How the Auckland Unitary Plan affects Te Atatu Peninsula

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Update from original article

What might Te Atatu Peninsula look like 20 years from now under the new Auckland Unitary Plan?

Auckland, according to Hamish Firth, a town planner from Mt Hobson Group:

  • Much of urban Auckland has been re-zoned meaning increased development potential.
  • By 2041 there will be capacity for 420,000 new houses.
  • 64% will be in urban areas.
  • 190,000 new dwellings will be terraces or apartments.

(Hamish might be someone you should call if you want to know just what you might be able to achieve on your land - DDI: 09 950 5110. Website here.

Change is coming like it or not. What might it mean for Te Atatu Peninsula? It could mean 3000 to 4000 new residents in our peninsula over the next 20 years, that's a sizable increase.

There are some very positive things about the unitary plan

There will be more supply and more supply of homes at many different price points. Families might not be forced away from each other due to the unaffordability of a place to live or rent in this area. Sure it means your son or daughter when they leave home buys an apartment first, then move up to a duplex, then a small house, and finally a mansion on the waterfront, but that's not so bad, is it?

It will be ideal for local businesses who will have more customers; more businesses will crop up and provide more local jobs. If you own your home, you might have options that didn't exist under the old council zoning.

​There will be growing pains. Growth comes at a cost.

All that growth puts pressure on the existing infrastructure. This includes but not limited to; Schools, transport services, storm water, waste water, electrical systems, telecommunications, waterways. (please let me know what I have missed here).

So, what might be your options?​

(This is an example only and would need to be verified by a town planner. It is here to show you the potential options available to you).

Let us say you had an 890m2 section with a lovely original 110m2 weatherboard home zoned mixed housing urban. You could potentially:

  1. Do nothing.
  2. Add onto your house to make bigger for your growing family.
  3. Leave the house and build another one at the back.
  4. Build two three story houses potentially on their own title.
  5. Remove the house and build four or five houses.​

Note: Building rules and the building code must still be followed. You still need access to essential services like wastewater and storm water systems. Some builds may require a building consent.

My final word​

Sure, I like things as they are but change is inevitable, so I may as well embrace it. Te Atatu will change in ways I can't even imagine, but it will take time. I will be old and maybe ready for an apartment by then.

Here are a few pictures of what we are likely to see more of as time goes by. 


Original article

What is the Auckland Unitary Plan?

​The Auckland Unitary Plan is the new rulebook that lets you know what you can build on your property. It also covers how you use the natural and physical resources of your region.

What does the Unitary Plan hope to achieve?

​What the Auckland Unitary Plan hopes to accomplish is supply of more affordable housing that suits the needs and future needs of a growing Auckland population. We Currently have a system that encourages building the biggest house that a site can accommodate which might not be the best use for some land.

Where are we at now?

As of 17th November 2016, the Auckland Unitary Plan is now operative in part while a few things still remain under challenge. Even the new updated map of Te Atatu Peninsula might have some changes but they are likely to be minor. We have some guidelines and this page is in no way official and will be a work in progress as the council grapples with the new rules for housing density within the different allocated zones.

Here is how Te Atatu has been divided up under the new plan.​

If you would like to look up your address, click here.

The Te Atatu Peninsula of the future could be much more highly populated and that in itself will be both wonderful and not without its issues. This page is not about debating the pros and cons of the Auckland Unitary Plane, but more concerned with understanding how it will alter the landscape and what you can and can't do under the new rules.

The four main housing zones in Te Atatu and Auckland wide are:

Terrace Housing and Apartment Buildings Zone

Te Atatu​ Peninsula has a large area of terraced housing (Designated in dark orange on the map). The Terrace Housing and Apartment Building Zone (THAB) can range in height anywhere from four storeys to six storeys depending on the scale of the adjacent centre. Where five and six storeys are permitted, they are likely to step down at the edge the zone.

Mixed Housing Urban Zone

This zone sits between Apartment living and suburban living with the purpose of this zone being to provide for greater intensification of up to three storeys which will create a more urban built character.

20% of Auckland has been allocated as mixed housing urban. Up to four dwellings per site is permitted without having to get resource consent. Five or more dwelling per site is permitted but will require council consent.

Development standards that include things like, a yard, building coverage, and the resource consenting process will determine the level of development on a site.

* Minimum site frontage and minimum bedroom sizes have been dropped.

Mixed Housing Suburban Zone

The purpose of this zone is to provide for a planned suburban character of up to two storeys in a spacious setting.

All density restrictions will be as per Mixed Housing Urban Zone. This means that the main difference between zones is the height limit. ie. Two story as upposed to three story.

Single House Zone

This is the most common zone in Auckland but you will notice there is very little of this zone on the Te Atatu Peninsula map. This just goes to show how 'The Panel' have chosen Te Atatu Peninsula to be a much more densly propulated suburb.

This zoning does have a 600 sqm minimum site, but there are a few exceptions like Herald Island which has a minimum of 800 sqm. You will need to look up the Council website and look at the overlays, precincts, and controls for your property.

If you would like to look up your actual address, click here.

Note: The purpose of plus 1 meter is to prevent all future developments becoming flat roofed. The plus one meter allow for the roof line to be pitched.

Some Key Points

  • Without going through a development exercise, you only have development potential. This of course is depending on your current zoning under the new Unitary Plan.
  • The building act still applies, as it always has.
  • As a sales person with Barfoot & Thompson in the area of Te Atatu, I am unable to give out specific advice or guidance on the effects of the Plan. I am restricted to the information and explanations and definitions that the Council has already developed in regard to zoning, overlays, precincts, and the fact sheet of information which is contained in the GIS viewer web site. For more detailed advice I recommend you contact The Council Consent Departments, or the Auckland Council Unitary Plan customer enquiries help desk. (09) 301-0101