The Auckland Unitary Plan

Auckland Council is developing New Zealand’s biggest single resource management plan, known as the Auckland Unitary Plan. A bold and transformational plan, it will become the council’s key tool to manage development on land and water. It will have a direct impact on the shape of the city and the quality of Auckland’s built and natural environment.

Providing consistency and simplified rules, it will replace the existing district and regional plans and policies of the former councils. The Auckland Unitary Plan will be the principal regulatory tool to implement The Auckland Plan, the council’s overriding 30-year strategy to turn Auckland into the world’s most liveable city.

As part of an enhanced public engagement programme, a political working party and council officers will produce a discussion draft to release to the public for informal feedback from March to June 2013. After incorporating feedback, a proposed Unitary Plan will go to the council in September 2013 for a decision on notification and formal public consultation. Between now and then there will be opportunities for key stakeholders and Local Boards and their communities to become involved in the development of the discussion draft.

The council has adopted the following key principles for the Auckland Unitary Plan:

  • outcomes focused
  • simple
  • bold
  • innovative
  • user-friendly as an online tool
  • regulation in proportion to the scale of potential impact.

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Key websites

The Auckland Unitary Plan – you can gain access to the e-plan and maps through this site.
View the e-Plan – See what the draft Auckland Unitary Plan says about where you live. (We have found that this site performs better using Firefox!)
Sub pages:
The Rural Urban Boundary
Southern Rural Urban Boundary Greenfield Investigation | Initial Engagement and Feedback Report [PDF]
Addendum to the draft Auckland Unitary Plan | Planning for urban growth over the next 30 years [PDF]

Have your say:
– Fill in the feedback form – Draft Auckland Unitary Plan feedback
– Leave a comment on our Shape Auckland blogs
– Tweet @aklcouncil using the hashtag #shapeauckland
– Leave a comment on our Facebook page.

The Auckland Plan

Plan Change 8

Giving effect to Change 8 (Volcanic Features) to the Auckland Regional Policy Statement within the District Plan or Unitary Plan

Volcanic cone protection a feature of Auckland heritage since the early 1900s (Reserves and Other Lands Disposal Act 1915).

Unitary Plan proposals take shape

Auckland Council: Published: Friday 24 August 2012

The Unitary Plan will be the rule book for what can and can’t be done with public and private property, and how the region’s natural resources can be protected and enhanced.

It replaces the district plans and regional policies of the eight former councils. By determining how Auckland can develop, the Unitary Plan will be the key tool for putting the 30-year Auckland Plan into action.

The Unitary Plan will cover areas such as resource consent (planning approval) for building, alterations and demolition, and protection for historic heritage and important environmental resources and features.

“To ensure future development has a positive impact on the lives of Aucklanders, we need to give everyone the chance to engage and have their say on the Unitary Plan,” says Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse, chair of the council’s Auckland Plan Committee.

“We want to produce a great plan that will work for all of Auckland. To do this, we need to get our communities involved in developing it.”

Between now and November 2012, local boards will meet with key stakeholders and community groups to gather information and ideas that will be used to prepare the initial draft Unitary Plan, which will then be available for informal public engagement between March and June 2013.

A final draft Unitary Plan will go to the council’s governing body in September 2013 for a decision on notification. Formal consultation and hearings will follow.

Key issues for engagement include:

  • housing availability and affordability
  • the protection of historic heritage (the natural and physical resources that contribute to New Zealand’s history and culture)
  • a rural-urban boundary to establish new areas for development
  • infrastructure such as water and stormwater drainage
  • the rural economy
  • business development areas
  • provision of open space and community facilities
  • transport improvements including public transport, cycleways, and new roads.


By Bronwyn Carruthers, Partner, Russell McVeagh
CONCLUSION: The cutting out the role of the Environment Court from the Unitary Plan process would reduce the effectiveness of the Unitary Plan as the issues will not have been fully ventilated, considered and
the most appropriate provisions arrived at. There would also likely to be reduced public “buy-in” to the planning provisions because people would have not been able to “get them right”. In
short, the Unitary Plan would have much less credibility than it would with the Court oversight.