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Plan Change 26 - Housing choice

Plan Change 26 – Housing choice proposes changes to the City Plan to make it easier for people to build a variety of more compact types of homes, like duplexes, terraced houses, townhouses and apartments that better suit their needs.

These rules will also ensure these new builds look good, respect the privacy of the properties next door, and create great spaces and neighbourhoods for us all to live in.

Plan change 26 key documents and further submissions

Why plan for more housing choice?

Our population is growing fast and changing overtime – we are getting older, and families are getting smaller. So we don’t all need a three or four bedroom house, which is generally what is being built in Tauranga right now. As we grow, we need to ensure we have enough homes for people to live in and housing types to accommodate our changing population. To allow Tauranga to grow up as well as out and enable more housing choice, our City Plan rules need to make it easier to provide for more types of housing.

The proposed plan change seeks to:

  • help address our shortage of developable land and housing supply
  • enable more housing choice through a variety of housing types and site sizes that meet people’s needs
  • reduce pressure on urban expansion and the associated infrastructure costs
  • create more liveable, unique, connected and healthy neighbourhoods as outlined in the Te Papa Spatial Plan
  • deliver a more compact city
  • give effect to central government and regional policy requirements
  • create quality built form outcomes.

Remember, what you do with your house or land is up to you – but the proposed changes would open up a wealth of opportunity for our community and our city over time.

How does the plan change affect my property?

Find out where this plan change allows for more housing choice and where it doesn't apply.

View maps

Residential developments in Te Papa/city living zone

Part of the plan change is about implementing the Te Papa Plan: a 30-year plan for growth and change along the Te Papa peninsula, which runs from Greerton through the city centre to the harbour bridge. 

We’re looking at parts of Te Papa to provide for increased density such as apartment living and townhouses/terraced houses, and planning for the public amenities, infrastructure and community initiatives needed to support a larger population there.

Proposed rules for the Te Papa/city living zone

Residential developments in the suburban residential zone

We are also looking at what people can build in the rest of the city, in what we call the suburban residential zone, and looking at the infrastructure needed to support a greater variety in housing choice. We are proposing to change the City Plan so people can build other types of homes such as duplexes and terraced houses/townhouses more easily, while ensuring new builds also help create great neighbourhoods. 

Proposed rules for the suburban residential zone

Residential activities in commercial areas

We are also looking to provide greater direction on design and amenity outcomes for residential activities in the commercial zone (like apartments built above shops), increasing controls through the City Plan so we can prevent subpar outcomes for their occupants, and the neighbourhood.

Proposed rules in commercial areas

Urban design assessment criteria

To ensure new builds look good, meet community needs and are great spaces to live in, new policies and assessment criteria are proposed to support good urban design outcomes in the city. These will apply to comprehensively designed development in the suburban residential and city living zones and residential activities in the Commercial Zone.

We have prepared an urban design guide, the Residential Outcomes Framework, that provides guidance on how these policies and assessment criteria can be met.

Proposed urban design framework

What we’ve heard

In April and May 2020, we asked the community and stakeholders for feedback on the details of the draft plan change. The feedback indicated general support for the direction and rule framework for each of the proposed housing types/criteria in the Suburban Residential Zone, Te Papa area and Commercial Zone. They also supported introducing new Urban Design Assessment criteria to ensure we get good urban design outcomes.

Good to know

Visible change in the city through this plan change would not happen all at once. It would happen over time as development occurs across the city, as people decide to redevelop their sections in existing residential areas. For example, in central areas like Te Papa, gradual change could happen like this:


Concept Drawing: A neighbourhood changing over time (4.4mb pdf)

We are taking into consideration and working on several other topics as we develop this plan change: natural hazards and in particular how we mitigate flood risk while enabling redevelopment (Plan Change 27); the capacity of our network infrastructure and what we’ll need to do to ensure it’s capable of handling the needs of more people in one place; and the direction set by central government on how we manage growth and how that could influence the plan change. Read up on those below, on next steps for the project and how to keep informed.

Have your say


Further submissions are now closed.

Hearings are due to be held late 2021.



  • Early 2019 - October 2020
    Identification of issues and pre-consultation

    Preparation of proposed plan change
  • 16 November 2020 - 1 February 2021
    Public notification and submissions
  • 31 May - 25 June 2021
    A summary of submissions is published and submitters are invited to make further submissions
  • Late 2021
    Hearings - A hearing committee considers submissions received and will provide recommendations to Council
  • Late 2021/early 2022
    Decisions - Recommendations are considered at a formal Council meeting and decisions are publicly notified

    Appeals (30 days to lodge)

    Plan change is operative in part of in full depending on appeals

What is the City Plan and a plan change?

City Plan and plan change information

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