Here's the RUB; How Auckland Council wants to make greenfields land available in a planned way over 30 years to avoid the sprawl of the 1970s

Here's the RUB; How Auckland Council wants to make greenfields land available in a planned way over 30 years to avoid the sprawl of the 1970s

By Gareth Vaughan

Auckland's Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse says Aucklanders want planned and progressive development, not a smashing of the city's metropolitan urban limit as sought by the central government, to meet the SuperCity's housing and population growth demands.

Hulse spoke to at the launch of the council's draft Unitary Plan, which as Hulse puts it is the rule book explaining to Aucklanders what they can and can't do on their property. She said it also sets out how Auckland will accommodate the extra million people it's forecast to get over the next 30 years.

The launch of the plan comes as the difference of opinion between central government and local government on how to tackle housing affordability in Auckland grows. Housing Minister Nick Smith said this week Auckland needs double the supply of land for housing to meet the council’s own targets.

Hulse said the council had taken a deep breath and reminded Smith the work in the Unitary Plan was exactly what he's asking for.

"To look at how much we can plan to build outside what were the old metropolitan urban limits and that's why we've developed the rural-urban boundary, the RUB," said Hulse. "And this carefully sets out land that's going to be released in a planned way over the next 30 years."

"We're looking at really ramping up the amount of green field land that's available, but we're not doing it in a random, scatter gun approach. We're looking at the kind of infrastructure that needs to be developed, we're making sure that we protect our really vibrant agricultural industries that are out there in our green fields areas," she said.

'The Minister might not have understood'

Smith also recently said Auckland's metropolitan urban limit is a stranglehold that needs to be "smashed" if houses are to be made affordable for families in the city. But Hulse argues this wouldn't achieve what he wants to achieve.

"The Minister might not quite have understood clearly the planning that's needed to do this and by smashing the metropolitan urban limit, that's not the way you actually achieve what he's desiring. Planned and progressive development within that rural-urban boundary is what our community has asked for."

Hulse said Auckland Council's plan is to make green fields land available in a planned way over the next 30 years.

"We're certainly looking at a satellite town down in Pukekohe, so that extends the size of Pukekohe, we're looking up in Warkworth. It'll grow a little bit. Silverdale, out in Kumeu/Huapai, there'll be some development out there and down in the Franklin area. But these are really delicate discussions to have with our community," said Hulse.

"But we're certainly looking at making sure that land is available in a planned way over the next 30 years in these areas."

The council wants 60% of development within the current urban area and 40% outside in the RUB. Hulse said the council was opposed to the "random release of land" without proper planning.

"It's just as complex planning on the fringes as it is with intensification. We also need schools and community facilities otherwise we repeat the old mistakes of the past in the 70s where Auckland was allowed to sprawl, no libraries were built, no community facilities, no schools were planned and these communities were left stranded and we're now picking up the cost."

Although the Unitary Plan isn't specifically directed at Auckland housing affordability issues, the council's housing affordability strategy is, it will clearly have a major impact on housing in and around Auckland.

"We've got a housing shortage in Auckland at the moment and to accommodate the extra million people that will be coming into Auckland in the next 30 years we need 400,000 new dwellings. So roughly do the maths, we need about 10,000 new dwellings a year," said Hulse. "Currently we're certainly not providing that amount of dwellings and that's for a range of reasons. But we're looking at addressing that imbalance and buildings being built within the metropolitan urban limit and outside in the rural-urban boundary."

Last year Auckland Council consented just 4,581 residential dwellings. Of these 3,930 were houses and 651 apartments.

'Only 10% of the Auckland region is going to be allowed to have apartments'

The Unitary Plan also proposes allowing 18 storey apartment blocks in what are considered to be metropolitan centres such as Albany, Henderson, Manukau, and New Lynn. It also proposes eight, six or four story apartments in town centres such as Avondale, Milford, Onehunga, Glen Eden, Papatoetoe, Devonport, Mt Albert, and Warkworth. There has been much kerfuffle about the prospect of Auckland becoming dominated by high rises, something that clearly irks Hulse.

