Auckland’s growing population, together with the desire to live near the coast, means that land in the coastal environment is highly valued and that use and development has resulted in a loss of natural character values. ONC(Outstanding Natural Character) areas are the iconic, scenic and wilderness areas where the sights, features, and sounds are those of nature and where man-made influences are absent, or minor and subservient in the context of the natural environment. These areas provide an important touchstone with nature for an increasingly urbanised population. Areas of HNC(High Natural Character) value often include rural land used for primary production. Although these areas may lack the same wilderness value as outstanding areas, there is still a significant predominance of naturalness. Areas of ONC/HNC value are an increasingly scarce and valuable resource. The growing pressures for subdivision, use and development require that priority be given to preserving the natural values of these areas for the use and enjoyment of future generations. Land identified as having ONC/HNC value may already have been subdivided but not yet developed. If the development rights were exercised it would result in a degradation or loss of natural character values. Providing an alternative location for development rights to be exercised enables the protection of the significant natural values of ONC/HNCareas.
Identifies the areas of the coastal environment that have high and outstanding natural character values as described in policy 13 of the New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement 2010