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Housing choice - central government direction

The government has released a national policy statement about planning for urban environments that influences the Housing Choice plan change and the Te Papa Plan. 

The Resource Management Act enables central government to provide national direction on matters through national policy statements and national environment standards. Councils then must implement these national directions through regional and district plans. 

National Policy Statement on Urban Development (NPS-UD)

In August 2020, central government released the National Policy Statement on Urban Development. This policy changes the way we have to plan for urban growth and is about ensuring New Zealand’s towns and cities are well-functioning urban environments that meet the changing needs of our diverse communities. It requires council’s across New Zealand to remove barriers to development to allow growth ‘up’ and ‘out’ in locations that have good access to existing services, public transport networks and infrastructure.

As a Tier 1 council, we are required, amongst other things, to remove minimum car parking requirements in the City Plan, and to enable building heights and densities of at least six storeys within a walkable catchment of existing or planned rapid transit stops and the CBD.

This will enable more people to live in, and more businesses and community services to be located in areas of an urban environment in which one or more of the following apply:

  • the area is in or near a centre zone or other area with many employment opportunities
  • the area is well-serviced by existing or planned public transport
  • there is high demand for housing or for business land in the area, relative to other areas within the urban environment.

As required by central government, we are introducing new rules along the Te Papa peninsula as part of Plan Change 26 that will enable up to six storeys generally within 800m of the city centre zone and from Cameron Road, which has planned rapid transit. In addition, car parking requirements will be removed from the City Plan on 16 November 2020. Removing car parking requirements does not require a formal plan change process and can be removed immediately from the City Plan.

To support greater height along the Te Papa peninsula, the Te Papa Spatial Plan has been adopted. The plan considers how we will address our key challenges of population growth and housing choice, infrastructure pressure, transport options, cultural wellbeing and the local amenities needed to support our communities. It outlines the overall approach, priority areas of focus, anticipated benefits and required actions.

Te Papa Spatial Plan

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