The Resource Management (Enabling Housing Supply) Amendment Act and its impact on housing for Remuera

Remuera Heritage Inc has made the following submission to Auckland Council and the Orakei Local Board . You can also do the same by endorsing our submission.

Current Zoning

1.       Only 9% of the residential zoned land in the Orakei Local Board area is covered by a Special Character Area (SCA) Overlay. Of which, 92.99% of the Single House zoned residential land is covered by Special Character Overlay. This is a very small number of houses.

2.  The Resource Management Amendment Act says regional policy statements and district plans must enable building heights of least 6 storeys within at least a walkable catchment of the following – existing and planned rapid transit network (RTN) stops – around 10 minutes or 1200m from existing and planned RTN stops.

This includes railway stations e.g. Remuera and Newmarket railway stations, plus most of Remuera Road which is home to many heritage houses, mostly unprotected under the historical heritage schedule. This would mean all of Market Road up to Remuera Road and all of Remuera Road from Newmarket to Market Road could be adversely impacted.

Importantly, it also ignores one of the most effective public transport investments that Auckland Transport has made in the last decade: the isthmus’ New Network for buses which operate on a relatively comprehensive network of T2, T3, and Bus Lanes on Auckland’s arterials, which are only set to improve with its planned Connected Communities program. Great North Road, New North Road, Sandringham, Dominion Road, Mt Eden Road, Manukau, and Great South Road should handily qualify under that definition of rapid transit, if not the rest of the frequent network such as Tāmaki Drive and Remuera Road. Scott Caldwell | June 29, 2021

Note that the Special Character Areas Overlay – Residential and Business, seeks to retain and manage the character of traditional town centres and residential neighbourhoods by enhancing existing traditional buildings, retaining intact groups of character buildings, and designing compatible new building infill and additions that do not replicate older styles and construction methods, but reinforce the predominant streetscape character. The Auckland Unitary Plan already allows for the intensification of housing.


What Will It Mean if Your House is deleted from the Special Character Area:

  • 3 Storey Houses and Extensions can be built on your neighbour’s property and yours
  • Three houses can be built on one site
  • Up to 11 metres high
  • Allow buildings up to one metre from side and rear boundaries and
  • 5 metre from the front boundary.
  • Height to boundary requirement of 4 metres high, one metre from each side boundary then increasing on a 60 degrees plane to 11 metres. (currently 3m and 45 degrees)
  • Minimal design requirements
  • No resource consent required
  • Site coverage increased to 50% maximum

This will have a devastating impact on the heritage values and the character of Remuera and on residents’ quality of life. Three-storey houses will be allowed as of right, without resource consent – meaning no consultation or input from neighbours.

Combined with the lack of any effective design standards, this will result in ugly structures that block the sun and light to existing and new homes and with no requirements to fit in with the surrounding houses.

Remuera Heritage asks the Orakei Local Board and Auckland Council to:

  • Retain the existing Single House Zone in Remuera as a qualifying matter, as it is unlikely to negatively affect the objectives of the National Policy Statement and Council’s implementing of the NPS
  • Change high quality housing zoned Mixed Housing & THAB to Single House Zone, especially where they are not visible from street view
  • Retain the existing Special Character Area Overlay for Remuera and have the SCA as a qualifying matter
  • Retain the Height Sensitive Area for Remuera of 9 metres
  • Retain the Volcanic Cone Viewshafts to Ohinerau Mt Hobson
  • Retain the historic heritage area in Remuera’s Upland Road shops
  • Reduce the walkable catchment area to 500 metres from Remuera Railway Station and Newmarket Station along Market Road and Remuera Road
  • Endorse the Auckland Unitary Plan for already enabling housing intensification

Thank you.

Sue Cooper, Chair

Remuera Heritage Inc

You can endorse this submission by emailing your support to Councillor Desley Simpson ( and the Orakei Local Board ( by 28 March 2022. The proposal to change the Special Character Areas will be voted on by Auckland Council’s Planning Committee on 31 March 2022.