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Today marks a significant milestone in Auckland’s history, with the Independent Hearings Panel’s recommendations on the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan (‘PAUP’) being publicly released.

These recommendations were delivered to Auckland Council last Friday 22 July 2016. The recommendations come after 3 years of submissions, mediations and hearings on the future of Auckland, and signal the beginning of the finalisation of the process. They can be viewed here.

The PAUP is Auckland’s first unitary plan, including both regional and district plan provisions, as well as the Regional Policy Statement. The EPlan allows users to search a specific property on the Council’s GIS website to obtain the relevant PAUP planning rules for that property. It is intended to be a streamlined blueprint for the super city, governing and facilitating the future growth of Auckland.

Auckland Council has until 19 August 2016 to publicly notify its decisions on the PAUP. The Council can either accept the Hearings Panel’s recommendations, or reject the recommendations and provide an alternative solution. Submitters will then have 20 working days to lodge an appeal – if the deadline is not extended, the last day to lodge an appeal will be 16 September 2016. If Auckland Council accepts the recommendations with no further amendments, appeal rights will be limited to matters of law in the High Court. However, if Auckland Council rejects the recommendations, an appeal on the facts may be lodged with the Environment Court.

It remains to be seen whether the Government will step in to amend the PAUP if it feels the PAUP does not sufficiently facilitate development and growth in Auckland. The Government has previously threatened to intervene with the planning process if it does not agree with the outcome of the PAUP.



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