Auckland Draft Unitary Plan

I attended the launch of the Unitary Plan at the Viaduct Events centre on March 15th 2013, and joined the workshop on housing that same day.

The Unitary Plan contains the rules and regulations that Auckland Council will replace the current Franklin District Plan with. The draft is now available to the public for review and comments, and if you are interested in having your say there are a variety of methods.

Auckland Council has specifically set up a website for all information and discussion on the Unitary Plan – Shape Auckland.

To get started watch this short video which gives you a brief overview of the intent of the Unitary Plan:

Then for details you can view the draft plan online:

  • Visit this link to view the Rules in text form which is organised in a hierachy of topics
  • Visit this link to view the maps (which with some self-educating can provide you with specific information about your own property)

Note: As well as underlying zoning, there are overlays which further relate to your property, eg. You may be in a single lot zone, but also have a pre-1944 heritage overlay which will add further performance criteria to any development or build on that site.  On the maps pages you will be able to find all the overlays that relate to your property and may affect you in the future.

If you manage to find your way through the plan, and discover you have a lot to say you can use the following methods:

  • attend a Unitary Plan event – southern Auckland events calendar can be found here,
  • submit using the online form,
  • view and comment on the online blog

Patumahoe Village Inc will be making a submission to the Unitary Plan along the lines of previous submissions, and will be inviting everyone along to a community meeting within the next two weeks to go over our submission.

Request for letters of support from community

Previous posts: Community Development Scheme application
Draft of application for Community Development Grant

Hi Folks

Paula Crosswell is developing an application that could see us obtain a 3 years of funding of up to $240,000 to assist with Community Development. It is too good an opportunity to turn down. There is a tight time frame on this with the application due in on March 20th. There will be a meeting next week and you will receive more information about it if. In the mean time I have been put in charge of getting some support and if possible we require from you a brief note of support and a little about yourself or yourselves.

The application is being fronted by the school as they have a track record of audited accounts. There is significant Patumahoe Village Inc  involvement with support from Whakaupoko Landcare. Please feel free to circulate this among others. I expect this will get circulated via PVI and Whakaupoko so you may receive this more than once.

We are presenting supporters as ‘Meet the locals’

If you are able to include a low res photo that will be appreciated.

The deadline is by this Sunday if possible. I have included a sample of one I have completed for myself.

Simply fill in and email back to me asap under the headings below.

Best Wishes

Andrew Sinclair


If you want to play a part in getting this scheme up and going in Patumahoe for three years, a couple of minutes is all that is needed to show your support for this proposal. You take two minutes to fill in this online form, or write your own letter, and send it to me by 15 March 2013 – email: patumahoe

Every letter is a valuable contribution to the application. Please consider taking the time to do it now.

A template and example is shown below:



I fully support this DIA Community Development Scheme application for Patumahoe and the surrounding wider community of which I am a keen local participant.

Brief background:

Community Interests / Involvement:

Hopes for the future:


Letter of Support – Andrew Sinclair by PatumahoeVillageInc

Draft of application for Community Development Grant

We are a bit further down the track – on the Community Development Grant initially discussed in this post.

Due to the tight deadline, and Ron’s absence (but welcome return this week) we are still in draft mode on the application which needs to be submitted in hard copy by 20 March 2013.

To meet our intent of transparency with the community – the draft application can be viewed below.  Please feel free to download and comment on aspects of the application, and we will endeavour to take all suggestions on board.

Of immense value is indication of support from the community. If you agree with the wider scope of the proposal please take time to write us a letter of support – or alternatively – take a couple of minutes to fill out this online form.

Draft Application 2013 by PatumahoeVillageInc

Rural Urban Boundary

The draft Unitary Plan release date is on 5 March 2013.  The unitary plan are rules and regulations relating to land use and buildings throughout Auckland.  It is an amalgamation of the previous District plans held by the separate councils.

