Ōrākei Local Board feedback on the National Policy Statement on Urban Development 2020 and RMA amendments 2021 – Council’s preliminary response
21 June 2022
Support the Ōrākei Local Board feedback on the National Policy Statement on Urban Development 2020 and RMA amendments 2021 – Council’s preliminary response
- Orakei Local Board agrees with the advice of the Heritage Advisory Panel dated 6th June 2022 (copied – Appendix A) and Council’s Feedback Report analysing public views on Special Character Areas.
- Both overwhelmingly demonstrate support for Special Character Areas as a qualifying matter, favour the retention of all of Auckland’s Special Character Areas, and
- both give support for Council to further strengthen boundaries to include SCAs which do not currently meet the threshold.
- We agree with the repeated concessions of council staff that there has been inadequate time for a wide range of assessment and analysis to complete an optimal assessment of special character. Therefore, we reiterate our earlier feedback that the best governance approach to the proposed plan change is to take a precautionary approach (see Appendix B – clause 3) which is:
- to make all SCA in residential non-walkable catchment areas as currently stated in the UP ‘qualifying matter’ – or, as a best practice alternative, make at least all SCA areas inclusive of score 4,5 and 6 properties that reach a threshold of 66% or to be more precautionary, say, 60%, and then
- assess the retained SCA and any areas of SCA that are currently assessed as low SCA or not even of any SC, whether in a walkable catchment or not, as part of the s35 RMA review of the UP which is required 2025/26.
- Orakei is already greatly contributing to the success of the NPS-UD as much as almost any other area of the region. There is NO express requirement in the NPS-UD for Council to ‘significantly reduce’ SCA in inner isthmus areas. (Note this advice confirmed by Megan Tyler in Planning Committee workshop 22 June 2022).
- As previously pointed out to the Planning Committee (see Attachment C) 90.33% of Orakei’s residential land is currently THAB, MHU and MHS. Of all the single house zoned land in Auckland, only 2.13% is within Orakei.
- Orakei already provides well for greater density and height to meet short-, medium- and long-term supply (by contrast all Auckland THAB MHU and MHS is at 67%). We are already helping meet the intent of the NPS-UD more than other areas.
- The evidence presented by Doug Fairguy at the Planning committee workshop (20/06/2022) confirmed ( and reiterated previous OLB evidence-based submission – see appendices B and C) that the NPS implementation will provide 3 x supply above actual forecast demand even when all SCA is retained. (2.49m units for a forecast demand of around 900k). There is no risk to Council in retaining more SCA in the proposed plan change, and doing so by including score 4 property in the SCA assessment.
- Advice from Noel Reardon at the Planning committee workshop (20/06/2022) confirms including some score 4 property, such as in areas of Remuera East, will have positive effect of mitigating fragmented SCA and lend to urban cohesion.
- The likely effect of including score 4 property in Remuera East SCA areas results in the following – namely possible retention of 5 more SCAs as qualifying matter and is a lawful compromise for Council to propose in the plan change:
- Orakei, Kaipatiki and Devonport-Takapuna Local Boards align in their views for broader SCA retention, and we propose making the following joint recommendations:
Proposed Joint Recommendations:
That the Devonport-Takapuna, Kaipatiki and Orakei Local Boards jointly support:
- the retention of the existing Special Character Areas and boundaries, as identified in the Auckland Unitary Plan Chapter D18 Special Character Overlay; and
- that Council accepts properties assessed at a score of 4 are sufficiently high enough quality and be added to the score 5 and 6 properties total for each SCA area threshold assessment.
- Orakei Local Board note Council’s Feedback Report analysing public views overwhelmingly demonstrates support for areas with significant infrastructure constraints being qualifying matter.
- The sub catchment areas of Remuera (Waiata, Portland and Hapua) highlighted light green on the Watercare map below are all constrained with systematic, recurring stormwater and wastewater infrastructure failures.
