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Most Aucklanders are aware that on the 29th of March 2012 the Auckland plan was introduced with the aim of making Auckland the world’s most liveable city.  Auckland city will be combining with North Shore, Waitakere and Manukau to create a super city under one council and one plan. What most people may not realise is what exactly will be taking place, and how we as investors can make the most of this opportunity.
So what exactly is the council planning?
The council has six transformational shifts:
1_ Dramatically accelerate the prospects of Auckland’s children and young people.
2_Strongly commit to environmental action and green growth.
3_ Move to provide outstanding public transport within one system.
4_ Radically improve the quality of urban living.
5_ Substantially raise the living standards of all Aucklanders with a focus on those most in need.
6_ Significantly lift Maori social and economic wellbeing.
Of these six the most exciting for property investors is the urban housing plan. With Auckland’s population expected to increase by one million over the next 30 years the council is planning on infilling the current metropolitan area with 280 000 new dwellings or 80% of the new population and the remaining 20% to go into sustainable, liveable Greenfield developments.

The current Auckland metropolitan area will be classified into a hierarchy of their current and future roles in the city, with each suburb being listed as metropolitan centres, town centres, local centres and neighbourhood centres. The council is also pushing for medium to high density housing with 4-6 storey housing in typical town centres such as St Heliers.

Metropolitan areas will include suburbs such as New Market, Sylvia Park, Takapuna and New Lynn and will be areas that “service regional catchments or have strategic roles within the region. They will provide a diverse range of shopping, business, cultural, entertainment and leisure activities, together with higher-density residential and mixed-use environments. They will have good transport access and will be serviced by high-frequency public transportation. These centres will provide the greatest opportunities for  business and residential growth.

Town Centres will “act as local hubs” for communities, providing a wide range of retail and business services and facilities, and community facilities. They will generally be accessible by frequent public transport services and provide a range of residential living options, including mixed-use and higher-density options. They will have variable capacities for accommodating new residential and business development. Areas such as Avondale, Glen Innes, Onehunga, and Pt Chevalier are listed to be town centres.

These areas will no doubt be the best places for investors looking for growth. The council has even stated the “emerging” suburbs where they will be investing further to attract growth. Areas such as Botany or Three Kings are listed.
To facilitate this growth the council is spending billions of dollars on public transport. The aim is to unite all of Auckland onto a single system and increase the number of passenger trips from 70 million to 140 million by 2022. Auckland will see better rail, increased ferry routes, and better quality roads. Not only that but the council will also be building walking and cycling networks across the city integrated with public transport to discourage private car use. Critical infrastructure projects, such as the City Rail Link, AMETI, East – West link and additional Waitematā Harbour Crossing will be built to ease congestion.
With all this infrastructure being built I believe Auckland is one of the best places in the world in which to invest in over  the next 20 – 30 years and it is exciting to see the changes coming as Auckland finally emerges on a global scale.
For more information or to view the council’s exact plans head to www.theaucklandplan.govt.nz