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future urban growth auckland

Project introduction

Auckland Transport (AT), Auckland Council and the NZ Transport Agency are working together to develop transport networks to support the development of Auckland’s new future urban growth areas (greenfields) over the next 30 years.

  • Project type

    Study & Investigation

Future growth area locations

For more detailed information on where the majority of this future growth will be located, view the areas below:

Preferred network animated videos

About this project

Auckland is the country’s fastest growing region. The city is projected to increase by 720,000 people to reach a population of 2.4 million by 2050.

The Auckland Plan 2050 guides Auckland’s future and sets a strategic direction for how this growth will be accommodated to ensure a quality, compact, urban form. While the majority of this growth will be within existing urban areas, around 30% will extend out into future urban growth areas (greenfields areas) in Warkworth, north, northwest and south Auckland.

Auckland Plan 2050 (external link)

The Supporting Growth Programme is the Government and Auckland Council’s strategic transport planning programme set up to investigate and deliver the transport networks Auckland needs over the next 30 years to accommodate this future urban growth. Transport has an important role to play in enabling urban development and helping ensure Auckland continues to be an enjoyable place to live, work and play.

In 2018 the Supporting Growth Programme announced it was beginning a new five year programme aiming to route protect the transport networks required to support this growth. Please visit the Supporting Growth Programme website for more information on the programme’s next steps: www.supportinggrowth.govt.nz (external link)

Project background

In 2015–16, Auckland Transport, the NZ Transport Agency and Auckland Council worked together to investigate and develop a high level preferred transport network plan to support all four growth areas, and formed the Supporting Growth Programme (formerly known as the Transport for Future Urban Growth Programme).

Workshops, meetings and events were held with Mana whenua, local boards, communities and a wide range of stakeholders to understand the issues, opportunities and community aspirations in each area. A summary of the results of this consultation is available in the Transport for Future Urban Growth Combined report.

The resulting Supporting Growth Preferred Transport Network Plans were then completed and published in late 2016, and substantiated the strategic need for both new and improved/upgraded road corridors, new and improved public transport corridors and a complete cycle network to support accessibility in the new future urban areas. These high-level maps showed a range of indicative transport connections required to support the growth in each area.

Transport for Future Urban Growth Combined report [PDF, 3.5 MB]
Supporting Growth Preferred Transport Network Plans (external link)

A staged approach

Since the release of these preferred network plans in 2016, several Supporting Growth priority projects have already progressed, and are moving through the business case and consenting phases. These include Matakana Link Road and Hill St Improvements near Warkworth, safety improvements to State Highway 16 in the northwest, Dairy Flat Highway in the north and State Highway 22 in the south, and the State Highway 1 Papakura to Bombay project.

Matakana Link Road (external link)
Hill St improvements (external link)
SH16 Brigham Creek to Waimauku
Dairy Flat Highway (external link)
SH22/SH1 (Drury) to Paerata
SH1 Papakura to Bombay

Other major projects have also been highlighted in 2018 by the Auckland Transport Alignment Project for priority development this decade, to help support the initial development of the future urban areas and ensure good connections develop between these areas and current urban or employment areas. These major projects also seek to provide the future growth areas with travel choices, so they grow in ways that are not highly dependent on private vehicles. These include the northwestern rapid transit corridor, Mill Road corridor, Penlink and SH1 North of Albany improvements (including bus shoulders).

Auckland Transport Alignment Project (external link)
Northwestern rapid transit corridor
Mill Road corridor (external link)
Penlink (external link)

Next steps

The majority remaining share of projects within the preferred network plans are now being taken forward by a planning entity, known as an alliance, called Te Tupu Ngātahi. (external link)

Te Tupu Ngātahi will guide the transport investment, business case and route protection processes for these projects. Specifically, its role is to:

  • Assess and investigate the preferred network, in light of new Government priorities and the latest land use planning, including consultation with Auckland Council, KiwiRail, Manawhenua, local boards, the community and other stakeholders
  • Prepare business cases for the projects, which are required to build a rigorous case for investment in the transport network by the end of 2019
  • Seek route protection for the transport network within five years. Route protection is where land is identified and protected to allow for future construction and operation of infrastructure.

In total, the process above is expected to take five years, from 2018 to 2022.

Delivery of the projects (e.g. construction) will then be staged in line with ATAP’s direction and the planned release of the new growth area land by Auckland Council under the Unitary Plan, for example in 10, 20 or 30 years’ time. Due to the scale and cost involved, a range of innovative funding mechanisms are being investigated by Government and Auckland Council, such as applications to housing or growth funds.

Information for property owners

At this stage there are no confirmed plans, only ideas and options. There is no way to tell if a certain property will be affected in the future by one of the options for these transport projects. Over the next few years as we start to develop design plans for the suggested projects, we will engage directly and early with potentially affected property owners to let them know our intentions regarding designation, consenting and property impacts.

The way we approach transport planning means there are several stages during the planning process where we seek the public’s opinion. We are right at the very beginning and there are plenty more opportunities to have your say and influence the design plans that will come in future years.

To learn more visit the new Supporting Growth Programme website: www.supportinggrowth.govt.nz (external link)

Our partners on this project

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