The Auckland Plan - FAQs.  
The Auckland Plan will have a major impact on Aucklanders’ lives over the next 30 years. It will shape the transport we use, the places we live and work, and help to make Auckland the world’s most liveable city.
A long-term strategy for the region’s future . The Auckland Plan was formally launched on 29 May 2012.


Questions relating to the draft Auckland Plan

Q: What is the purpose of the Auckland Plan and what will it do?

A: The Auckland Plan (also referred to as the spatial plan) is a broad-based 30-year strategy for Auckland that supports the Mayor’s vision for Auckland to become the world’s most liveable city. It identifies how different parts of Auckland will grow and develop, and when this might occur. It will also guide the services, projects and programmes of the Auckland Council, its Council Controlled Organisations, central government, and the private sector that are needed to build stronger communities and deliver on the vision for Auckland. 

Q: Why do we need an Auckland Plan?

A: This Plan is required under Section 79 of the Local Government (Auckland Council) Amendment Act 2010. As New Zealand’s largest city and most populous region, it is vital that Auckland have a clear vision for the future and a plan for how to get there. The Auckland Council has the responsibility to lead the development of the Auckland Plan.

Q: Who prepared the content for the Auckland Plan?

A: The plan takes into account feedback from thousands of Aucklanders and consultation with Local Boards, government agencies and stakeholder organisations. It was the council’s responsibility to produce the plan.

Q: How does the Auckland Plan relate to central government priorities?

A: One third of the population of New Zealand currently lives in Auckland. Central government agencies provide many services and therefore have a high interest in how Auckland develops in the future and how funding can best be applied.

The council is engaging with government agencies and key partners to identify spending and service priorities.

Q: Is the Auckland Plan just about the central city?

A: No. The Auckland Plan embraces the whole region - from Te Hana in the North to Pukekohe in the South and includes the region's extensive coastal and maritime areas.

Communities, businesses and organisations right across the region helped shape The Auckland Plan. 

Q: Will the Auckland Plan affect my rates?

A: Developing the Plan itself has not affected your rates, as this cost will be covered from existing budgets. However, the Auckland Plan has identified a number of initiatives and projects for implementation to enable Auckland to develop in the future.

Further information about how the council is proposing to fund these projects is included in the council's Long-Term Plan 2012-2022  (link)

A range of funding sources is being considered for projects including central government funding, public - private partnerships, development contributions and alternative funding sources to minimise the future impact on rates.

Policy specific questions

Q: Why is the plan allowing for so much growth?

A: Growth is an inevitable outcome for all successful cities and brings with it many benefits, such as an increased labour force, economic development, increased investment, diversity, community development and infrastructure improvements. During the 30-year span of The Auckland Plan, the city’s population is expected to grow by up to 1 million people.

There is no practical way of stopping growth from occurring and it is not realistic to stop people coming to Auckland. Growth is an outcome of natural increase (births and people living longer) and new people moving to Auckland (either from other parts of NZ or from overseas). Auckland’s rapid growth is predicted to continue so an effective strategy for managing this growth, making the most of positive benefits and minimising potential negative outcomes, is essential.

Q: What does the compact city mean? Why is Auckland’s physical growth being constrained?

A: The compact city approach is a way of managing Auckland’s expected growth in a more sustainable way. The aim is to protect Auckland’s sensitive environments and ecosystems, and to make the most effective use of current land use and infrastructure investments. A more compact city will also make greater investment in public transport and better infrastructure viable, and help create living choices that reflect changing demographics and needs. It will also support the revitalisation and regeneration of many existing town centres and stimulate greater productivity and agglomeration benefits for the local economy.

Pursuing a compact city requires the use of many policy tools, including continued use of a urban growth boundary - this will be in the form of a new Rural Urban Boundary (RUB) to replace the existing Metropolitan Urban Limits (MUL).

Q: Where will the development occur?

A: In general, centres which provide capacity for significant growth are those at the metropolitan and town centre levels, together with local centres on intensive corridors. You can find the detail in the plan.

Q: How will the plan support the delivery of new homes?

A: The plan seeks to support the delivery of 330,000 to 400,000 new homes over the next 30 years. The principal approach to achieve this will be amendments to current zoning policies to allow greater intensity of development. It is expected that a significant amount of new detached homes will be built over the next 30 years, but the overall proportion of these will decrease as more low rise attached homes (such as terrace housing) and medium (walkup) and high rise apartments are built in and round metropolitan centres and town centres and other suburban development opportunities. About 60 per cent or 70 per cent of new development will occur within existing city boundaries.

