The South Aucklander who took his love for planes to new heights after craning an old Air New Zealand passenger plane into his back yard has been found to be in breach of the Auckland Unitary Plan.

The near 15m-long aircraft, with its blue and green Air NZ stripes still visible, turned nearly all the neighbours' heads when it was lowered into the Totara Heights backyard of the residential property last week.

Upon learning of the plane transfer Auckland Council conducted a site visit to better understand the situation, manager of regulatory compliance Steve Pearce said.

"We inspected the plane and there are currently minor breaches of the unitary plan, and we're working with the owner to rectify these.

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The South Auckland man used a crane to lift an old Air New Zealand plane into his back yard at Eugenia Rise, Totara Heights. Photo / Supplied
The South Auckland man used a crane to lift an old Air New Zealand plane into his back yard at Eugenia Rise, Totara Heights. Photo / Supplied

"The council takes a graduated approach to enforcement in the first instance, helping people to comply with the rules where we can, either by giving advice and warnings initially or giving them the opportunity to apply for any consents and permits that might be necessary."

The plane was in breach of the plan because of its height and location, Pearce said.

Despite the graduated approach, in such case "where the effect of work undertaken illegally is significant and our requests are repeatedly ignored, we are prepared to take action when needed".

The owner of the plane contacted the Herald this morning to say he had been advised by the council the plane was exempt and the height issue had been corrected.

Neighbours said it took about two hours to get the plane into position.

Neighbour Jrania Kao - who moved into her newly built home with her family less than six months ago - had front row seats.

The plane towered over the back of Kao's property and at a glance appeared to be balancing on top of her fence.

Despite obstructing her view, Kao said it was the neighbour's choice and it didn't bother her.

The decomissioned Air New Zealand plane was found to be in breach of the Auckland Council Unitary Plan because of its height and location. Photo / Emma Russell
The decomissioned Air New Zealand plane was found to be in breach of the Auckland Council Unitary Plan because of its height and location. Photo / Emma Russell

"They probably didn't want to have to look at our ugly garden which is fair enough."

The plane's owner also has a fire truck which was parked on the street yesterday.

Mike Tippett had no issues with the new addition to the neighbourhood.

"Good on him. It's his backyard, he can do what he wants with it," he said.

Totara Heights resident Jill Bloxom said she saw the plane being craned into the property from her place a few houses down.

"I couldn't believe it when I saw it. I was quite surprised that they were allowed to put it out there."

The plane was a Embraer Bandeirante, Portuguese for Pioneer, and was flown by Eagle Air/Air New Zealand Link from October 1988 until the type was retired by the airline around 2001, New Zealand Aviation News editor John King said.

"I'm not sure where it's been sitting for the past 15-plus years, but its condition indicates it hasn't been outside."

Air New Zealand referred all inquiries about the acquisition of the plane to the owner.