Federated Farmers says it's vital for the nation's economy that Auckland builds up and not out as its population rises, so urban sprawl doesn't turn productive agricultural land into city streets.
The farm lobby's chief executive, Conor English, says that over the past 30 years New Zealand has lost 30% of its productive land to urban sprawl and the conservation estate.
Auckland Council chief planning officer Roger Blakeley says the council is one step ahead of Federated Farmers.
"What Conor English was saying is exactly what's in the Auckland plan," he says.
"The mayor and the councillors confronted this issue ... they agreed they wanted to stop the outward urban sprawl of the past few decades and they wanted to grow up rather than grow out to accommodate the extra million people who will be living in Auckland in 30 years time," Mr Blakeley says.