Q: How does the plan provide for business growth across Auckland?

A: The plan seeks to safeguard existing industrial zoned land and promote efficient use of business land. New commercial activity will be focused predominantly in Auckland’s network of centres to provide work and shopping opportunities near to where people live, and which are well serviced by public transport.

New industrial activities will be focused in existing locations where the conditions are right (brownfield intensification) and new greenfield areas that will be gradually released for development over time. 

Q: Can Auckland fund the city rail link and harbour crossing?

A: The City Rail Link is required by 2020 whereas the additional harbour crossing is not required until 2030, meaning that the funding for each project is required at different times. Tolls and new funding mechanisms are required to finance these projects as there is likely to be insufficient funds from traditional sources (rates and the National Land Transport Fund). The council is working to identify a range of funding mechanisms to assist in the timely delivery of key pieces of transport infrastructure such as the City Rail Link. New funding tools and the respective contributions from Auckland and the government will need to be agreed. The council is committed to leading this work and seeking Aucklander's support to ensure these projects can be funded. Auckland's funding contribution to the City Rail Link was the subject of public consultation during the Long Term Plan process.

The current rail system is constrained by limited rolling stock, much of which is quite old and prone to breakdown. From late 2013, a much larger electric train fleet will begin entering service with some existing rolling stock redeployed to outer suburban shuttle services. This will increase the passenger capacity of the train fleet from the current 13,000 to 23,000.

Q: Can Auckland reduce the amount of anthropogenic (human impact) greenhouse gas emissions by the stated target? (That is, reduce the amount of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2031 based on 1990 levels)

A: Auckland Council will lead by example and be a catalyst for change in this area. However, credible progress towards this target will only be achieved through the joint efforts of council, key industries and other stakeholders. Particular areas of focus will include public transport, renewable and distributed energy generation, diversification of energy sources available in Auckland, sustainable building design, low emission precincts, and waste management practices. The council has already met with Auckland business leaders to talk about the bottom line benefits of adopting green growth practices.

Q: How much of Auckland's energy will be generated from renewable sources in the future?

A: Auckland will support the national target of 90% of electricity generation from renewable sources by 2025. The specific actions required to play its part in reaching that target will be identified through the development of an Energy and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Strategy. This strategy will be developed in partnership with key industries and other stakeholders.

Q: What does "energy-efficient development and design" really mean?

A: Energy-efficient development and design brings together a range of factors that improve efficiency. These include improving the quality of our housing so that it is more efficient to heat, developing a compact urban form so that facilities and services are within easy walking and cycling distance, and improving public transport services.

Q: What is the Southern Initiative and how will it make a difference?

A:The Southern Initiative is a customised programme of action in an area of high social need and of significant economic opportunity. The area extends across four local board areas: Mangere-Otahuhu, Otara-Papatoetoe, Manurewa and Papakura. The Southern Initiative is a multi-faceted, multi-agency, initiative to unleash this human and economic potential. Its prime focus is to strengthen children and families, and support stable homes. It will encompass supporting and upskilling parents and guardians, and raising educational achievement, as well as housing development.

Q: What is the relationship with the Unitary Plan and Area Spatial Planning?

A:The Unitary Plan provides the more detailed policy framework regarding social, economic, cultural and ecological wellbeing and relates to the management of natural and physical resources. It is developed under the Resource Management Act and provides a regulatory means of implementing the Auckland Plan. Area Spatial Planning is a process for detailed planning of specific locations, such as development areas and greenfield growth areas, in implementing the Auckland Plan at local level.

Q: What is the relationship with the Local Board Plans?

A: The Local Board Plans have been developed in parallel with the Auckland Plan. The process has ensured Local Boards developed their Local Board Plans consistent with the evolving overarching strategic framework for Auckland’s growth and development, and the development of the Auckland Plan has been fully informed by local issues and perspectives. The Local Board Plans are also, in effect, implementation plans for the Auckland Plan at a local level.

Q: Why does the Auckland Plan discuss infrastructure that is not provided by the council such as schools and electricity?