- A copy of the recent report from Watercare and Healthy water advisors confirming ongoing infrastructure constraints on dry weather water quality issues for Hobson Bay dated 27 May 2022 is attached as Appendix D
- These residential areas around Hobson Bay are not currently suited to extended MDRS while contributing to ongoing pollution issues for Hobson Bay and we say these areas must be qualifying matter as having ongoing significant infrastructure constraints over the next decade.
- Local boards were provided a feedback template which included the questions same as those from the online feedback form from the public consultation. The local board responses to these questions are below:
Member Troy Churton on behalf of the Ōrākei Local Board
23 June 2022
| 1. What do you think of our proposed walkable catchment of 1200 metres from the edge of the city centre?
2. What do you think of our proposed walkable catchment of 800 metres from the edge of the metropolitan centres?
3. What do you think of our proposed walkable catchment of 800 metres around rapid transit stops?
4. What do you think of our proposal to apply the Terrace Housing and Apartment Buildings Zone to residential areas up to around 400 metres from large town centres with high accessibility?
5. What do you think of our proposal to apply the Terrace Housing and Apartment Buildings zone to residential areas up to around 200 metres from small town centres or large local centres with high accessibility?
6. What do you think of our proposal to include special character areas of high quality as a qualifying matter?
7. What do you think of the proposed residential special character areas of high quality that we have identified?
8. What do you think of the proposed business special character areas of high quality that we have identified?
9. What do you think of our proposal to include areas in urban Auckland with long-term significant infrastructure constraints as a qualifying matter?
10. Do you have feedback on any other qualifying matters? (please be clear which proposal you are talking about)
Orakei Local Board
21 June 2022
To: Auckland Council
From: Heritage Advisory Panel – Chair Sally Hughes
Date: 6 June 2022
The Heritage Advisory Panel wishes to provide the following advice regarding the Council’s proposed response to the NPSUD/MDRS legislation.
The Panel is aware of the complexity of the issues facing Council compounded by the unrealistic and unnecessary time pressures imposed by the legislation. The Panel wishes to support the Council’s decision to seek public feedback even though that was not required by legislation. As well, it considers that the use of webinars and public meetings combined with freely available information on Council’s website has added to the transparency of the process so far. This contrasts with the lack of consultation and transparency by the Government in passing the legislation.
The Panel suggests that the Council continue with this approach by making all the feedback it has received publicly available on its website as soon as possible. We would also recommend additional workshops be convened to assist interested parties with the submission process.
A strong majority of the Panel supports the Council’s decision to identify both Special Character and Volcanic Viewshafts as qualifying matters. The protection of both is important to recognise Auckland’s distinct character and create a world class city.
The Panel is aware that some significant landscape values including the Maunga were managed through amongst other methods the Special Character layer. The Panel considers the Council should undertake work, if it has not already, to ensure that these landscape values are not undermined by the removal of Special Character.
The Panel recognises the significant limitations imposed on Council including the time constraints imposed by the legislation and the impact of COVID lockdowns. It wishes to thank officers for the work done undertaking the survey of Special Character Area Overlay in the face of these constraints.
There is a diversity of views within the Panel in respect of the methodology. There is however universal support for the regional approach to the identification Special Character as a qualifying matter
The majority of Panelists consider that the Council could take a finer grained approach and consider retaining Special Character as a qualifying matter in all or part of some areas which have been assessed as not meeting the thresholds.
There is also significant support for considering including properties that score a 4 under Council’s methodology, as 4’s still contributes to the character of the area. The Panel recommends that further work be undertaken on the results if 4’s are included, as this would be useful to address concerns raised by communities.
The Panel considers that the attributes of the historic suburbs of Auckland, also exist outside the Special Character overlay areas and that those areas that obviously demonstrate that character that are not covered, should be prioritised for consideration in future work.
A number of Panelists consider that the use of thresholds should not be seen as hard and fast rules, and consideration should be given to including areas that are close to the 66% and 75% thresholds.
