Unitary Plan - Up Or Out? Which Is It?

A review of the Unitary Plan has been released, and I’m giving you a sneak peek! 

http://infocouncil.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/Open/2018/08/PLA_20180807_AGN_6736_AT.htm#PDF2_ReportName_61796

It reflects on the situation (can you believe nearly 2 years since becoming operative?!) and how successful it’s been. 

So, what’s been most popular? Has it been to build out (greenfield areas) or up in urban locations (brownfield sites)?

And the winner is … a resounding UP!!

Key tTakeaways:

  1. Now that intensification has been made possible thanks to the Unitary Plan, urban/brownfield developments are by far and away proving the more popular projects taking hold.

  2. More intensive typologies are becoming increasingly popular. Not only is it helping to make housing more affordable (in a currently unaffordable city), many households don’t want the ¼ acre dream - the city is vastly different from 20 years ago, with around 40% of the population not actually having been born in NZ.

  3. The most significant intensification is happening around the rapid transit network – defined as being within 1,500 metres of a train station or northern busway stop. We know speaking with many agents, that a key purchaser’s requirement is being within walking distance to a reliable public transport node, such as a train station. This is only going to become more prevalent.


I’ve been saying time and again that households actively seek out convenience. We all want life to be easier, whether that’s an easier commute to work, a better school for our children and to be close to our friends and family.

Just look at cities that have a greater population who experience denser living. Desirability, demand and hence values are greater where homes are more closely proximate to work, schools, transport and other amenities. Convenience is king!

We’re proud of our 100% track record of getting developments (with increased intensity) consented, delivering the intent of the plan. We have developed our own system of creating quality multi-unit housing in the areas we specialise in – desirable safe areas with good school zones, access to work and play with strong transport links.

This is all an interesting contrast to the plight of the construction sector, where seemingly every other day we’re seeing news of major contractors tipping over. It certainly makes for an interesting landscape we operate in!

If you want help navigating all of that, please get in touch. 

Graeme Fan