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Auckland Council The Auckland Plan

Auckland’s infrastructure

Auckland's infrastructure needs to keep up with the pace and scale of growth.

Investment in infrastructure has long-term consequences for Auckland's future, and will shape how well it functions for future generations.

The population and economic growth expected in Auckland over the next 30 years presents a number of infrastructure-related challenges and opportunities, including:

  • coordinating investment and planning to enable growth
  • improving the performance of Auckland's infrastructure
  • creating resilient infrastructure networks.

Significant investment is needed to respond to these challenges.

At the same time, Auckland must concentrate on:

  • what it takes to efficiently plan and deliver infrastructure
  • keeping up with advancing technology
  • ensuring that the regulatory environment supports good planning and business practices.

Auckland's strategic networks

Auckland's strategic infrastructure networks influence where and when significant urban growth can occur, especially in future urban areas.

These strategic networks provide essential bulk services and include:

  • public transport
  • roads
  • wastewater
  • water.

You can zoom into areas of the map and click on the icons for more information.

The Auckland Plan - Development Strategy: Social Infrastructure

​Projects to expand or increase capacity in strategic networks often require substantial public investment and have long lead times for planning and construction.

The inclusion of strategic network projects in the Auckland Plan does not necessarily confirm funding.  This is a separate process that infrastructure providers follow as part of the plan's implementation.

The 30-year Auckland Infrastructure Strategy (PDF 8.0MB) provides further detail on Auckland's infrastructure challenges, responses and planned investments.

Coordinating investment and planning to enable growth

The next 30 years will require significant investment in infrastructure.

Coordinated action between public and private infrastructure providers and the development sector is needed to enable the scale of development required to accommodate Auckland's growth.

​It is crucial that this investment is coordinated and aligned with growth, in order to minimise the costs of under-used assets, increase Auckland's productivity and achieve better environmental outcomes.

If not managed carefully, the size of infrastructure investment required may have significant financial implications for infrastructure providers.

Ensuring that infrastructure networks have sufficient capacity to service growth is critical. This will require alignment between the expansion of strategic water and transport networks, and investment in local infrastructure, particularly to service development areas and future urban areas.

Improving the performance of Auckland's infrastructure

Even without the pressure of expected changes in Auckland's population over the next 30 years, current infrastructure assets require maintenance, renewal and replacement. Disparities in service provision across Auckland also need to be addressed.

Dealing with ageing and obsolete infrastructure

Auckland's infrastructure is not meeting current levels of demand. We also need to think ahead and plan for Auckland's future infrastructure needs.

Some of Auckland's infrastructure is getting old and will need replacing.

The investment in renewing ageing infrastructure is expected to significantly increase in the next three decades.

For example, pipe and electricity systems that were established during Auckland's post-war urban expansion from the 1940s to the 1960s are expected to require renewal from the 2020s onwards.

In addition, some of our infrastructure systems are becoming obsolete, and do not meet modern standards.

For example, the combined sewer and stormwater system in some parts of the isthmus are prone to overflows, with negative social and environmental impacts.

Differences in service provision

Disparities in the levels of service or performance of infrastructure across different parts of Auckland need to be addressed.

For example, the transport network provides comparatively poor access to employment opportunities from south and west Auckland. 

​Planned investment in strategic infrastructure networks, such as the construction of the City Rail Link, will help to address these issues as it will decrease travel time, particularly from the western urban area. 

The design of infrastructure assets and levels of service needs to be appropriate for different locations, particularly between rural and urban areas.

Using emerging technologies

Emerging technologies will improve the performance of existing infrastructure networks and defer the need for some future investments.

The ability to collect and analyse data on a large scale will improve understanding of how individuals and households use infrastructure systems; this will in turn allow for more targeted investment.

For example, advancements in transport technology such as autonomous vehicles and real-time road user pricing, are expected to increase the capacity of existing roads.

A supportive regulatory environment will be necessary to realise the benefits of new technology.

Creating resilient infrastructure networks

Auckland's infrastructure needs to be able to:

  • cope with disruptive events (such as natural disasters and human error)
  • respond to on-going stresses (such as climate change)
  • meet the evolving needs of Aucklanders.

Understanding the consequences and likelihood of failure, as well as the changing demands on our infrastructure systems, allows us to better manage risks to these networks.

Critical infrastructure

Failure of Auckland's critical infrastructure networks poses significant risks, as they are essential for Auckland to function.

​These networks are prioritised in renewal and maintenance programmes and in emergency contingency planning.

Development in close proximity to critical infrastructure networks, such as urbanisation near gas pipelines, needs to be managed carefully to ensure operation of these networks is not compromised and risks to Auckland and Aucklanders are avoided.

Evolving needs

Auckland's infrastructure systems need to be resilient to cope with ongoing stresses and trends, such as climate change and evolving technology.

Some locations are at increasing risk from natural hazards, due to the adverse impacts of climate change.

​The growing demand for home energy generation and greater acceptance of water recycling and reuse has implications for Auckland's broader infrastructure networks. 

Responding to these trends involves building greater adaptability and responsiveness in our networks.

Ensuring our infrastructure systems serve multiple functions – for example, green infrastructure that manages stormwater and delivers localised amenity, or transport corridors that also function as urban forests or stormwater systems – is one way of enhancing long-term resilience.