Update on National Policy Statement Urban on Urban Development Capacity 2016


In July last year the Association made a submission on the proposed national policy statement on urban development. See here.

The NPS Urban Development Capacity came into effect on 1 December 2016. The attached link takes you to the document on our website.

While the NPS addressed a couple of the issues of concern to Water NZ, many others were not dealt with. In relation to some of the more key issues:

  • The NPS still does not provide guidance as to the form development capacity should take – intensification/expansion or both
  • The NPS still does not address some issues which will impact availability or take up of capacity (construction resourcing, attitudes to growth, fragmented consenting system)
  • Infrastructure has been split into development infrastructure (being the three waters and land transport) and “other infrastructure”, these terms have been defined, and local authorities have been given a requirement to ensure sufficient funding by including in their long term plans
  • A new policy was included to require decision makers to have regard to the efficient use of urban land – however there is no express requirement to consider the quality of the development outcomes on that land
  • While there is a policy encouraging collaboration and co-operation between local authorities who share jurisdiction over an urban area, there is no requirement for a broader (e.g. region wide approach)
  • The housing and land assessments remain with councils rather than the Ministry
  • The NPS has preceded any broader Resource Management Act reforms
  • It does not resolve or address the potential for conflict with other national policy statements and other legislative instruments

In terms of implementation and guidance the Ministry for the Environment and the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment have been working together to support the implementation of the NPS. The implementation programme comprises the following work streams:

  • Monitoring market indicators
  • Housing and business development capacity assessments
  • Responsive planning
  • Consenting processes
  • Future development strategies
  • Monitoring and evaluation (i.e. monitoring the implementation of the NPS-UDC and evaluation of the effectiveness of the NPS-UDC)
  • Communications and engagement.

Further information on the work streams and advisory groups is expected on the MfE website at the end of January. Guidance on the various work streams are expected to be available later this year (between May and September 2017).

For further information on the current state of play refer:

Many thanks to Vicki Morrison-Shaw and Helen Atkins for drafting the Association submission.