"The last thing we want to do is turn Auckland into a suburban jungle," she said. "Only 10% of the whole Auckland region is actually going to be even allowed to have apartments."

"At the moment places like Takapuna, New Lynn actually have no height limits so we're actually imposing height limits in these areas," Hulse added. "And what's more you won't have apartment buildings being built right next to stand alone houses. The Unitary Plan simply won't let that happen."

And the so-called metropolitan centres, where it's proposed to allow 18 story apartments, are either on railways or good transportation corridors and already have some high density, she said.

Asked which other cities the Auckland Council had turned to for tips on urban planning, Pulse said Vancouver was one, and Cape Town's waterfront was another. They'd also looked at what has worked in Britain in terms of the regeneration of older areas. The council wasn't however, simply looking to mimic other cities as it was keen not to lose Auckland's "own vibe."

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

We welcome your comments below. If you are not already registered, please register to comment.

Remember we welcome robust, respectful and insightful debate. We don't welcome abusive or defamatory comments and will de-register those repeatedly making such comments. Our current comment policy is here.


Comment Filter

Highlight new comments in the last hr(s).

I think she's giving Nick Smith her one finger salute!

Which makes force the Govn to act / override and take responsibility in doing so.

I wonder how much property she owns.
Aucklanders, we need to vote these muppets out...

That's a very good idea, but there is a good chance that they will only be replaced by another set of muppets.  Once people get the power to spend other people's money their brains seem to turn to mush.  How many people in Akld think that this problem could be avoided by simply not increasing the Akld population.  However with this solution many staff at ACC would not have anything to do.

I'm genuinely interested in your policy ideas for limiting Auckland's population, given 69% of recent growth is attributable to natural increase, and that we don't have an 'internal passport' policy like China for restricting where people (both external and internal migrants) can live.

It's not even funny, you are a real loser.

Actually I love his/her posts, very insightful....

Agreed; I second that opinion!
The biggest Bludgers, the people in power! Nothing easier than spending OPM!

I have been trying to point out the true meaning of beneficiary for some time now, but SL nails it effectively and elloquently :-)

Absolutely brilliant, SL. And funny as well.
Boycott taxes collectively. Deposit the money into an account managed by rates-payers associations. Disburse cash only for approved (by referendum!) purposes. Stuff the POLLY- TICKERS, and their cronnies.
We do not need to be treated like teenagers by the people we elect into power, and we certainly don't have to put up with it. Why do we...?
It's time to yell: WE"RE NOT GONNA TAKE IT ANYMORE!! Everyone, in unison. The internet provides a perfect medium for it, and NZ will lead the way for the world to see.

Aucklanders want to be able to live in the city without being jammed together. I'm still unsure why I should have a shoebox house/section/apartment because planners 30 years ago couldn't get their shit together. You know, the same people who just happen to think this is best for all of us now. These guys had their chance.

--------- edited ------------
Remember we welcome robust, respectful and insightful debate. We don't welcome abusive or defamatory comments and will de-register those repeatedly making these comments. Ed

Not needed...

Thanks for your stunning critique of my comment, but my point still stands. Surely it would be in everyone's best interest for the council to come up with a blueprint for greenfields suburbs with decent levels of council services, rather than just jamming everyone together in a bid to overcome their own shortcomings. They can't get service delivery and budgeting right for 1.3 million, how is jamming in an extra million going to make them any better at it?

Go and live in LA if you are not happy with it.  You have NO IDEA what has gone into developing this plan and we are still in consultation phase so stop moaning and be sensible.  ---- edited ---- Happy for robust critique of ideas; personal abuse not welcome. Ed

This may upset you, but the idea of a plan being open for submission is because they want feedback on it. The process isn't called "sod off if you don't like it", they want feedback and discussing it on an internet discussion board is very much in line with the whole process.
What isn't is dishing out insults and refusing to actually discuss the merits of the ideas within, and I've taken the liberty (and a small amount of joy) of reporting your continued stream of abuse and lack of contribution to the attention of the moderators. Christ be with you. 

Why do the journalists pander to them so much? Where are the questions like "Do you live in a shoebox apartment or in a proper house? Why do they let them tell us what is good is for us? Long live the Auckland 10 year plan comrades!

