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Whakaāhei wharenoho mātoru-nui

Enabling higher density housing

The Government’s direction is to make it easier to build apartments within walking distance of shops and facilities. Here’s what we’re proposing this could look like.

The Amendment Act requires our city plan to:

  • maximise building heights and density in the city centre to create as much opportunity for housing development there as possible
  • allow for residential building heights of at least six storeys within walking distance of the city centre
  • in and around other commercial centres, allow for residential building heights and density appropriate for the level of commercial activities and community services of the centre.

This part of the plan change is needed to give effect to the government’s National Policy Statement on Urban Development. 

This plan change defines where higher density housing could be located, in the city centre and Te Papa peninsula, and around our other identified commercial centres across the city. It identifies the size of the High Density Residential Zone around each type of commercial centre, and how much building height the city plan would enable in those areas.

The extent of the High Density Residential Zone is based on an accessible walkable catchment around the centre. A walkable catchment is the area around a centre within which an average person is likely to walk to reach the shops, services or businesses there. It is measured along the actual routes people walk, along well-lit and formed footpaths. The walkable catchment is where the higher density rules would apply.


We're going to make it easier to build apartments within walking distance of shops and facilities

In a nutshell – we’re proposing:

  • building heights between four and six storeys (16m to 21m) in areas within five to 10 minutes’ walk (400m to 800m) of some of the city’s commercial centres
  • building heights of eight storeys (27m) along Cameron Road in the Te Papa peninsula
  • building heights of eight storeys (27m) within 1,500m (15 minutes’ walk) of the city centre, and up to 48.7m above sea level (approx. 13 storeys) within the city centre.

Resource consent would still be required for developments of four or more storeys, but it would be easier to obtain and you wouldn’t need approval from neighbours if all our rules are met (as a restricted discretionary activity).

For four or more storeys we are also providing more direction on design and amenity outcomes as well as considering infrastructure capacity.

Managing the effects on amenity, infrastructure and neighbourhoods

Through this plan change we have identified what criteria higher density developments will need to meet before they’re consented to go ahead, including infrastructure capacity assessments and urban design criteria.

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