Auckland Unitary Plan (Operative in Part) – November 2016

Parts of the Auckland Unitary Plan have been made operative, effective from 8am Tuesday 15 November 2016 and made official through a public notice in the New Zealand Herald on 8 November (Auckland Council Unitary Plan Notice).

In regard to the provisions that are not operative, since the end of the appeal period against the Council’s decisions on the PAUP (19 September 2016), Council has been analysing the appeals and how they impact on the “legacy” district plans.

Broadly, based on the scope of the appeals to the Auckland Unitary Plan, the parts of the Plan that are not operative include the following (as a general guidance only):

  • Many of the rural subdivision provisions;
  • Some urban subdivision provisions;
  • The zonings of some urban sites;
  • The activities and development standards for some of the urban zones; and
  • Some of the overlays provisions.

When referencing the Auckland Unitary Plan, the provisions in it that are subject to appeal have a vertical black line alongside them (and conversely, those that are operative do not). The Plan provisions can be viewed here, and maps here. The appeals filed in the Environment and High Courts against Auckland Council’s decisions on the Plan are potentially being settled through meditation, or by hearing if mediation is not scheduled or is unsuccessful.

Unlike the standard Resource Management Act procedures, there were very limited appeal rights arising from the Council’s final decisions on submissions, particularly where the Council accepted the Panel’s recommendations. These are set out in sections 155-159 of the Local Government (Auckland Transitional Provisions) Act 2010.

The mediation and hearing process is soon starting, and is expected to take until late 2017 to conclude (Auckland Council Unitary Plan appeal update).

The statutory framework is still quite complex at present, but we expect that with further review and interpretation by Council - and their issuing of guidance and practice notes - the interpretation and application of the Auckland Unitary Plan (Operative in Part) and the legacy district plans that have effect will soon become simpler. We will update our Blog when this occurs.