Well put mist42nz!!  "Jamming" and "shoebox" are examples of negative words people use without logical thinking.

Ah Mist, there you have it. The utilitarian ideal. A small space is required because you don't need stuff. All is provided by the central planners.
Call me awkward, but I like having space and having stuff and doing things with my stuff. Yes, I don't need it; but, you see, I am not a cog in a machine.

My dog got a lot of enjoyment out of chasing its tail when it was young.
Your scenario is all nice in theory, but you can end up chasing your tail; living in an expensive inner city apartment and eating out at expensive inner city restaurants and fighting the resulting fat at an expensive inner city gym whilst working long hours at a well paid but high pressure job to pay for it. Taking expensive overseas holidays where you wear yourself down getting to see as many sights as you can in your limited time off. Round and round, until either you burn out or you get fired at the next recession when your job ceases to exist.
Be a good cog now comrade.

Quick question mist42nz
How do you bring up a family in a high rise apartment? Room for the kids to muck around in the back yard?  To wander down the road toa sports field or school or mate's house?
High rise apartments may work for empty nesters, Friends-style childless workers and students, but I have my doubts about wanting to bring up a family in one of them.
I think this is at the heart of the political pain that Len Brown and Penny Hulse face. They have lost middle NZ's family dream.
I also wonder where they brought up their families.

Absolutely spot on Bernard.

That's not how I interpret the Plan, though unfortunately it may be the most prominent message in the political rhetoric. To me, it looks like an attempt to increase zoning capacity nearer centres, corridors and amenities (beaches etc) - the most in-demand places with the highest prices - at the same time as opening up land on the periphery for more standalone houses. Seems a pretty balanced attempt at accomodating growth and all types of housing choices. No plan can force anyone to build anything - this one doesn't.  That's the market's job. 

Can you please identify area where the plan actually proposes "highrise in a neighbourhood of traditonal villas where prices are already skyhigh"?

That's not hard.  For example along Remuera Road and Ascot Ave, also Clonbern Road and St Vincent Ave.  There are a lot of traditional villas around.

These are areas that are already zoned Res7 and in the past zoned for bigger apartments -  there's already apartments there, some 15 floors high - then down zoned. Zoning areas that already have apartments for apartments is not the same as plonking new apartment zones in the middle of traditional areas.
Freaking out about an area that has large apartment buildings getting zoned for... apartment buildings?

I am not freaking out duh~

Some people are. They think they're gonna be forced to live in high rises as soon as it's operative.
Any apartment/terrace or mixed house zoning in a traditional neighbourhood also must comply with the pre 1944 demolition control being an RC activity. So even if they have zoned higher density in a traditional neighbourhood they have also got a rule to stop any development happening.

Bernard.  The point is that we need both 'proper houses' and 'shoeboxes'.  it's not that one is correct and the other just wrong.  Different times of our lives we need different things.  And someitmes we just want to live one way - or the other. 
Mist was making a very good point about language.  And suggesting we look behind the current words and think what these options really are

Here is one that Hugh should read, was part of the reading list for my urban design paper.

Where in the Plan does it stipulate that families must live in high rise apartments? Why is such a small area zoned for apartments if everyone has to live in one? Why won't people be able to live in the majority of the city that's zoned for traditional houses?
Where do you get the idea that everyone is in a nuclear 50's family and wants what you want?

Roger, you don't understand what utilitarian means. But no worries, carry on not being a cog (hillarious)

Really?  You like stuff and costs and maintenance?

Well, actually I used to love it. The pride of ownership, being a proper fully paid up home owning citizen with a mortgage and lawns to mow and hedges to trim and children to look after. Now I just rent a new 220 sq metre house for $495 a week, the wife is happy, but it ain't the same.

They're doing both is how I interpret it. Read the addendum on the RUB boundary - they're allowing for several hundred thousand people to live in new structure-planned greenfield areas.

Here's the thing I don't get with this view: the Council isn't forcing higher density, just enabling it through more flexible zoning and rules. They're actually reducing regulation, which is an approach I like. If someone doesn't want to sell or develop their land to a higher density, they don't have to - just continue living on your land as you are. It'll probably go up in value because the allowable development potential is that much greater - suits me. It's called the market, and it's called choice. That is something I would have thought most commentators here would embrace.

