Bernard Orsman is Super City reporter for the NZ Herald.

Auckland zoning maps get the green light from councillors

Auckland Councillor Denise Krum. Photo / Jason Oxenham.
Auckland Councillor Denise Krum. Photo / Jason Oxenham.

Auckland councillors yesterday farewelled the days of traditional single houses for a new era featuring apartment living.

With hardly a whimper, they approved a set of new zoning maps that have pitted homeowners labelled Nimbys against young people wanting a quality compact city.

The street map of Auckland has been changed with more townhouses, terraced housing and low-rise apartments on smaller sections.

One-in-five single house properties have been rezoned for intensive housing. In the central isthmus the figure is 42.6 per cent.

After three days of making decisions on the new blueprint for Auckland, the Unitary Plan, the governing body voted to accept the zoning maps by region as presented. Councillors were not allowed to make changes, even in hotspots like Glendowie where most of the suburb lost its single house status.

Central isthmus councillors Denise Krum and Cameron Brewer attempted to relitigate past battles, but Mayor Len Brown said going back would decimate the whole process of the Unitary Plan.

The plan has still to be passed in full, but most of the big issues have been dealt with.

Councillors have largely accepted the recommendations of an independent hearings panel to make provision for 422,000 houses to accommodate a million more people by 2041.

In places though, the council has said "no" to keep developers in line and ensure quality and good design.

The number of dwellings allowed to be built in the mixed housing zones has been reduced from four to two, and a recommendation for no minimum dwelling size has been rejected.

The governing body has, however, abolished provision for affordable housing in developments of 15 or more, but stopped housing on Crater Hill volcano in Papatoetoe and put a temporary hold on extending the rural urban boundary for housing at Okura estuary near Long Bay.

Housing providers were alarmed at the loss of the quota, which councillor John Watson said "might be it" when it comes to affordable housing.

Norman Elliott, of the Auckland Catholic Justice & Peace Commission, said the lever would gradually provide affordable homes and housing for the elderly to avoid a homelessness epidemic.

The governing body meeting will resume on Monday.

Main points

• Zoning maps for Unitary Plan approved

• Number of dwellings in mixed housing zones that can be built without resource consent reduced from four to two

• Affordable housing provisions removed from plan

- NZ Herald

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