There are over 60 public access routes around or via private buildings throughout central Auckland.
I have mapped them below with accessibility taken into account by marking stairs or escalators with a stair icon. Also mapped are toilets and drinking fountains. Any of these can be turned on or off by clicking on the icon in the top left corner of the map and selecting the relevant tick boxes.
These features have been created by the operation of ‘bonus floor provisions’ of resource consents. This is a way for developers to increase the floor space of a private development by providing public access or benefit from the change. These usually take the form of pedestrian access ways through buildings, referred to as ‘through-site access’ and may include widened footpaths. Bonus provisions may also provide for public viewing decks, plazas and privately-owned art works that are accessible to the general public.
In the city centre the Unitary Plan still provides for developments to contain activities or features that provide a benefit to the public and be awarded bonus floor area. Rule H.6.11 is relevant and table H.6.11.1 lists the types of bonus features that apply. There have been some changes between the legacy plan and the AUP (OP) in the list of bonus features and ‘quantities’, e.g. there are no longer bonuses for childcare facilities but bonuses still apply to the following:
- Residential activities
- Public open space
- Through site links
- Works of art
- Light and outlook
There are also now heritage-related bonuses.
Council is responsible for monitoring the consent conditions that result in bonus floor provisions and for working with building managers or owners to ensure that public access remains as agreed over time.
Until recently there has been no central register of these conditions; they were recorded only in the consents granted for each site. This was an issue that was first picked up in 2011 by Shale Chambers, the first Chair of the Waitematā Local Board of Auckland Council. At the Local Board’s direction, over the past five years, staff have undertaken the painstaking process of unearthing all the bonus provisions so that we can create a list to both share with the public and protect the features from variations of conditions of which we would otherwise be unaware.
A more detailed site-by-site examination of the sites was undertaken by Master of Urban Planning students at University of Auckland School of Architecture and Planning who produced this 2016 report.
The Local Board released this list of bonus floor provision features in early 2017.