the deal on the auckland unitary plan

According to our City Council, its draft Unitary Plan will ensure that Auckland "can meet its economic and housing growth needs, and help its centres meet their real potential, while protecting and enhancing what already makes the region great."

But in practical terms, what does this actually mean for you, your home and your business?


To (briefly) put the Plan into context, it's the new rule book for all things property. It is an integral part of Auckland's goal to become "the world's most liveable city" within the next 30 years, and, in its simplest terms, will determine what can be built and where.

All professionals involved in every aspect of property - lawyers, mortgage brokers, real estate agents, planning advisers, developers - need to be conversant with the Plan in order to guide our clients around the minefields and towards the hitherto hidden treasures.

Crucially, the new "rural-urban boundary" changes will mean that some land which was previously not sub-dividable can now be developed.

For most Aucklanders, this is the key fact which you need to be aware of, especially if you're thinking of selling your property. Why? Because if the designation of your land is going to change in the near future, and if, unbeknownst to you, the plot will be sub-dividable, your price expectations may be on the conservative side…

The Plan affects many other aspects of development too, of course:

• More intensified development of certain areas
• New business development or intensification in areas
• Improved public transport and new roads
• Infrastructure development, such as storm water drainage
• The protection of historic heritage
• Provision for rural activities
• Maintaining the marine environment

Angela Goodwin from Potentialis Planning and Resource Management ( is a specialist in the rules that apply to a property's development potential:

“It is vitally important to understand Council's rules when purchasing a property. Rules in the Unitary Plan and Council's existing 'rulebooks” determine how the neighbourhood you are buying into might change in the future. They tell you whether new roads and infrastructure may be built beside the property, whether an apartment building or childcare centre could pop up next door and how close your neighbours can build to your boundary. Understanding the rules that apply to a property you want to purchase lets you know what to expect so that you can make an informed purchase.

Understanding the rules also helps you determine whether the property is a good investment and whether you could develop the property to further increase its potential. Put simply, understanding Councils rules is the difference between a new property fulfilling your dreams (whether that's a dream house to live in or a great investment) or causing bitter disappointment and hassle. Avoid unpleasant surprises and check the rules before your purchase.”

A quick glance at the Council's website shows just how complex and detailed Auckland's Unitary Plan is. That's why we're here, to translate the codes and Council-speak into plain English and to help you identify the potential opportunities or threats.

To learn exactly how you're affected by the Plan contact Felicity or Stacey.
The first THREE respondents will receive a free unitary plan assessment and advice in respect of a residential or commercial property.

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DISCLAIMER: This information is given as a guide only. All information in this website is to author’s knowledge true and accurate. No liability is assumed by the authors, or publishers, for any losses suffered by any person relying directly or indirectly upon the information contained in this website. It is recommended that you consult a representative of The Property Practice Ltd before acting upon this information.