A significant part of this release is the Rural Urban Boundary – which intends to place 40% of the estimated new dwellings in the rural land in Auckland.  This is relevant to Patumahoe.

Article copied from Auckland Council website:

The Rural Urban Boundary

Auckland’s population is growing rapidly. Over the next 30 years it is estimated an additional one million people are likely to live in Auckland. As we grow, our children will need places to live and work.

The Rural Urban Boundary (RUB) will define the maximum extent of urban development in greenfield land to help meet the growth projected in the Auckland Plan.

The RUB will be included in the Unitary Plan – the rulebook determining where development will occur. In keeping with the Auckland Plan, it is the intention for up to 40 per cent of the required 400,000 new dwellings to be located in rural towns and villages, greenfield areas and other rural areas; the majority of new dwellings will be located in existing urban areas.

The purpose of the RUB is to provide adequate room for growth while protecting the things that Aucklanders hold special, such as the natural environment, heritage, productive rural land, valued coastal areas and sense of community.

The RUB will provide land capacity for 160,000 new dwellings and 1400ha for new greenfields business land.

Investigations defining the boundary have been divided into three areas:

  • For the south, it means investigating which greenfield areas could best be used for up to 55,000 dwellings, along with business land for up to 35,000 jobs.  Options for where houses and businesses may go in Pukekohe, Drury South and Karaka were made available for public feedback, which is being reviewed.
  • Investigations are underway in the west (Whenuapai, Kumeu, and Huapai) and north (Warkworth and Silverdale West) to allow for growth of up to 35,000 dwellings.
  • A further 70,000 dwellings will be developed in general rural zones, towns and settlements, such as Waiuku and Wellsford.

These are the maximum numbers for development over a 30-year period.”



Community Development Scheme – application

Patumahoe Village Inc & Whakaupoko Landcare have approached Patumahoe Primary school as a funding partner to apply for a community development scheme grant, currently on offer in the Franklin District from the Department of Internal Affairs.

A brief meeting with Ron Gordon, Principal, was encouraging, as this would be an opportunity for the school to reach a higher level on their Enviroschools programme which they are proud to be part of.  There are many projects that would serve the wider community that the three groups all could be involved in.

This grant is opened to nine specific locations throughout New Zealand each year, and this year it is Franklin’s turn.  We have only become aware if it in the last couple of weeks, and intend for it to provide an opportunity for all members of the Patumahoe village community – whether they be residents, property or business owners, school families, visitors, farmers or our local flora, fauna and environment.

The grant is specifically aimed towards paying community development workers a salary for a period of three years, with the intention of creating a sustainable community outcome.  If this sounds confusing, that is because it is, but we will be available to answer questions (and ask some ) at the next Patumahoe Village Inc meeting which will be held at the Village Bar & Grill on Monday 25 February 2013 at 7.00pm.

The application will be posted online when it is completed – and part of the scheme requires regular review and revision so that the priorities and activities organised by the scheme can be adjusted as required.

If you want to know more – please come along to a semi-social get-together and discussion Monday week.

Draft Annual Plan 2013/14 – Franklin Local Board

Draft was released and submissions open Thursday, 24 January and close Monday, 25 February 2013.

This plan is the immediate budgetary and priority plan for our Franklin Local Board for the next two years.

Local Board chairman, Andy Baker introduces the Franklin Board content – “MESSAGE FROM YOUR
LOCAL BOARD CHAIRPERSON The Franklin Local Board has focussed intently on ensuring our communities’ needs have been recognised. We believe rates increases if needed must be kept to an absolute minimum, whilst retaining levels of service and funding to support and create local initiatives so community expectations can still be met where possible. Our priorities of better public transport, safer rural
roads and enhanced local economic development remain unchanged. Our burgeoning tourism industry around our east and west coasts, alongside our position as a vital food producer, the continued growth and popularity
of Pukekohe as a town centre and those things which makes Franklin such an important part of Auckland
now and in the future are foremost in our thinking. Our aspiration cannot become reality without effective communication and strong relationships with our community, so I again urge people to look carefully at this year’s annual plan, ask questions and make submissions.
Andrew Baker

The Franklin Local Board’s budget for 2013/2014 includes these local board priorities:

  • development of Bledisloe Park, Pukekohe
  • Waiuku Sports Park development
  • addressing coastal erosion on both coasts
  • upgrading existing parks and reserves
  • Pukekohe Town Centre continued upgrade
  • contributing to the Manukau Harbour Forum
  • promotion of local businesses in Wairoa.