Could you please point out where in the Unitary Plan it specifies that you'll have to live in a "shoebox house/section/apartment" and not be allowed to live in the Single House zone?

Penny is going to fix the problems that people like her in the past caused, and in 30 years time someone else like her will fix the problems that she is causing today. Unless............

I am not an Aucklander and i have not read the plan.
It strikes me that a council can designate a site as suitable for an 18 story building. But what if the developer only builds a 10 story building. What then? Another housing shortance later?

Deal with it when it happens, lets focus on the plan, NO IF's NO BUTT's!

Exactly, and the longer that landowners designated for development hold off developing the more valuable their land becomes. So this is not a plan for action.

Exactly what I am planning to do - good idea :)

These are not Unitary Plan zones. Sound like existing zonings in Waitakere City or Manukau.
Type the address in here to get the Unitary Plan zonings: 

That’s why it is important to open the boundaries up and out. This gives those that do not want to develop the choice not to, but at the same time helps negate land bankers being able to restrict supply to force prices up, and yet allows plenty of supply so those that do develop have plenty of competition and prices are more affordable.

Interesting that while we are talking about expanding, in the US they are experiencing contraction, well in the rate of growth at least.
Exurbs, the far-flung suburbs on the edge of metropolitan areas, continue to see their growth fizzle after their heady days during the housing boom. Growth dipped last year to 0.35 percent, the lowest in more than a decade. In 2006, exurban growth was as high as 2.1 percent.
Census: Record 1 In 3 Counties Now Dying Off, Hit By Aging Population, Weakened Local Economies

Isn't that just a reflection that these young apartment-lovers have actually given up o n having kids and families.
A painfully low birth rate isn't good for anyone.

Exactly Bermard, Hong Kong has a birth rate of 1.1% half the replacement rate. When I had a stop over there for a few days last year. The only place I could take my kids, one who was in a pram was shopping malls. The streets were impossible, no ramps, just stairs, no parks, no play grounds and a population who were unfamiliar with what kids need.
A crashing birth rate is another social wide cost of unaffordable housing.

Pukeiti Rd - east side - terrace/apartment zone (no minimum section size for developments up to 14m high)
Pukeiti Rd - west side - light industrial
Roseman Ave - volcano side - single house residential - 500m2 minimum
Roseman Ave - other side - some of the north end of the street is terrace/apartment zone, south end is part mixed residential zone allowing 300m2 minimum unless over 1200m2 and then no minimum to 8m height.
Boyce Ave is all single house residential - 500m2 min.
In any zone you can convert an existing dwelling into 2 units now as well provided they are attached (not subdivable though).
I think that's right from what I've read.
I wouldn't be too excited about the high density zoning increasing values, unless you had a large block of land which wasn't previously developable, because they've simply created so much land of that zoning.
For instance, in reality houses in the Res 7 zone say in Kingsland on New North Rd, houses sell for absolutely no more than houses that couldn't be subdivided, even though some sites could take 4 units.  This is in part because the sites are so expensive to develop because of the slope.
My thought is that even if this does come through, only certain areas will see a rush and get developed quickly and that will be the bigger flat sites in double grammar zones around Mt Eden and Great South Road and in Remuera which were previously res 6a, 5 or 1.

Mixed Housing maximum building coverage = 50% woohoo~

That's weird, because those zones don't exist in the draft Unitary Plan.