Finally, the Panel notes that the Council has appointed the Panel to hear submissions on the proposed plan change and expresses its regret that it was not asked to provide input as to an appointee with heritage and character expertise.
Chair: Sally Hughes.
Presentation to: Auckland Council Planning Committee – 31 March 2022
From: Orakei Local Board (T. Churton)
National Policy Statement on Urban Development 2020 – Implementing the intensification provisions – retaining special character as a qualifying matter
- The Heritage Unit’s assessment activity results are useful to ensure high quality SCA is retained in walkable catchments. But it must not be used to suggest that any low or medium SCA outside a walkable catchment should be removed.
- This is NOT called for by the new law, and it is not a necessary thing for the Planning Committee to require in order to fulfil the new law and NPS requirements.
- In short, our city areas with SCA outside walkable catchment areas should be retained regardless of any ‘quality’ rating they have received for the reasons set out in 3 below. Only 3.61% of all the city’s residential land has a SCA.
- Areas of medium or lower SCA within some walkable catchments should still be retained along with high quality assessed SCA as qualifying matter for other reasons.
Source: Noel Reardon confirmation – Noel’s team formed a criterion using a benchmark for high quality based on the ‘collective’ of individual sites (i.e., if 75% of a street’s individual properties had high character scoring a 5 or 6)
Source: Hansard – notes of Select Committee Ministers confirm Council retains the discretion to retain special character areas:
Nicola Willis (Nat)
We also listened intently to local authorities who said that they needed to maintain some discretion so that they could exclude areas from intense housing development that were not properly suited to it—areas, for example, that were subject to natural hazards, areas that had historic heritage, areas which would not be able to support the level of housing that this bill implies. So, we tidied up the qualifying matters section of this bill to ensure that local authorities were able to carry over assessments formed during previous planning processes.
Eugenie Sage (Green)
But it is on those matters that there were changes to the bill to provide a little bit more flexibility for councils to ensure that medium density happens in more suitable—well, doesn’t happen in unsuitable areas.
Simon Watts (Nat)
An issue that was raised a lot in my electorate was around the exclusions around particularly heritage zoning. If any of you have been to the beautiful Devonport Peninsula on the North Shore, it is a stunning location. I’m slightly biased, but it is a lovely part of our city, and I’m glad to see that a number of the considerations around special character zones—that the council will be able to ensure that those protections remain. And that’s really important, not only for heritage but also for environmental aspects and other risk considerations.
- What the Council planning committee can and should do is resolve that special character generally (as opposed to high quality SC) should be a qualifying matter.
- Our data allows that to be considered. See OLB submission to this committee in November 2021 – copied below.
- Retaining SCA generally as it currently is under the UP helps recognise:
- the inter-generational amenity of retained character
- local economic value of different suburban characters and cultures
- does not impede housing supply measures in all remaining non SCA areas
- The Planning Committee’s best precautionary approach would therefore be to (a) make all SCA as currently stated in the UP ‘qualifying matter’; then (b) assess any areas of SCA that are currently assessed as low SCA or not even of any SC, as part of the s35 RMA review of the UP which is required 2025/26.
This is most prudent because:
- Government did not have design advice in pulling together the new law and NPS intensification settings. https://www.nbr.co.nz/story/govt-took-no-advice-intensification-law?utm_medium=email&utm_source=Heads%20Up
- There are foreseeable unintended consequences of implementing SCA assessments to help remove underlying SHZ zoned land or change any other zoned land when there is a lack of design standards ab initio
- Enabling a uniform medium density one size fits all approach across all Auckland is likely to produce poorer long-term quality outcomes for all Aucklanders because of what could be built next to them
Presentation to: Auckland Council Planning Committee – November 2021
From: Orakei Local Board (T. Churton / S. Milne presenting)
OPPOSITION to The Resource Management (Enabling Housing Supply and Other Matters) Amendment Bill
Government says – “The Resource Management (Enabling Housing Supply and Other Matters) Amendment Bill is designed to improve housing supply in New Zealand’s five largest cities by speeding up implementation of the National Policy Statement on Urban Development (NPS-UD) and enabling more medium density homes”. (Source: Government fact sheet 19/10/21)
Orakei Local Board says – “This Bill is not fit for purpose. It is unnecessary and the negative impacts of it grossly outweigh the positive. The Government should focus separately on providing infrastructure funding support instead of housing density planning.”