To view document see below:
To have your say online visit Auckland Council’s website.

Three community workshops will be held to consult with the public.  Dates and venues to be advised.

Views from the summit – Patumahoe Hill

Video of elevated view – 4.2m above existing summit:

This video was taken by the intrepid Sam Sinclair, while his father steadied the bottom of the 4.2m high scaffold.
It was intended to give a better perspective of the resultant views if an mound was created at the top of the hill.

Why? For those who are unaware a Private Plan Change application is in to extend the existing residential zoned (but cropped) area up to the ridgeline of the hill. The committee of Patumahoe Village Inc, has approached the aspects of planned and intended growth by attempting to mitigate the effects on the rural village aspect, and if possible enhance community facilities and access. In a nutshell, while we may as property owners wish for less growth, as ratepayers we understand the deliberation of local government to utilise existing infrastructure and facilities to accommodate growth.

With that in mind, our submission regarding this application included ensuring that public access to this summit is not only guaranteed with the off-road walkway planned, but summit views protected and enhanced by the resulting built forms by elevating a proportion of the track so that full 360 views can be maintained.

This summit is of ecological significance in planning community spaces – as it is the highest point in the residential area of the village. However, by viewing older maps of the area, it is obvious that the cropping that has taken place has already changed the shape and location of the summit, so the installation of a mound would not have as much of a detrimental effect as if the hill was it’s original form.

As 20m boundary zone must be included whenever developing residential subdivisions in a rural area, to offset the adverse effects of rural production against residential neighbours – and vice versa. The current application has proposed within this 20m buffer, to provide an off-road walkway up and over the hill – connecting Mauku Road to Day Road. We submit that this walkway will be enhanced and more of a community asset if this walkway included an earthern mound that would ensure the views from the summit AFTER the houses have been built. This could be achieved from having an engineered design ready to accommodate the earth moving when the subdivision is implemented.

Panoramic view: At existing ground level with built forms graphics

Panorama of Patumahoe Hill – view from summit at ground level on

Panoramic view: At elevated 4.2m above existing summit

Panorama of Patumahoe Hill – elevated view on

Aye, theres the RUB…

The RUB – Rural Urban Boundary is a significant discussion taking place at the moment within the Auckland Council planning department.

In particular, for us here in Franklin – the Southern Rural Boundary, is of significance.

I attended the first community workshop on Wednesday, 21 November 2012 in the Franklin Centre, and the discussion is an opportunity for the general public to comment on the strategies and areas of growth that are planned for Franklin.

The focus of this aspect of the Unitary Plan is primarily on the location of growth, and the indicated intensification of built form within these urban areas. Pukekohe is designated a satellite town, and as such, has less intensification and lower height guides than what is proposed for Auckland City communities.

You can have your say on this discussion by:

  • Attending one of the meetings scheduled for the 27th or 29th of this month
  • email your comments to
  • provide feedback to the Unitary Plan which will be released in March 2013 for public consultation
  • downloading and filling out the Southern Rural Boundary form – shown below:

Southern Rural Urban Boundary – Consultation document

Unitary Plan Civic Forum Workshop – October 2012

As a member of the People’s Panel, I was lucky enough to be invited to the Unitary Plan Civic Forum workshop arranged by Auckland Council.

Approx 300 members of the People’s Panel were invited to attend, and the turnout rate was just over 100.

