• 03 Te Rimu sculpture
  • 02 Great North Road Grey Lynn Mural
  • 01 Our Hood

GLRA Newsletter Dec’13 + Unitary Plan Update

Hi GLRA members, subscribers and interested parties,

Apologies for this long-overdue update on the work that the GLRA has been doing over the past few months. We have been busy out and doing, but are currently looking for the help of a communications volunteer to keep us up to date with news of our activities. Please get in touch if you are able to help.

Newsletter contents:

Notified Unitary Plan – update on new zoning (some up-zoning, some down-zoning from Draft Unitary Plan)
Proposed electoral boundary changes could split Grey Lynn in two
The future of Grey Lynn Park
Grey Lynn needs assessment
Arch Hill fundraising movie night
Arch Hill vs Bunnings update
GLRA New Year event


As many of you know, the Notified Unitary Plan saw some revisions for the Grey Lynn area, and also many changes to the overall rulings for wider-Auckland areas. You can view a map of the Notified Unitary Plan for Grey Lynn including a zoning guide here (http://greylynnresidents.org.nz/s/Screen-shot-2013-10-01-at-223226.png).

For Grey Lynn, the majority of streets have been downgraded to
Single Housing PENDING – and I emphasise the word PENDING a heritage assessment, which will deem the areas that are worthy of protection under historic grounds, and the areas where further up-zoning makes sense as areas for intensification subsequent to the assessment.

This was the GLRA’s position all along, that we weren’t necessarily against intensification in Grey Lynn, just once a proper field study had been undertaken, rather than the purely desk-driven exercise that happened in the Draft Plan. The assessment process is expected to take three years however Grey Lynn has been highlighted as an area for urgent attention considering the last heritage assessment happened back in the 1990s and offers very little protection to (as cited by the Council) the world’s largest collection of late Victorian and early Edwardian wooden housing.

On the links at the bottom of this chapter you can view a factsheet which summarises the changes for Grey Lynn, a map of the new Unitary Plan zoning for Grey Lynn, along with the old Draft Unitary Plan map for Grey Lynn to show you the new zoning. There are still some streets/areas zoned for intensification, and anyone who is now wanting to object to something in the Plan will need to take things to a formal submission stage, and should visit http://www.aucklandlibraries.govt.nz/EN/News/NewsArticles/Pages/unitaryplanformalsubmissions.aspx to see how this process works.

You have until 28 February 2014 to make a formal submission. Please let us know if you need any further help.

One of the biggest areas to be marked for up-zoning is the Tuarangi/Ivanhoe Road/Rona Ave area, so if you live in these streets it’s particularly important to take a look at the map and proposed changes.

You will see from the zone guide that Mixed Housing has now been split into two different types – Mixed Housing Urban (which permits 3 storey development and focusses around commercial centres and along major public transport routes), and Mixed Housing Suburban (which permits 2 storey developments).

You may also notice a few other changes, which were in line with some of the things that the GLRA – and many of you – put in submissions. Part of Great North Road has been changed from Mixed Used Commercial to Terraced Housing and Apartments. We had raised concerns that the previous Commercial zoning along Great North Road carried no set requirement for residential to be included in any new buildings, and also had no rules that ensured new builds were designed to graduate down to meet residential properties behind or next to them. This meant a 6-floor wall could go next to a one storey home with no restrictions, whereas the Terrace Housing and Apartments need to “step down” to meet any residential boundaries.

Another change we pushed for was for schools to receive their own zoning, as things like retirement villages already had been given. We felt this was important so that schools weren’t put under development pressure in the future, which might see them selling off sections of playing fields for example, to make money (as happened a great deal in the UK in the 1980s with unfavourable social and health consequences). So we are happy to see that schools have now been designated with their own zones.

If you would like to find out some of the more detailed information along with some social commentary on the notified Unitary Plan, you can check out some of the following sites:







Some of you will be aware of the proposed changes to the Auckland Central electorate. The proposal is that Grey Lynn, west of Grey Lynn Park (and Westmere) should become part of the Mt Albert electorate. The new boundary will go through Grey Lynn Park, so the streets to the west of Elgin/Dryden will no longer be part of Auckland Central.

Whether those of us west of the park feel we identify more with Central Auckland than we do with Mt Albert or not, the real danger for Grey Lynn is that we will no longer have a cohesiveness of political representation. Grey Lynn Park itself, with goalposts in both electorates, is far more likely to fall between the two electorates, than to be championed by a single Member of Parliament who might see it as a jewel in their crown. Grey Lynn issues will have no ‘one’ accountable political representative, something we believe will weaken our political leverage and voice.

Our understanding is that submissions should speak to the importance of Grey Lynn community and shared interest.

The deadline for submission is December 23, if you feel strongly about this, please submit.



After a period of what has to be described as some confusion about the agreed direction for Grey Lynn Park, caused by a 2008 plan not being officially signed off and taken up by council, the Waitemata Local Board has engaged a consultancy firm to discuss the needs of the park with a range of community groups. Richmond Rovers is, of course, a major stakeholder and the consultants have also spoken at length to the Grey Lynn Park Advisory Group, Grey Lynn 2030 and The Grey Lynn Residents Association.

Topics being looked at are:
– The future of the Richmond clubrooms
– The demolition of the old athletics clubrooms, which are now deemed irreparable
– Changing room and toilet facilities in the park
– The development of the two childrens playgrounds
– The future of the volleyball courts
– Tree planting
– Dog off-leash area
– Seating and landscaping
– The repair of the bleachers alongside field two
– Noise and rubbish in the park
– The potential of the Rose Road gully and its sculpture collection
– And much more besides

In short, everything that could be looked at for improvement and enhancement has been discussed and we anticipate a firm set of agreed goals that the whole community can endorse and be excited about being developed.

We’ve stressed to the consultants that the park is a much-loved jewel in the crown that suffers from lack of consistent maintenance.

We’ll keep you posted as more news on the assessment comes to hand.


The GLRA has been planning a needs assessment for Grey Lynn, and intends to canvas residents and users of Grey Lynn on their opinions. The results are intended to inform action for the community, to be taken up by the GLRA, other Grey Lynn community groups and the Waitemata Local Board. The GLRA has applied for grant funding for this, and we are awaiting a decision by the Local Board, so we will keep you posted once we hear.


The Arch Hill fundraising group still has a few tickets available to the movie premiere of Philomena, starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan. The screening is 8pm this Wed 11th December at the Bridgeway, Northcote.

This is one of the last opportunities for the Arch Hill group to fundraise for the year…along with the Arch HIll War Chest Lager that will be launched soon…

The tickets are $25 and include a glass of wine. Please spread the word and either go in to Works Hair, Custom Real Estate for tickets.


Many of you will know that Auckland Council recently granted resource consent to the building of the Bunnings Warehouse in Arch Hill. The Arch Hill Residents Group are planning to continue their legal action against Bunnings’ plans by lodging an appeal.

To follow, support and donate to the Arch Hill legal action, visit Arch Hill Matters here (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Arch-Hill-Matters/196264817084812)


We are currently planning a GLRA social event for members and supporters, to be held sometime at the beginning of the new year. We will keep you posted with details as soon as we have them firmed up. It will be a great opportunity to get together and celebrate the founding of the GLRA and a busy 2013 for all of our community.

Wishing you all a vibrant Grey Lynn Christmas, and looking forward to an active New Year.

Best regards,