- The AUP already delivers sufficient supply of housing for short, medium, and long term, including provisions for housing in centre and fringe areas.
- Plan-enabled housing capacity – (supply under current AUP settings) – clearly meets the forecast demand of approximately 320,000 over the next 30 years, and could meet higher demand:
- At least 909k net redevelopment opportunities exist now
- 840k ~ 1.4m redevelopments are considered commercially feasible
- 300k ~ 320k are expected to be realised over the next 30 years.
- Projections allow for 15-20% greater demand possibilities: Projected short-term demand (2020-2023) 45,000 / projected medium demand (2024-2031) 98,000 / projected long-term demand (2032-2051) 239,000
(Source: NPS Policy Statement on Urban development- Jacques Victor – GM Auckland Plan Strategy & Research presentation to Planning Committee, 26 May, and 2 June 2021)
- The NPS UD coupled with the new Resource Management (Enabling Housing Supply and Other Matters) Amendment Bill (the Bill) will not improve affordability by increasing supply.
- Are the prices of new dwellings affordable to target/specific population groups (e.g., intermediate market households / first home buyers)?
No, suppliers deliver dwellings based on maximum profitability
- Does sufficient feasible capacity actually translate into better affordability for households?
No, Intermediate Housing Market are outbid from the competitive market
- Does affordability improve because of new dwellings entering the market, greater land release, or development opportunities?
No, affordability is also affected by income or access to affordable houses
(Source: NPS Policy Statement on Urban development- Jacques Victor – GM Auckland Plan Strategy & Research presentation to Planning Committee, 26 May, and 2 June 2021)
- Special Character Residential Areas (SCAR) in Orakei (and across Auckland) must be kept because they do not impede local housing capacity or regional housing capacity*, and they add to the area’s amenity, inter-generational amenity, and economic attraction.
- 33% of Orakei’s residential land is THAB, MHU and MHS. Of all the single house zoned land in Auckland, only 2.13% is within Orakei. Orakei already provides well for greater density and height to meet short-, medium- and long-term supply (by contrast all Auckland THAB MHU and MHS is at 67%).
- Almost all SCAR in Orakei is outside MHS, MHU and THAB zones. Only 3.61% of residential land Auckland-wide has SCAR. Ensuring SCAR is qualifying matter will not impede capacity.
- Developers are already achieving three storeys in MHS zones within the 8/9m height standard. They often dig into the ground and use flat roof types.
- MHU and THAB zones account for almost 27% of all Orakei residential land by contrast to around 20% for Auckland as a whole. Orakei already provides well for three storeys or more.
- MHU and MHS zones account for almost 85% of all Orakei residential land (OLB) and up to three dwellings are permitted. (See map attached)
Regarding delivery of housing supply through ‘density’, the MDRS proposed by the Bill will not achieve its purpose any better. The Bill only achieves more permissive MDRS standards that enable development without consent, which might otherwise have required consent under the AUP (by contrast, 60% for all Auckland).
(*Source: Auckland Council Unitary Plan Base ozone layer – data extract July 2021 – RIMU: Research and Evaluation Unit – Chad Hu, Senior Spatial Analyst)
- To get a ‘well-functioning urban environment’ as required by the NPS UD, we need a more design-led approach to development than the proposed new Medium Density Residential Standards (MDRS) in the Bill. Consenting is a critical component for ensuring design and amenity outcomes.