The focus of the workshop – which was held in two sessions – was to determine what people valued about Auckland, and what the focus of the unitary plan could and should be.

The first session was held on Tuesday 23 October, in the Town Hall for 1.5 hours, as a preliminary introduction to those attending about the relationship between the aspirational Auckland Plan – and the legislative Unitary Plan. The Unitary Plan – is the amalgamation of all the separate District Plans inherited from the District Councils. There is a balancing act required to bring all the plans in line – while also recognising the inherent differences and distinctive characters of different Auckland communities – including Franklin, and of course, Patumahoe & Mauku.

Part of this introduction included the following video:

The follow up six-hour workshop was held on the following Saturday 27 October 2012. Groups of approx ten people were matched up with Auckland Council staff- including planners – and a staff member recorded the discusssions. Each discussion topic was preceded by a video or slideshow and then the groups shared ideas and opinions.

The draft Unitary plan is still being compiled, and will be released for Public consultation next year – 2013.

This plan is one of the biggest changes in terms of impact on what you can and cannot do on your property, so keep an eye out for notifications and opportunities to have your say.

The Auckland Council website has a lot of information available online.

Also, you can find a review of the Unitary Plan Civic forum itself, as well as a (now closed for comment) online forum.

Patumahoe specific information:

If you have viewed the video above, you will have an idea of the growth figures that Auckland Council is working with.  Unfortunately due to the cancellation of the 2011 census, extrapolation figures are based on the 2006 data and accordingly are subject to some dispute – but that aside – the following considerations are being made:

Approx 40% of the expected growth is to be accommodated in currently rural areas of Auckland, and for Franklin this means an expected growth figure of 55,000 new dwellings along with planning for business growth of up to 35,000 jobs (Data: Southern Rural Urban Boundary – Auckland Council).

While the RUB – Rural Urban Boundary focuses on Pukekohe as a satellite town, growth for Patumahoe as a rural village has been once again reiterated in the Auckland Plan – following on from the Franklin District Council growth strategy and the Auckland Regional Council growth direction.

The rural village designation in the Auckland Plan is defined as following:

“Serviced Rural and Coastal Villages

These are small rural settlements of varying sizes (from 100 to 5,000 people) with close connections to their rural or natural surroundings, but which are not a focus for significant growth. They are centres for rural residents and provide for village living, dormitory residential, holiday and retirement living to varying degrees, and in some cases serve visitors with lowkey service and tourist development. Significant growth in sensitive natural settings, locations with poor accessibility and insufficient, unaffordable or problematic service infrastructure will be avoided. A critical constraint is the capacity to deal with wastewater in an acceptable way, with the associated costs of servicing borne by land developers, and avoiding concentrations of on-site systems likely to degrade water quality in receiving environments. Therefore, villages where adequate service capacity can be provided have potential for well-planned growth on a locally appropriate scale that enhances their qualities.”

While rural towns and settlements will be automatically included in the spatial planning that will be provided to Franklin by the Auckland Council planning process, as a rural village – Patumahoe is not yet included in the planning programme, while still being included in the planned growth.

What can you do?

  1. Join the Auckland Council People’s Panel – and respond on issues of personal priority by online survey
  2. Send opinion pieces and items of interest to us here for publishing
  3. Came along to a PVI meeting and have your say.

Community Meeting – 13th September 2012

Several residents turned up for the Open Community meeting regarding the application for a Private Plan change for Patumahoe Hill.

Most discussion ranged around the necessity for more housing – both locally and within Auckland – and the impact it would have on the status quo.

A few of those attending had requested hearings during the submission process and will be voicing their personal concerns to the council.

A list of questions had been compiled – using questions provided by email and through the website, and the owners of the property – with some generosity as this is not the usual process – instructed their planners to provide answers.

Both questions and answers can be viewed below:
2012-09 Sept 11th Questions Sent to MRCagney_with MRCagney Responses