Not sure you were looking at the Unitary plan?
Most res 6a becomes mixed residential with a 300m2 minimum and NO minimum if the site is over 1200m2 and involves 5 or more units!!!
Then huge chunks of the central areas are becoming terrace/apartment zones, which allow super high density 14.5m high apartments!!  This even includes streets that were previously res 1 and res 5!!
Obviously we can understand res 7 becoming high density, but look at the other streets now included:
Acorn St Royal Oak
All the Greenwoods triangle up to Beckenham Ave.
Most of the area from Trafalgar St north between Onehunga Mall and Sanitarium all the way to One Tree Hill.
Most of the east side of Onehunga.
Most of the area between Great South and the Motorway up to Ellerslie.
Most of Remuera Road, and Ascot Ave.
Half of Clonbern Road and one side of Ormande Road Remuera.
All the streets one block east of Mt Eden Village.
Most of the blocks around Balmoral/Dominion corner including all of Tenderden, Dunbar and Brixton, most of Rocklands, half of Queens, Kensington, part of Marsden, Dexter and St Albans.
Most of the streets around Sandringham/Balmoral corner, including most of Sandringham Rd, all of Watson, Begbie, Patterson, half of Jason, Mars, Oxton, Aroha etc
Around Morningside.  Half of Morningside drive current res 7 becomes commercial!  Rest becomes terrace/apartment along with one side of Taylors.
At Kingsland, the top of School, Finch, Mountain view and Wolseley.
At Grey Lynn, part of Surrey Cres, all of Fisherton, Edwards, part of Baildon and Allen all go high density.
Why rezone these good streets, where the houses don't really need redeveloped, when there are grotty streets further out where it is not economic to redevelop because of the "single home" zoning??
This is the mistake that ChCh made in 1995 with the "L3" zoning and has spent 15 years trying to unwind with tighter rules being introduce several times restricting bulk size, continuous building lengths, and now restriction on buildings without rooms on the ground floor and strict design panels adjudicating design aesthetics.
This is a "dense" plan.  It is plain stupidity to allow a free for all with a severe lack of regulation.
Many beautiful streets will be irrevocably ruined.
Let developers build in streets that need renewed.  Not ones where buyers fight to pay $1.2m for a do-up bungalow!
Sending these streets into slumdom will only send owners into the remaining "single home" streets while developers pay inflated land prices for sites in these dense zones, building apartments that dare I say it, only immigrants from similarly dense locations would be happy to buy.
Densification needs to be Ponsonby style, with rooms on the ground floor, gardens and lawns.  Reduced side boundary setbacks and low profile "residential style" buildings is what the market is calling out for.
These planning rules allow too much of the big block mentality.
They are just plain dense.

I'd suggest they've been rezoned precisely because they are in demand. Land in sought after streets and suburbs near the centre is a scarce resource. Scarce resources have high prices, and high prices send a signal to the market to use the land more efficiently. That's why buildings generally get taller and denser the closer you get to the centre of a city. Regulation, such as density limits etc distort those market signals and result in inefficient and costly outcomes for the economy and society. That's why its important to remove unnecessary regulation by increasing zoning capacity. By the way, 14m isn't that high, and developments over 5 dwellings will still need a consent subject to design assessment -  they're just removing the silly arbitrary density limits that have no bearing on quality. Not perfect, but better I reckon. 

14m isn't that high??  Maybe not if you're from Hong Kong...
But it is if you live next door in a single storey bungalow...
They should aim at incentives to push development into scungey areas, not into areas that are already nice and fairly densely developed.
Consider some of that high density zoning is in areas where there are 150m2 plus 20m2 a garage on 400m2 sections.  Now in the plan, site coverage is only allowed up to 40%, hence 160m2 per floor maximum.  Now with the recession planes and setbacks for multilevel buildings, you could potentially get 2 floors at that floor coverage and one at say 90m2.  Then consider you need 2 car parks per unit, and you want one of those as a garage, hence 60m2 of the ground floor will be garages.  Adding in 20m2 of the ground floor for entry and stairs and 10m2 of the second floor, then you can fit on that site 3 units: one of 80m2 on the ground floor, one of 150m2 on the first floor and one of 90m2 on the top floor.
All that to replace one already operational house that people actually want?? 
Like in much of the res 7 zones, nothing much will get developed, because it's not the type of property people want and it's not economic.
All this plan will do is potentially wreck nice streets with giant white elephant blocks of flats that become rental slums.
All those suburban streets mentioned above shouldn't be subjected to the risk of that kind of development happening.
It probably would have been a better plan to densify the state housing streets with harbour views such as in Orakei with apartment buildings more like Sydney's eastern suburbs, rather than doing it to suburbs where there are already nice houses that are really too good to develop.

