling the issues we need to improve. That means learning lessons from the best of other great cities, obviously; however, it’s not about trying to be anywhere else. It’s about becoming an even better version of the Auckland we already love.
A: Not at all. The slum areas in other parts of the world that some people think of when they hear about high density reach 250,000 people per square kilometre - the equivalent of sticking the entire population of New Zealand on Rangitoto Island.
The kinds of density we’re talking about in Auckland will be less than 10,000 people per square kilometre in even the most dense parts - much more in line with the Auckland way of life. It’s meaningless to compare the two. However, it is important that there is a mix of types of home in all parts of Auckland, including our most dense areas. This includes, for example, having different sized apartments in a block so that there is choice for people with different needs. This will help ensure more mixed and vibrant communities.
A: We certainly hope not, and as your council we want to ensure that Auckland’s new buildings help to make our city more attractive. We can all point to architectural mistakes that have been made in Auckland in recent years. Instead, we want future generations to look back with pride on the city’s design and architecture from this time.
This is up to all of us, as Aucklanders, to insist on better quality design - for ourselves, our extensions, our new builds, as well as for new larger-scale developments. The feedback we’ve had is that Aucklanders don’t oppose apartments, they oppose ugly apartments. And we agree.
That’s why, alongside the Auckland Unitary Plan rulebook, we are developing an Auckland Design Manual that will set out expectations for buildings and public spaces. We also need to get the right balance in setting the right rules to ensure quality, but without being too restrictive.
A: A block consisting solely of small studios may be easier to sell, but you risk only attracting short-term renters, rather than the families or a mix of other people who might have a longer-term connection to the area. In Auckland we are committed to strengthening our communities - it’s an essential part of creating the world’s most liveable city - and communities need a mix of people.
A: No. In and around our town centres we might see some medium-rise - 4 to 6 storeys, maybe 8 storeys in the middle of our town centres. But we want to see high-rise buildings (9 storeys or more) confined to Auckland’s city centre and metropolitan centres. That’s where it’s appropriate, and where the quality of facilities - shops, public spaces, public transport etc - will be strong enough to support and attract greater numbers of people living nearby.
A: As ratepayers, the costs of trying to provide quality amenities - like roads, water and waste services, parks and libraries - to ever more centres is just too high and too inefficient. We will need to create some new centres in existing rural areas in order to accommodate our growth, but we have to limit this as much as possible. In particular, we need to ensure we keep as much of our farmland producing food as possible.
A: There’s an old saying that trying to cure congestion with more roads is like trying to cure obesity by loosening your belt.
In Auckland, we already chug too much of our time and productivity out our exhaust pipes - we need real, long-term solutions that will enhance the areas we live in as well as help resolve the way we move around. That’s why as well as improving our centres we are looking at a much greater mix of transport options alongside cars: rail, buses, ferry services, cycleways and walkways. The will help to make our centres more attractive.
We want to focus our efforts on creating places that are great to live in, work in, shop in and visit - not simply that are quick to drive through.
A: Yes, but the cost will also be spread over more people. What’s important is that we deliver those services in as efficient a way as possible.
Auckland Council is set to save the city $1.7bn over the next 10 years from efficiency savings following the amalgamation of former councils: making the city’s greatest ever investment in infrastructure, while keeping rate rises historically low.
A: Right now, no. Parts of our infrastructure struggle to cope with our current population, let alone our projected growth. This growth is a signal of Auckland’s success - and is to be celebrated - but it won’t happen all at once. The projection of a million more people is over the next 30 years.
That’s why it’s so important that we plan positively for that growth. And why it’s essential that as more people are born here, move here, or return from overseas for the quality of life that Auckland offers, we think creatively about what we will need so that our increasing numbers can continue to make the city an even better place to be.
A: The Whangarei District Council website has more information on the draft proposed plan change to the District Plan/Unitary Plan including the Draft Section 32 Report and supporting documentation, a legal opinion by Dr R. J. Somerville QC, and background documents and reports. Auckland Council has not yet fully considered the ICWP report and inclusion of this link on the Auckland Council website should not be taken to imply any Auckland Council position in agreement or otherwise in relation to this report.