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Auckland Council Logo The Auckland City Centre Master Plan Logo
Ngā āhuatanga o te ōhanga o te pokapū tāone

Factors in the city centre's economy

Traffic congestion threatening the appeal of the city centre as a business location 


City Rail Link (CRL) will dramatically improve regional rail access and journey times, doubling the number of people within a 30-minute rail journey of the city centre.


The new bus network has significantly improved travel times and frequency levels.

New off-street bus facilities will enhance accessibility and reliability, while supporting transit-oriented development.

Access for Everyone (A4E) 

A4E will further improve bus accessibility while maintaining an appropriate level of access for private vehicles.

Walking and cycling 

Connections to the city centre for walking and cycling will continue to see improvements, plus a major new connection to the North Shore via the Auckland Harbour Bridge.

The role of the Ports of Auckland 

Ports of Auckland plays a significant role in the upper North Island's freight system and creates economic value for Auckland, the upper North Island and New Zealand.

Port Future Study 

Auckland Council commissioned the Port Future Study to explore the long-term options for meeting Auckland's freight requirements. It was completed in July 2016. The independent Consensus Working Group, for that study, found that the current port footprint is unlikely to be able to accommodate Auckland's long-term (50 years +) freight.

The group recommended investigation of alternative location options for a future port if a move is required. The government is now investigating those alternative location options as well as considering a report from a group it commissioned to produce an upper North Island supply chain strategy.

There is potential for the government's decisions to shape the CCMP, given its 20-year timeframe. If that happens, we will work with stakeholders to update the CCMP. Under all scenarios we expect cruise activity in the harbour to continue.

If the port moves, finding a location, getting consent, funding and constructing new infrastructure will take time. In the near term, port activities will continue at the waterfront.

Balancing the need to support the port's activities on the waterfront with the aspirations of Aucklanders to reclaim more of their waterfront for other purposes will be a key consideration.

Ports of Auckland Master Plan 

In the meantime, Ports of Auckland adopted a masterplan for the next 30 years. The 2018 Master Plan signals Ports of Auckland's capital investment program for the period.

The impact of the waterfront, downtown and midtown on uptown with substantial economic activity channeled into these areas 

The gravitational pull northwards in the city centre is an accepted success factor.

Measures are proposed around the Aotea Quarter to ensure it remains relevant as the civic and cultural heart, counterbalancing economic activity closer to the waterfront.

The Aotea City Rail Link (CRL) Station and associated development opportunities will be important for this.

The ever-growing role of the Māori economic powerhouse in shaping the city centre

Māori are central to achieving a city centre with a uniquely Auckland/New Zealand flavour. Iwi are key partners in delivering the masterplan. For example, several development opportunities are in Ngāti Whātua o Orākei ownership, including much of the Quay Park-Te Tangaroa area.

Role of Commercial Bay as a new shopping and leisure destination in the city 

Commercial Bay will complement the Britomart precinct and transform downtown into a significant city centre retail and leisure destination capable of competing with regional shopping malls.

The physical isolation of certain city quarters prevents commercial and creative exchange 

The City Rail Link, improved bus services and a series of street improvements will help address these issues. The Auckland Unitary Plan provides for development in all of these locations.

Finding balance between commercial and residential growth

The challenge is finding and maintaining an appropriate balance between commercial and residential growth to avoid one flourishing at the expense of the other.

Growth capacity has been considered across the city centre and specifically within the catchment areas of the new City Rail Link stations.

Auckland Council will monitor the balance of commercial and residential growth. This will inform future adjustments to The Auckland Unitary Plan.