RMLA Auckland : Rethinking Urban Development, Height, and Amenity – The NPS UD and the Urban Development Act


Join us for presentations on the Urban Development Act, the NPS Urban Development (the NPS-UD), and discussion on implementation of these, intensification, and amenity in an Auckland context.

Kāinga Ora has new wide ranging powers under the Urban Development Act to ‘fast-track’ specified development projects.  It will enable the delivery of more housing and infrastructure at greater pace and scale. One of Kāinga Ora’s objectives is to deliver high quality urban outcomes.

The statutory conceptualisation of amenity is often seen as acting as a roadblock to future urban development.  This ‘amenity problem’ is already earmarked in the Urban Growth Agenda as a matter requiring urgent redress.  The recent introduction of the NPS-UD has sought to change and shift this widely held perception that urban development has only negative effects on amenity, towards one that recognises that amenity values develop and change over time.

Within the Auckland context the AUP(OP) has seen the removal of density requirements and the introduction of region-wide graduated intensification around both existing and planned centres, transport nodes and corridors.  This intensification has often raised the question in regard to the adverse impact the scale and height of development has on the amenity of the area.

Dr Claire Kirman

Special Counsel – Urban Development at Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities

Claire is a certified resource management independent hearings commissioner and is currently on the editorial committee for the Resource Management Law Journal (8 years), is a contributor to the Environmental Handbook by Thompson Reuters (10 years), and co-authored in the leading textbook “Environmental and Resource Management Law (along with Justice Whata) the chapters on environmental litigation / dispute resolution for over 15 years.

Claire was awarded the Woman in Law Award in 2019 and was a member of the HNZC team awarded the CoreNet Proactive Property Award 2018

John Duguid

General Manager – Plans & Places – Auckland Council

John has over 20 years’ experience as a planner working in Auckland. He has led and been involved with a wide range of high-profile and transformative projects, and played a key role in the development of the Auckland Unitary Plan. In 2012 John was accepted as a participant in the United States Department of State International Visitor Leadership Programme, where he travelled to various cities in the USA with other built environment professionals from around the world. He is the current General Manager of Auckland Council’s Plans & Places Department.

Mike Hurley

Senior Policy Advisor, Ministry of Housing and Urban Development

Mike is a planner by background and joined the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development to work on the development of the Urban Development Act.  Mike was previously at the Ministry for the Environment where he was involved in the 2017 RMA amendments, National Planning Standards, and earthquake recovery. Mike has also spent four years at Transpower and ten years working for City Councils.

Katja Lietz

General Manager, Urban Planning & Design, Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities

Katja Lietz is a sustainable urban development professional with 20 years’ experience. Her career has spanned local government, freelance research and for the last 12 years property development.

She is the General Manager, Urban Planning & Design at Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities and holds an Executive MBA from Auckland University and a Bachelor of Technology from UNITEC.

Katja has a passion for housing, sustainability and placemaking and was part of the team developing Hobsonville Point. She takes huge satisfaction from the success of Hobsonville Point and now leads a wider team tasked with planning Urban Development projects across New Zealand for Kāinga Ora.


When: 25 February 2021

Time: 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Where: Simpson Grierson, Level 27, Lumley Centre, Auckland 1010

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