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Former councils within the Auckland region had their own documents which addressed compliance with development rules. 
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The first version of the SWCoP was published in October 2013, creating a single set of stormwater minimum standards for Auckland and superseding the stormwater sections from previous council standards. The Water and Wastewater Code of Practice for Land Development and Subdivision (Watercare CoP) addresses water and wastewater infrastructure and the Auckland Transport Code of Practice (ATCOP) addresses transport infrastructure.

The Auckland Plan (2012) sets the vision of Auckland becoming the ‘world’s most liveable city’. This places an emphasis on sustainable urban development to accommodate population growth, while ensuring that communities are safe and healthy environments to work, live and play. The significant issues for stormwater management are the protection of people, property, infrastructure, and the receiving environment. Auckland Council’s approach to supporting the vision of the Auckland Plan includes encouraging the use of Water Sensitive Design, an inter-disciplinary approach which promotes balancing land development with the ecosystem services necessary to support it.

The SWCoP is to be used in conjunction with Auckland Council guideline document GD2015/004 (Water Sensitive Design for Stormwater) and Auckland Regional Council technical publications TP10 (Stormwater Management Devices: Design Guidelines Manual) and TP108 (Guidelines for Stormwater Runoff Modelling in the Auckland Region) which together provide best practice guidance for stormwater design. Auckland Council plans to update TP10 and TP108 with new guideline documents to bring them up to date with current technologies and best practice. Once these new guideline documents are published, they will supersede all references to TP10 and TP108 throughout the SWCoP.

Auckland Council will develop a Code of Practice chapter on Water Sensitive Design and landscaping, starting in 2016.
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