- Developer flexibility should not be promoted over community certainty for amenity outcomes.
- Applying the Bill’s MDRS across all MHUrban, MHSuburban and Single House zoned areas is an indiscriminate ‘one-size fits all’ approach, is counter to the revised NPS-UD policy direction and makes a nonsense of it.
- The proposed capacity enabled by the MDRS is similar to what can be achieved under the current AUP rules (for example, 3 dwellings per site in MHS and MHU).
- Changes to several key activities are indiscriminate – such as height to boundary from 3m to 6m as becoming permitted – meaning significant negative effects on urban development citywide that outweigh any capacity benefit.
- For example – Daylight, height to boundary (north south): This is an example of the difference that could/should be applied for northern and southern boundaries. The proposed 6m and 60 degrees might be acceptable for some northern boundaries in some locations but not all, and certainly not for MHS and SHZ areas or SCAR areas.
- The Bill’s modification of policy 3 (d) of the NPS-UD (copied – italics below) might be appropriate, only because the greater development intensity is (at least) focused on centres throughout a city.
The Council and community (‘we’) can make appropriate zoning and development control provisions when giving effect to this revised policy.
- We can do that in line with the NPS-UD’s focus on ‘well-functioning urban environments’ to ensure special character areas are qualifying matters without impeding housing supply, and ensure our city still derives broader economic benefits that come from managed character environments.
- Retaining the consenting process ensures design-led outcomes from medium-density development.
The Bill’s revised NPS-UD policy 3 (d) is: “within and adjacent to neighbourhood centre zones, local centre zones, and town centre zones (or equivalent), building heights and density of urban form commensurate with the level of commercial activities and community centres
Presented: 4th November 2021
On behalf of the Orakei Local Board
Scott Milne – Chair, OLB Troy Churton – Planning portfolio lead – OLB
Appendix D – copy report dated 27 May 2022 from Watercare and Healthy Waters
|27 May 2022|
|To:||Ōrākei Local Board, Waitematā Local Board, Ōrākei Ward Councillor, Waitematā and Gulf Ward Councillor, Chair of the Environment and Climate Change Committee|
|CC:||Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, Hapua Thrive, Babs Lake – Principal Advisor Environment, Trina Thompson – Local Area Manager, Caroline Teh – Senior Local Board Advisor, Rachel Cho – Local Board Advisor, Maclean Grindell – Senior Local Board Advisor, Nick Palmisano – Local Board Advisor, Jamie Penwarden – Councillor Support Advisor, Maryke Fouche – Councillor Support Advisor, Sarah Bradey – Councillor Support Advisor|
|Subject:||Regular update on dry weather water quality issues for Newmarket and Hobson Bay|
|From:||Nick Vigar – Safeswim Programme Manager, Healthy Waters
David Moore – Manager Network Improvement Programme, Watercare
2. There are significant water quality issues in the streams that discharge into Hobson Bay.
3. Water quality sampling has identified high levels of faecal indicator bacteria, including E. coli and enterococci outside of rainfall events. Concentrations exceeding the contact recreational guidelines are known as a high risk (red alert) level in Auckland Council’s Safeswim programme.
4. Temporary health risk signs have been erected at public access points where the red alert levels have been identified.
5. Staff are testing water quality to better understand these issues and to support drainage investigations to find and eliminate cross-connections that result in wastewater entering the receiving environment.
6. This memo outlines the progress of investigations conducted to identify and fix issues that affect water quality, particularly issues that are occurring in dry weather.
7. Since January 2020, 68 significant public and private network issues that affect water quality during dry weather have been identified. A total of 47 of these issues have been resolved, 21 remain. These issues are being progressively resolved by Auckland Council compliance, Healthy Waters, and Watercare.
8. Remedying water quality issues related to wet weather overflows will require a significant programme of capital investment, known as the Eastern Isthmus programme. This programme received funding in the Long-term Plan 2021, and planning and design work is underway…
Full report attached