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Auckland economic quarterly, May 2021

David Norman, Shane Martin
Auckland Council Chief Economist Unit
Publication date:  


Please, Sir, I want some more

  • Auckland will be required by central government’s new National Policy Statement on Urban Development (NPS-UD) to allow more development than the current Unitary Plan allows.
  • This upzoning will be focused around the city and metropolitan centres, rapid transit networks, and in all other locations commensurate with the accessibility and relative demand for housing and business there.
  • The best measure of demand is land values – what people pay to live in particular areas.
  • In Auckland, there is a mismatch in some areas between land that is high value, and current residential development potential. This is true across distances from the city centre and current zonings.
  • Land values show that more upzoning is demanded closer to the city, where the highest paying jobs, best transport links and access to other amenities exists.

How did we get here?

Large swathes of Auckland were massively upzoned (which means the rules changed to allow much more efficient use of that land) in 2016. In aggregate, this landmark study showed there is sufficient development activity available inside the region’s Rural Urban Boundary such that land prices are not being skewed up by that boundary. Not all areas inside the Rural Urban Boundary were upzoned equally. Areas a long way from the city centre or major metropolitan centres were generally not upzoned much at all, which makes sense given the relatively low demand for property that far from jobs, transport links and other amenities. A ring much closer to the city centre, close to jobs, with the best public transport links in the city, and close to other amenities, also did not receive much upzoning. ...

May 2021