Auckland is growing and changing rapidly. To accommodate this, Auckland Council has committed to a strategy of urban intensification to increase housing density, deliver the benefits associated with a compact urban form and limit the negative impacts linked with continued outward growth. Successful development requires careful planning; intensification and growth need to complement the protection and planting of trees and vegetation to create liveable neighbourhoods. Trees and vegetation also provide a range of services required for Auckland to function and thrive. These include enhanced stormwater management, air pollution removal, improved water quality, cooling to reduce the urban heat island effect, and ecological corridors to connect habitats and improve biodiversity.
Auckland’s plans and polices recognise and reference the value of trees and vegetation to varying degrees but do not provide a clear framework for the management of Auckland’s urban ngahere. A range of plans and polices influence the city's urban ngahere – explicitly and implicitly – yet urban ngahere objectives are only incidental to other considerations, such as green growth, climate change, indigenous biodiversity, and encouraging sport and recreation. In the past, this contributed to a situation in which Auckland’s urban ngahere was managed and maintained through piecemeal initiatives rather than in a strategic and holistic way. This strategy consolidates and builds upon existing directives that support Auckland's urban ngahere and sets out a clear framework to protect and grow Auckland’s urban ngahere for a flourishing future.