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The Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan

 David Kennedy, CEO Eden Park Trust

The Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan [PAUP] submissions have now been made available to the general public by Auckland Council and we would like to explain what that could mean for the future of Eden Park,   our national stadium.

There are two elements to the Eden Park submission. The first is intended to provide more flexibility and opportunities in our operations and how we host major events. The second concerns the potential for future development of the Number 2 ground which can only happen if Auckland Cricket decides to move.  

Background Information

Around the world Eden Park is recognised as New Zealand’s most iconic stadium. It has a rich sporting and social history of more than 100 years, and an international profile, unmatched by any other stadium in the country.

Eden Park is the home ground of Auckland Cricket and Auckland Rugby. It is also used by a growing number of different sporting codes and community groups. Eden Park hosted 24 fixtures in 2013 with more than 400,000 spectators. In addition Eden Park hosts in excess of 1,000 corporate and private functions annually. Eden Park is the best venue to host premier international sporting events. It has state-of-the-art facilities, a central location, public transport accessibility, size and capacity.

Eden Park’s economic contribution to Auckland and New Zealand in 2014 is estimated to be $78.1 million of GDP in Auckland and $90.4 million of GDP in New Zealand.

Keeping Eden Park operations sustainable and flexible is critical so it can continue to deliver social and economic benefits to the region and nationally. Therefore it is important to have a robust planning framework that provides for its continued operation and development.

Eden Park Submission

Eden Park has been operating under a series of resource consents established over 20 years with conditions specifying detailed operational parameters that apply to the site. Examples are the number of night games, noise levels and traffic management plans.

The conditions of the consents are not always clear or relevant to present day use of the park and do not necessarily reflect the evolving requirements of many major sporting events. This means Eden Park frequently needs to make further consent applications to enable events to operate in accordance with venue hirer requirements where appropriate. This results in uncertainty for everyone involved and added costs.

The PAUP has included Eden Park within a Major Recreation Facility zone, along with other large facilities such as North Harbour Stadium, Mount Smart and Trusts Stadium. Eden Park supports the Council’s zoning approach. Eden Park is seeking changes to zone activity rules and development controls to provide for more flexibility for its current and future operations. This will enable Eden Park to continue to deliver on its role as New Zealand’s premier sports stadium. 

Greater operational flexibility is sought in the submission so Eden Park can grow and host more diverse events. Currently Eden Park has to turn away some major events which do not comply with its existing set of resource consent conditions. 

While Eden Park will remain the home of Auckland Cricket for the foreseeable future, should Auckland Cricket decide to relocate elsewhere, the submission seeks the opportunity for future redevelopment of the No. 2 ground for a range of mixed use activities, both business and residential.

It is again important to note that the redevelopment of the No.2 ground can only take place with the full agreement of Auckland Cricket and Auckland Rugby.

The submission seeks different height and coverage controls and the provision of large areas of public open space. New buildings are proposed to be developed via resource consent, assessed against design criteria and the Council’s Auckland Design Manual.

These opportunities are sought to enhance the attractiveness of Eden Park for regional, national and international events and would assist in providing future financial sustainability for Eden Park and grow GDP for the region as well.

Eden Park is seeking the inclusion of these redevelopment options now because the Unitary Plan will apply for the next 25 to 30 years. This current public process is the appropriate platform for the future use and development opportunities of the park to be debated. The redevelopment opportunities requested by Eden Park Trust support the Council’s growth strategy of a compact city with intensification focused in areas on main public transport routes and close to town centres and efficient use of existing facilities.

Process

  • Auckland Council published a first draft of the PAUP in early 2013.
  • Eden Park Trust provided feedback on the early draft in March 2013. Auckland Council published all the feedback it received online and in local libraries.
  • Council publicly notified a PAUP document in September 2013.
  • Submissions were called for by February 2014.
  • Eden Park Trust lodged a submission that was largely the same as the feedback provided in 2013.
  • Council has completed a report on submissions and called for further submissions, due by late July.
  • Eden Park Trust will review all the submissions to see if it should alter its submission or lodge further submissions.
  • The government has appointed an expert Hearings Panel to hear the submissions on all aspects of the PAUP and make recommendations for the final plan’s adoption.
  • This process may take up to two years.

We will keep our website up to date with information on the process as it evolves. Thank you for your interest and please know that your feedback is important to us. You can do so by emailing us on unitaryplan@edenpark.co.nz.

We look forward to welcoming you to the Park throughout the rest of the 2014 season and beyond.

Yours sincerely, 

David Kennedy

CEO Eden Park Trust


If you have further enquiries please contact unitaryplan@edenpark.co.nz or call the Eden Park office on +64 (0)9 815 5551