Top 15 hardest hit areas (by apartments):
1. Onehunga (most town area)
2. Milford (most town area)
3. Takapuna (most town area)
4. Point England (most town area)
5. New Lynn (most town area)
6. Parnell (St Stephens Ave - both ends)
7. Sandringham Rd / Balmoral Rd
8. Cnr Mt Albert to Mt Smart Rd including Greenwoods Cnr / Campbell Rd
9. Otahuhu (Princes St)
10. Pt Chev Rd / Tui St
11. Remuera (Remuera Rd / Ascot Ave)
12. Western Spring Rd
13. Grey Lynn (around Surrey Cres / Baildon)
14. Pakuranga Rd (both ends)
15. Papatoetoe (Station Rd / St George St)

Chris J raises some interesting points.  I asked Penny how they decided which areas could have 18 story apartments, which could have 8 and 6 etc. Apparently the areas zoned for 8 storeys such as around Royal Oak and Three Kings (which aren't far from where I live) are zoned that way because they're transport hubs or  in good transport corridors. Really? Then an area such as Mt Albert, which actually has a train station, is zoned for just 4 storeys. Some of it seems a bit random...

Attention Bernard Hickey
Now you are at a loose end, make 2013 the year of your patriotism
Take some time out and go and visit some elders and some tohungas and discover your roots, what new zealand is and was. And listen. Do a Marcus Lush. "North" and "South"

Once upon a time NZ was at the bottom of the world. Being a long way from anywhere else, it had to innovate, which would become known as the "number 8 fencing wire solution"
Now, as the struggle of coping with a tidal wave of inbound migrants fleeing from their own messed up countries New Zealand is losing its identity, its uniqueness, it's capacity for originality.
Anyone who has never seen the movie "The Worlds Fastest Indian" should see it
If they have never seen it they are missing out on a distinct kiwi characteristic that is fast disappearing
It should be compulsory viewing for every new migrant arriving in the country

Here is a new one for those who have never heard of Bill Phillips
This should dedicated to Powerdownkiwi, and scarfie, and equally for steven
It is a podcast by Tim Harford who is a behavioural economist at the BBC
His latest podcast called "The Indiana Jones of Economics" 06 Feb 2013. Duration: 14 mins
It's about a boy from Heretaunga
Episode 4. Tim Harford tells the story of Bill Phillips - war hero, engineer, toheroa-hunter, and one of the fathers of macroeconomics.
Take the time to listen to it

Now, as the struggle of coping with a tidal wave of inbound migrants fleeing from their own messed up countries New Zealand is losing its identity, its uniqueness, it's capacity for originality.
Greenland government falls as voters send warning to mining companies
Siumut party, led by Aleqa Hammond, to form coalition government in place of Kuupik Kleist's administration
The race for resources in the frozen wastes of the Arctic has brought down its first national government, leaving foreign oil and mining companies shivering about the future. Voters in Greenland feared that ministers were surrendering their country's interests to China and foreign multinationals and called an end this week to the government of prime minister Kuupik Kleist.
London Mining, which has a former British foreign minister, Sir Nicholas Bonsor, on the board, has been at the centre of a row in the country after speculation it could bring in 2,000 Chinese workers to build one of the world's biggest iron ore mines expressly to serve steel mills in Beijing.

Here is another reason for stemming the tidal flow of immigration
Enthic based racial tensions and inter-necine assassinations .. read the numbers at the bottom
It will come

That is a ripper story Iconoclast, thank you for that great link.
Colin Murdoch is another unsung kiwi I admire. What is understated there is that the government turned him down in backing the disposable syringe. If they had done so image the ongoing earnings from that.
I have voiced my concern in a tongue in cheek manner about ethnic violence in Auckland, but do believe it is a matter of when not if. What are all these immigrants doing to do once the virtual work runs out? Start killing each other is the answer.

