The Unitary Plan exists to provide a framework for how Auckland will grow, and accommodate more people in increased density housing in Auckland.
However late last year Auckland Council blindsided Orakei Ward residents with significant changes to the density outlined in the original Unitary Plan.
- Zoning redefinitions: The four residential zones in our ward will all allow for more density. For example, Mixed Housing Suburban Zone (most of Meadowbank & St Johns), will now allow one dwelling per 200m2 (instead of one dwelling per 400m2). See a summary of zoning redefinitions (thanks to Margaret King).
- ‘Upzoning’: Just before Christmas 2015, Auckland Council announced that around 20,000 properties (mainly in Glendowie, St Heliers and Orakei, with about 100 properties affected in Meadowbank and St Johns) would be re-zoned under the Unitary Plan to allow for much higher density developments. Some properties even ‘jumped up’ two zones.
For a definition of the four main proposed new zones affecting Orakei Ward, see the Auckland Council Fact sheet definitions:
- Single House zone
- Mixed Housing Suburban zone
- Mixed Housing Urban zone
- Terraced Housing and Apartment Buildings (THAB) zone
In practice this means a much higher density in Orakei Ward than we were originally consulted upon, and the Council has not addressed the flow-on effects that this increased density will have on infrastructure, traffic and resources.
What’s more, unless the ‘upzoned’ households made a submission on the Unitary Plan (submissions closed in February 2014), they cannot make submissions on the changes.
We believe this process has been completely undemocratic so here’s what we’re doing about it.
- Together with other Residents Associations and community groups in Orakei, and supported by Orakei Local Board, we held a public meeting on February 9 to inform residents of the changes and asked local Councillors to support our objections to the process
- We’re staying in close contact with Orakei Local Board to keep pressure on Auckland Council.
To see an outline of the changes in Orakei Ward, view the Zoning Map. Note: ‘Out of scope’ means Auckland Council will not notify property owners of the changes, and owners have no right of reply to the changes.
- Auckland special meeting on ‘up zoning’ could create chaos (Stuff.co.nz, 24 February 2016). Good explanation of the issues and an excellent interactive ‘before and after’ map.
- Revolt in the suburbs (NZ Herald, 20 February 2016). A balanced and simply-explained article about the issues.
- Auckland residents concerned over proposed zoning changes in Unitary Plan (East and Bays Courier, February 11 2016)
- Council publishes preliminary zoning maps (Our Auckland, 17 December 2015). Note zoning maps have been removed, but the accompanying article is informative.