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Auckland retail economic evidence base

Susan Fairgray
Auckland Council Research and Evaluation Unit, RIMU
Publication date:  

Retail is a major driver of urban form and how the city expands, with its spatial distribution having a large impact on travel and time efficiency for households and businesses. It also influences other patterns of land use, particularly those contributing to the vitality and viability of centres, which play an important social amenity role for the communities they serve (in their provision of social infrastructure), and as commercial centres for businesses (including the productivity effects from agglomeration economies). The spatial management of retail location therefore plays a core role in achieving the strategic land use and sustainable resource management objectives and policies of city plans and the Resource Management Act 1991.

The establishment of Auckland Council’s centralised Research, Investigations and Monitoring Unit (RIMU), which brings together specialist expertise, has enabled the construction and analysis of this comprehensive economic evidence base for retail in Auckland. It provides the spatially integrated empirical evidence required to understand Auckland’s retail sector now and into the future in the development of land use policy for the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan and subsequent retail assessment in Auckland. The evidence base contains six key parts. It firstly establishes the context for retail in relation to assessment and policy direction in Auckland and New Zealand (part 1), then examines how the retail sector is currently operating in Auckland (part 2). It goes on to assess balances of retail supply and demand within the context of Auckland's commercial property market. Part 3 evaluates the future retail sector and space required to accommodate future growth. A framework for planners, policymakers and analysts to evaluate the effects of retail location in Auckland is developed in part 4. A summary and further areas of retail research are outlined in part 5, and appendices are contained in part 6.

Auckland Council technical report, TR2013/046

October 2013