The destiny of Auckland
Anyone ever been to the Sandwich Islands?
The place the 7 Maori Canoes migrated from, journeying south to discover New Zealand
Sandwich Islands was the name given to the Hawaiian Islands by James Cook in the 1770s.
I have never been to Hawaii
Had a picture in my mind of an island paradise.
Turquoise seas, white beaches, white sands
Last night I listened to a friend who has just returned from a 3 week trip to Hawaii
The most noticeable comment was
It is a place that has been spoiled
It has a cancer that is spreading ever outward from Honolulu
The demarkation between the pristine and the cancerous is distinct

Sorry Hugh but we don't exist to simply peddle your agenda. You're pretty good at peddling it yourself anyway...

"It is quite infuriating when journalists just ask patsy questions"
Got to agree. I saw you on TV3 saying the "the Government cares more about cows than people" while another person says: " you can't stop people coming here" and not a hint that this is primarily an immigration issue. Journalists have self-censored  the findigs of the Savings Working Group (other than the Herald and this site).

Cantabrians Unite for what? You said "Christchurch should (by now) be a thriving city of 500,000". Phill Best said NZ should and could have 40 million people......
You're just a shill for the development industry.

Do you see negative value impact due to higher density - or just positive of subdivisible site?

Can see why you are for a larger population and opposed to a land tax.

Jaffa towers everywhere...""You won't just have walls of skyscrapers like people are talking about. You will have graduated buildings and it allows for green spaces,"Len......
Len's council mafia will harvest the rates loot...and that is the only thing that really matters....all opposition will be rubbished...all complaints lost in the bureaucracy...

'In theory' I think the draft Unitary Plan is quite good.
I say "in theory' because notwithstanding the freeing up of controls, there will still be a lot of non-planning matters (economics, landowner intentions, existing development constraints etc) that are going to limit development.
One early comment. I think the 300 sq m net site area control for mixed housing areas is too restrictive. I think it should be 250 sq m.
As it stands the 300 sq m control will restrict many circa 700 sq m sites from retaining existing front dwelling and building a new dwelling to the rear. 
Council could limit impact by having a plot ratio control like they do in Brisbane eg. 0.5 (ie. if you have a 250 sq m site you can only build a 125 sq m house). This limits bulk and dominance, but still allows  flexibility around development. This means you could have a 250 sq m rear site, with a single storey 125 sq m home (possible under proposed 50% site coverage), or you could go up to double storey if you wanted / needed to free up more ground level space. The plot ratio control would prevent the situation under the 50% site coverage of someone building a house too big relative to the site size eg. a large 250 sq m double storey house (footprint 125 sq m)
In theory it is a good idea having no density limit and a 8m height control on sites over 1200 sq m. Again I say in theory, because apart from the odd existing larger sites, this will rely on developers buying two adjacent residential sites. Existing capital investment or one or both of landowners being unwilling to sell makes this proposition difficult. But hey that is a minor gripe, that's just something that will have to be dealt with.  
As I've said before, the problem with this plan is that it won't be operative for another 3-4 years, unless the govt changes its mind and allows it to be operative under public notification in about a year's time.

It seems like there are a lot of non-Aucklanders commenting on this - not sure why, surely it is up to Aucklanders to decide what their city should look like?

and your definition of an aucklander is .. ?

do you mean
a 60+ yo born in AKL and lived there all their life
a 40+ yo born in AKL and lived there all their life
a 20+ yo born in AKL and lived there all their life
someone born overseas now an nz citizen, and
60+ yo and lived in AKL 10+ years
40+ yo and lived in AKL 10+ years
20+ yo and lived in AKL 10+ years
someone born overseas and NOT an nz citizen, and
60+ yo and lived in auckland < 10 years
40+ yo and lived in auckland < 10 years
20+ yo and lived in auckland < 10 years
someone born overseas now an nz citizen, and
who has lived in AKL less than 10 years
Someone born overseas and has just arrived

Should Aucklanders have a say on immigration policy?

What I don't understand is why the council has to beg the government for permission to change zoning? Surely zoning is the councils responsibility, nothing to do with the government? Why should anyone in Wellington be able to determine the density of some suburbs of Auckland? 

Fiscal, Distributional and Efficiency Impacts of Land and Property Taxes

So  rent seekers are against it eh?  what does that tell ya?

