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Mark Benjamin

At Terra Nova Planning, we specialise in strategic and policy planning, structure planning, urban design, and the consenting of development schemes. We have a track record of many hundreds of successful land use and subdivison resource consents.

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Articles By Mark Benjamin

Auckland Council Unitary Plan – Summary Commentary

By: Terra Nova Planning | 2013 July 18

Auckland Council Unitary Plan – Opportunity For Property Investors


On Friday 15 March 2013, Mayor Len Brown launched the draft of Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan for the Region. This is an informal process at this stage with the Council asking for comments before 31 May 2013; the Plan will then be legally notified for submissions about September this year.
The Auckland Unitary Plan will replace the 12 existing district and regional plans in the Auckland area, many of which are already more than 10 years old.

The Unitary Plan submission and decision process has been amended by recent changes introduced by the

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Auckland Unitary Plan Process Update

By: Terra Nova Planning | 2012 October 19

The Government has recently announced details of how the hearings and decisions on the Auckland Unitary Plan will be dealt with and has confirmed that submitters appeal rights to the Environment Court will be restricted.

The current process for new Plans under the Resource Management Act generally involves the following (summarised) steps or stages:
1. Draft Plan notified for submissions;
2. Submissions notified allowing further submissions;
3. Hearings held (by a Hearing Panel/s selected by the Council);
4. Decision on final version of Plan released;
5. Appeals to the Environment Court by submitters not happy with Council’s decision.

The process proposed by the Government differs in

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Auckland Planning Update – Current Consultations

By: Terra Nova Planning | 2012 August 21

This month the Auckland Council is consulting on a number of new documents which you may be interested in reviewing and commenting on. Details are set out below, as well as some information on how to engage more with the Council to get your views heard.

Proposed Solid Waste Bylaw.
This Bylaw replaces the existing 7 Bylaws of the previous Auckland Council’s to provide a consistent approach across the city. Submissions close on 3 September.

Full details, including how to submit can be found here:

Plan Change 38 – Change to the Schedule of buildings, objects and places of Heritage Significance

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Auckland Council – An Area Plans Update

By: Terra Nova Planning | 2012 June 25

Auckland Council’s Area Plans

Auckland Council’s overall spatial planning framework provides for a suite of complementary plans at different cales, as shown below.


Special Auckland Map




Whilst the non-statutory Auckland Plan will provide the over-arching and highest level spatial development framework for metropolitan Auckland, the non-statutory Area Plans will be more localized, and also in turn identify and prioritize more detailed Local Plans (e.g. Structure Plan, Precinct Plan).

The objectives of an Area Plan are generally to:

• Present a 20-30 year future vision for a Local Board area
• Reflect aspirations and outcomes of

Auckland Planning Update

By: Terra Nova Planning | 2012 May 22

Auckland Council is continuing to prepare a range of planning documents so this month we thought it would be a good idea to recap on where everything is, give an update on the adopted Spatial Plan and some indications of where the new Unitary Plan is going.

The Auckland Plan
This is the big one we discussed at the end of last year and the Council has now adopted the final version which, whilst generally in line with the draft version does have some quite significant changes. These changes came about after intense lobbying by the development industry and following

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If you are thinking about Property Developing in the next 12 months it may be worth getting your building or resource consent application in before 1 July to take advantage of potential savings contained within the transitional provisions of Auckland Council’s new Development Contributions Policy.

As part of the preparation of the Council’s new long term planning documents, a new Development Contributions Policy has been prepared (as noted within Andre Conradie’s article last month) to replace the current (Interim) contributions polices of the various former Councils. This new Policy will come into effect on July 1st this year.

When it comes

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Ports of Auckland expansion plan raises bigger questions

By: Terra Nova Planning | 2012 February 12

The recent flurry of media attention regarding the potential expansion of the Auckland Port raises some interesting issues around upper North Island long term development planning. As part of the Auckland Spatial, Waterfront and Unitary Plan processes (which our last article covered) the Port is seeking to reaffirm its Port Management/Development Zone which is currently detailed within the Auckland Regional Plan: Coastal and provides the regulatory framework for the Port to make resource consent applications to extend the wharves and associated reclamations.

Plans and computer generated images from background technical papers show the expanded port would cover a much large

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Exciting times for Aucklands planning

By: Terra Nova Planning | 2011 December 16

Exciting times for Auckland’s planning.

The Auckland Council, formed from the amalgamation of the region’s 7 former District Councils and the Auckland Regional Council, is part way through possibly the most significant planning and resource management exercise in the region’s history, with the creation of a number of new planning documents and long term Council plans. The key ones for property investors being the Auckland Plan and the Unitary Plan.

Auckland Plan

The Auckland Plan, due for adoption and public release early in 2012, sets out the Council’s aspiration for the region’s growth and spatial development over the next 30 years and

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