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Minor dwellings in the Singe House Zone

Updated: Feb 11

Since Covid 19 first struck in New Zealand, we’re seeing more and more people interested in developing their sites. Often this is in the form of a second (or more) dwelling or a minor dwelling. We receive a lot of queries about minor dwellings, and as these often don’t need resource consent we hope this blog will be of help in answering peoples general minor dwelling questions.

What is a minor dwelling?

In Auckland, a “minor dwelling” is defined in the Auckland Unitary Plan as A dwelling that is secondary to the principal dwelling on the site.

A “dwelling” is defined as:

Living accommodation used or designed to be used for a residential purpose as a single household residence contained within one or more buildings, and served by a food preparation facility/kitchen.

A food preparation facility/kitchen includes all of the following:

  • means for cooking food, food rinsing, utensil washing and waste water disposal; and

  • space for food preparation (including a suitable surface) and food storage including a refrigerator or a perishable food storage area capable of being cooled.

Usually, a minor dwelling is a smaller unit of 65m2, containing 1-2 bedrooms, smaller living areas, kitchen and potentially an attached garage.

Where can I build a minor dwelling?

In Auckland, minor dwellings are provided for by the Auckland Unitary Plan in the Residential Rural & Coastal Settlement, Residential- Low Intensity and Residential- Single House zones[1]. Of these, the most common zone is Residential- Single House (SHZ), and this blog will focus on the SHZ.

In the SHZ, minor dwellings are commonly a permitted activity, subject to meeting the applicant Auckland Unitary Plan standards. If an activity is permitted, this means resource consent is not needed. If these Standards are not met, then resource consent is needed. These Standards in the SHZ are:

  • Standard H3.6.4 Minor dwellings;

  • Standard H3.6.6 Building height;

  • Standard H3.6.7 Height in relation to boundary;

  • Standard H3.6.8 Yards;

  • Standard H3.6.9 Maximum impervious areas;

  • Standard H3.6.10 Building coverage;

  • Standard H3.6.11 Landscaped area;

  • Standard H3.6.12 Front, side and rear fences and walls.

You can learn more about these Standards via this link.

Auckland- wide rules and Standards

Auckland- wide rules such as those relating to earthworks, transportation and natural hazards are all applicable and must be complied with. Non- compliance will result in resource consent being needed, but only under these specific rules or Standards.


A minor dwelling will require the payment of development contributions, service connection fees and other charges. Make sure you investigate these early in your development planning, so you know what your overall costs will be.

Who will help?

If you don’t require a resource consent, we suggest discussing your proposed minor dwelling with an architect/ architectural designer. They can help you design the building, and will usually manage the building consent process for you.

If you need resource consent, get in contact and we can discuss your project.

Disclaimer As with all our blogs, the information detailed here is general in nature and meant as a preliminary guide only. This should not be substituted for your own investigations or use of your own professional’s. Planning Plus is not liable for any errors or omissions.

© Planning Plus Ltd 2023

[1] In other residential zones in the AUP(OP), multiple dwellings are provided for but no “minor dwellings”.

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