Neville Bennett:
"Mill insisted on a land tax because "the land of every country belongs to the people of that country."
Ideally the state would own all land and lease it out, getting the unearned component of price rises. Hong Kong adopted Mill's recommendation.
Henry George also advocated a land tax in "Progress and Poverty"(1879). George noticed in California that poverty increased as land prices increased. He advocated a tax on land value but not on improvements, as that would destroy the natural right to the fruit of labour, and, "act as the spoliation of industry and thrift."
The tax suggested is a land value tax (LVT). It taxes all land, urban and rural (except parks and reserves). It does not tax improvements."

The Unitary Plan draft looks great - improved on the draft drafts.
Should make it easier to provide affordable accomodation.
As expected all the nutters are out moaning about how they will be forced to live in shoebox apartments and have 18 level apartment buildings built next to their bungalow next week - comments that show they haven't  even looked at it.

The Unitary Plan draft looks great - improved on the draft drafts.
Should make it easier to provide affordable accomodation.
As expected all the nutters are out moaning about how they will be forced to live in shoebox apartments and have 18 level apartment buildings built next to their bungalow next week - comments that show they haven't  even looked at it.

Yes, my parent home in central Auckland, the block of flat next door (2 storey high) will be snapped up for 4 storey block.  That'd be interesting if it goes ahead.

The apartments/terrace house zone has a whole lot of new rules that would prevent nasties. Minimum bedroom and living room widths, 2.7 minimum stud heights. Often the bigger heights are associated with maximum number of floors so will never be reached. HIRTB controls between zones and of course anything is Restricted Discretionary so developing these sites will be harder than it is now. 
If your parents house in also in the Terrace/Apartment zone it will theoretically be worth more. If it's in a housing zone it'll still have a HIRTB control so neighbours probably couldn't get 4 in spite of zoning.

Cheers bob.
I haven't managed to down load the whole report but I saw soeone mentioned that council wants to bring fence level down to 1.2m..  WTF????

People seem to like making comments on the plan without reading it. The rule is actually not that it's:
1. Fences in a front yard must not exceed a height of 1.2m or 1.8m where the area between 1.2m and 1.8m is at least 75 per cent transparent.
Actually quite a good one if you spend time walking with your kids on the footpath and  almost get hit by cars backing out of driveways from behind fortress walls.

Thanks bob.  I am not looking forward to the day when we have to return and live in Auckland.  might have to buy a few lotto tickets to raise the 7 digits amount  to buy a decent house there.  Or I need to talk nicely to the oldman/old lady about their Auckland's bungalow..!

Like MIA said, Auckland should really lower their min section down to 250sqm with 50% coverage  like they have in Brisbane.  I am living in a small block inner city Brisbane, eventhough we are couple of meters way from our side neighbours, the planning rules stipulated stuffs privacy screens, not having large side opening and oaqued side windows.  It can work with smaller block when they put their minds into thinking mode. 
And I wish the goverment should look at the fees structure our council are charging.

The new mixed housing zone pretty much does this. It has 50% site cover. The problem with 250sqm sites is they need good design which would require iResource Consent to ensure it's good. They wanted to avoid making everything require a Resource Consent (to allow for affordabily) so they have a 300sqm minimum for a small number of additional dwellings Permitted - NO RC required. Then there's no minimum size if you get a RC to ensure some standard of quality.
It's just plain sensible. Reigns in the developers who'd do nasty stuff, but doesn't kill all development.

Hey Bob you sound like you are one of the planners for the Unitary Plan as you know the new rules inside out.  Do you know if the 50% site coverage for Mixed Housing is new?  My existing residential 6A zoned property has been zoned for Mixed Housing in the new draft.  I have 1300 sqm of land - does that mean I can extend the footprint of my house to 650 sqm without consent?  I don't think I can do that currently.  Thank you.


Viva! is an exciting project initiated by a group of Christchurch people who are committed to actively promoting sustainable developments for the central Christchurch rebuild. The team is presently initiating the plans for the development of a sustainable urban village on an inner city block.
The vision is:

“to create a vibrant urban village, an innovative and inspiring example of sustainable design and connected community”
better than the slack old developers and their cookie cutter developments?

Creative - but certainly not for me.  The whole concept makes me want to head to the farm and space.