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Auckland Council

Waitākere Ranges Heritage Area

The location of the Waitākere Ranges Heritage Area

The Waitākere Ranges Heritage Area spans approximately 27,700ha of public and private land located between:

  • metropolitan Auckland and the coast of the Tasman Sea to the west
  • the Manukau Harbour coastline to the south
  • the Waitākere Valley to the north.

The area includes the Waitākere Ranges, foothills and coastal areas.

Map of the Waitākere Ranges Heritage Area

​The Waitākere Ranges Heritage Area Act 2008

The act recognises the national, regional and local significance of the Waitākere Ranges Heritage Area and promotes the protection and enhancement of its heritage features for present and future generations.

The act responds to concerns about the effects of development within the area and aims to preserve the unique natural character and cultural heritage of the area.

The act recognises that people live and work within the heritage area in distinct communities, and enables them to provide for their social, economic, environmental, and cultural well-being.

The heritage area is of particular cultural significance to Te Kawerau ā Maki and Ngāti Whatua.

Learn more about the Waitākere Ranges Heritage Area Act 2008.

Heritage features of the Waitākere Ranges Heritage Area

The heritage features of the Waitākere Ranges Heritage Area include:

  • ecosystems
  • landscapes and landforms
  • the subservience of the built environment to the area's natural and rural landscape
  • the past and present human culture of the heritage area
  • opportunities for wilderness experiences and recreation
  • the regional park
  • the water catchment and supply system.

Our role in protecting the Waitākere Ranges Heritage Area

We have a statutory responsibility to contribute to the management and stewardship of the heritage area.

We share this responsibility across many of our departments. It involves a range of activities including:

  • biosecurity
  • local and regional parks
  • planning
  • community facilities.

Council Controlled Organisations (CCOs) such as Auckland Transport and Watercare also have roles and responsibilities managing their assets within the heritage area.

Governance is shared between the councillors and local boards. The heritage area spans three local board areas, with the majority of the area located within the Waitākere Ranges Local Board boundaries.

Monitoring reports for the Waitākere Ranges Heritage Area

We produce a monitoring report every five years on the state of the heritage area’s environment, the progress made towards achieving the objectives of the act, and the funding implications of the activities undertaken to achieve these objectives. This is a statutory requirement.

The most recent monitoring report, the State of the Waitākere Ranges Heritage Area 2018, was released in May 2018 and covers the period from 2013 to the end of 2017. 

The Environment and Community Committee approved the State of the Waitākere Ranges Heritage Area 2018 monitoring report on 8 May 2018.

Due to the size of the report, it has been split into nine separate documents.

A summary of the monitoring report's overall findings is also available.

Get a copy of the State of the Waitākere Ranges Heritage Area 2018

Get a copy of the Waitākere Ranges Heritage Area Monitoring Report 2013

The first monitoring report was released in 2013 and covers the period from April 2008 to March 2012:

Local area plans

The act enables local area plans to be prepared within the heritage area.

A local area plan (LAP) is developed with local communities.

It contains policies and actions to implement the long-term vision for the area. For example, the protection of ecosystems (a heritage feature) might be achieved through a combination of our and community restoration projects, conservation covenants and monitoring.

LAPs have been completed for:

​We and landowners do not have to implement the provisions of a LAP. However, we are obligated to justify any decision we make, which may have consequences significantly inconsistent with a LAP.

Waitākere Ranges Strategic Weed Management Plan

Weeds present a huge and growing threat to the ecology of the heritage area.

The Waitākere Ranges Local Board adopted the Waitākere Ranges Strategic Weed Management Plan to help protect the heritage area from invasive weeds in a systematic, coordinated way.

​Development in the Waitākere Ranges Heritage Area

The act does not in itself generate any requirements for resource consent but relies on the Auckland Unitary Plan to determine whether a consent is required.

When making a decision on a resource consent application, we must consider the purpose and relevant objectives of the act.

The preparation of resource consent applications within or adjoining the heritage area should include an Assessment of environmental effects(AEE) which:

  • identifies the relevant heritage features within or adjoining the subject site (refer Section 7 of the act for a list of heritage features)
  • identifies the relevant objectives from Section 8 of the act, noting that Objectives 8a, 8b, 8c and 8d will always be relevant and the consideration of other objectives will depend on the location and type of activity; and
  • provide an assessment of the proposal and its effects in relation to the relevant objectives, to evaluate how those objectives are achieved.

We are working on producing an up to date heritage features guide to assist resource consent applicants with this process.

References to district plans and some links in this guide are out of date.

​Design guides

Design guides for the foothills and bush clad areas of the heritage area have been created for landowners, council decision makers, and design professionals.

The design guides are intended to assist with the design and layout for building projects in the heritage area whether a consent is required, or not.

The design guides:

  • illustrate the importance of good siting and sensitive design to help create win-win outcomes for the landowner, community and the environment
  • promote sustainable living in the heritage area.

Sign up for Thrive - sustainable business newsletter

Thrive is produced by the Waitākere Ranges Local Board for small businesses operating in the Waitākere Ranges Heritage Area.

To sign-up for the newsletter or request a previous issue, call the local board on 09 813 9150 or email

waitakererangeslocalboard@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

Waitākere Ranges Regional Park

The act recognises the importance of the Waitākere Ranges Regional Park, as an accessible public place with significant natural, historical, cultural and recreational resources.

The park covers around 60 per cent of the heritage area.

The act also requires the adoption of a management plan.

The Regional Parks Management Plan 2010 fulfills this requirement.