A: The Auckland Plan is a plan for all of Auckland, not just the council. It was developed with the assistance of other infrastructure providers such as central government (e.g. Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health) and network utility providers such as Transpower and Vector and sets the platform for the ongoing collaboration of all development partners.

Q: How will the public be informed about the ongoing implementation of the Auckland Plan?

A: An annual implementation update will be provided, in order to report on the progress against targets and outcomes set out in the plan, and may contain updated project information, agreed funding arrangements and new information that comes to light. Regular communications to residents will record progress in putting The Auckland Plan into action, regionally and locally.

Questions relating to the Economic Development Strategy

Q: What is the draft economic development strategy?

A: To be the world’s most liveable city, Auckland must be an internationally competitive and prosperous economy that all Aucklanders can benefit from and participate in. A strong economy means more jobs and more money in people’s pockets and a more liveable city that attracts talent, businesses and investment. The economic development strategy is a call to action for a greater degree of investment and cooperation by business, industry, government and community organisations.

Q: Why is the council developing an economic development strategy?

A: The draft economic development strategy is the first of a set of core strategies being developed by the council to help deliver the Auckland Plan. With cities increasingly acting as the sites for global competition, New Zealand’s economic performance will be highly reliant on Auckland’s performance. Auckland’s scale and connectivity positions it as the only city in New Zealand able to compete internationally.

Q: Who developed the draft economic development strategy?

A: The strategy was developed in partnership with the Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) Council Controlled Organisation (CCO) and key central government economic ministries and agencies, including the Ministry of Economic Development, Department of Labour, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Questions relating to the City Centre Master Plan

Q: What is the City Centre Master Plan (CCMP)?

A: The CCMP is a 20 year vision for Auckland’s city centre designed to unlock Auckland’s potential as an economic hub, a visitor drawcard and a colourful, lively place that all Aucklanders are excited to visit and proud to own.

Using research on Auckland’s city centre and on city centres worldwide, a team of Auckland Council planners defined key changes that address some of the city centre’s greatest deficits, challenges and needs. They include:

Changes to make it easier for people to get from the city centre to the waterfront (reconnecting the city centre with its harbour) and from the urban villages of Ponsonby, Freemans Bay and Parnell.

Changes to ‘green’ the city centre; including better links between our existing open spaces through pedestrian routes that are pleasant and green.

Consideration of where future growth will be and what it will be like. For example, the City Rail Link stations will naturally be places where residential and commercial growth will concentrate.

Ways that we can keep further enhance our CBD or "engine room" to keep it thriving in the economy of the future.
Our goal is a colourful, buzzing, pedestrian-friendly Auckland city centre that is exciting to visit, and easy to get into and around.

Q: Why do we need a master plan?

A: The mayor identified the need for a master plan specifically for the city centre to be developed as part of the Auckland Plan. It offers a level of detail for the city that the Auckland Plan can’t offer. Cities around the world have masterplans.

Questions relating to the Waterfront Development Plan

Q: What is the draft waterfront plan?

A: The overall purpose of the waterfront plan is to propose initiatives for the future development of the central city waterfront, linking the Wynyard Quarter to the CBD waterfront and eventually connecting to St Heliers.

Q: Why was it prepared?

A: Developing a new waterfront plan is an opportunity to build on previous plans and to develop new ideas. Taking in the wider waterfront and as the focus of a new organisation, it is a chance to have a fresh look at how the waterfront can be developed over the next thirty years.

Q: Who prepared the waterfront plan?

A: The Auckland Waterfront Development Agency, a council controlled organisation, was established in November 2010 as part of the formation of the Auckland Council. The agency, known as Waterfront Auckland, is responsible for around 45 hectares of waterfront property including Wynyard Wharf and the land north of Pakenham Street at Wynyard Quarter, Westhaven Marina and part of Queens Wharf, on behalf of Auckland Council and the ratepayers and public of Auckland. An objective of Waterfront Auckland is to lead a strategic approach to development across the waterfront, which is the purpose of the Waterfront Plan.




The Auckland Plan will have a major impact on Aucklanders’ lives over the next 30 years. It will shape the transport we use, the places we live and work, and help to make Auckland the world’s most liveable city.

A long-term strategy for the region’s future, the Auckland Plan was formally launched on 29 May 2012.

Questions relating to the Auckland Plan

Policy specific questions

Questions relating to the Economic Development Strategy

Questions relating to the City Centre Master Plan

Questions relating to the Waterfront Development Plan

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