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Auckland Council The Auckland Plan

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Change in the existing urban area

Looking ahead 30 years, Auckland's urban area will grow and change.

Growth is enabled throughout most of Auckland's urban footprint, and all neighbourhoods are capable of accommodating growth to some extent.

However, some existing urban areas are likely to undergo significant growth - these are known in the Auckland Plan 2050 as nodes and development areas.

Incremental growth will happen across existing urban areas over the next 30 years as the upzoning provided by the Auckland Unitary Plan is taken up. Most growth should be focused in the existing urban area.

This level of growth can generally be accommodated through existing infrastructure capacity or through ongoing infrastructure renewal.

Growth in nodes and development areas

Some existing urban areas are however likely to be significantly redeveloped in the next 30 years, either through the private sector or through the intervention of agencies.

Redevelopment in these areas will be of a scale that will require substantial infrastructure and service investment.

There have been initiatives across urban Auckland where significant investment and sustained redevelopment effort has taken place.

Interactive map - Developing areas

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

Examples from various agencies include initiatives in Manukau, Tāmaki, and New Lynn. In other areas, such as the city fringe, the private sector has taken the lead.

To date, different approaches have been taken to identify and prioritise where significant housing and business growth are anticipated. Nodes and development areas provide a consistent approach.



The city centre, together with Albany, Westgate and Manukau form the foundation for Auckland’s future growth.

​Development areas

Development areas are introduced as a comprehensive approach to servicing expected growth across the existing urban area.

They are specific locations that are expected to undergo a significant amount of housing and business growth in the next 30 years. Planning and investment will be targeted and prioritised to these areas where the greatest development capacity is taken up.

Development areas are not a prediction of where large scale redevelopment will happen, but rather where it is most likely to happen. This gives infrastructure and service providers a basis from which they can do their own long-term planning.

Monitoring of actual, on-the-ground development is crucial. This will inform adjustments to development areas if needed, and subsequent adjustments to the long-term plans of providers.

Each development area will be different and will experience growth at varying rates and at different times. The investment required in these areas will focus on addressing the impacts of increased demand on infrastructure and services as development occurs. This will need a coordinated approach by agencies involved in implementation.


Characteristics of development areas

Development areas have a combination of the following characteristics:

  • substantial capacity provided in the Auckland Unitary Plan for housing and business development
  • access to a large number of jobs within a reasonable commuting time
  • access to centres and the strategic public transport network within easy walking distance
  • major public landholdings with intended or potential redevelopment
  • current or planned infrastructure capacity that is likely to enable significant additional growth – for example, the expansion of the strategic transport network that improves connectivity
  • market feasibility.

One or more of these characteristics can make an area attractive to market investment. This plays a critical role in determining the likely scale and pace of development.

Some areas in Auckland are currently market attractive and may require investment in infrastructure and services in the short to medium term.

Significant investment in an area can positively influence the market attractiveness, and create a spill-over effect into adjacent areas.

Also, planned future investment, such as new transport infrastructure, once built, can change an area that is currently not market attractive to one that is. These sorts of factors influence the expected timing, rather than the potential scale, of redevelopment.

Supporting investment will be prioritised for when development occurs.

Once significant growth has happened in an area, it will require further investment in amenity and community facilities to cater for the greater number of people living there.


Timeframes for development areas

Approximately 18 development areas are identified for targeted investment over the next 30 years. They are prioritised across three broad timeframes that align with the National Policy Statement on Urban Development Capacity.

The criteria used to sequence development areas included:

  • feasible development capacity

  • regeneration opportunity and ability to optimise the use of existing or planned investments

  • alignment with existing or planned infrastructure provision.

Areas that have already been identified through previous planning and with commitments to current projects are prioritised in the first three years.

Areas in the next 4 to 10 years generally rely on benefits from significant infrastructure projects such as the City Rail Link.

Beyond the next 11 years, there is less certainty about which areas will experience large scale growth.

Timeframes indicate when some of the investment in infrastructure and services may need to be made. It does not indicate that development will be completed or investment ceased at the end of the timeframe.

Years specified generally refer to 1 July of that year onwards.


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