On 7 August 2012, the Auckland Plan Committee endorsed a programme to investigate key greenfield areas of Auckland and consult widely with stakeholders, local boards and communities prior to defining a rural urban boundary (RUB) to be incorporated in the upcoming Unitary Plan. The new RUB was earmarked in the Auckland Plan to replace the current metropolitan urban limits (MUL) to ensure Auckland has 30 years supply of greenfield land for residential and business growth.
The initial areas for investigation to provide additional capacity are:
- South - Pukekohe, Drury South Karaka, Paerata
- West - Whenuapai, Kumeu-Huapai
- North - Warkworth, Silverdale West
The report to Council notes that the complexity of the RUB project means it will take considerable time to arrive at a final boundary, and that it is not intended to include a final RUB in the draft Unitary Plan going out for initial public consultation in March 2013, but rather to provide a final RUB in the notified Unitary Plan in September 2013.
As a key component of the Unitary Plan, the report confirms that RUB issues will be consulted on through that statutory process. However, the report notes that a "consultation plan" is being developed for the overall RUB project for early consultation with communities and stakeholders. In addition, the Council anticipates that each "cluster" area will have its own consultation plan that will identify local issues and concerns and ensure consultation processes are appropriate for each area. This will include engagement with the relevant Local Boards.
However, the Council also intends to align RUB consultation with the consultation already underway for the Unitary Plan where possible to "reduce the potential for consultation overload with Auckland communities".