Draft NPS on Urban Development Capacity

​The proposed National Policy Statement (NPS) on Urban Development Capacity will require councils in high population growth areas to provide a 15% to 20% buffer within their land release plans so that they can be confident demand will be met.

Submissions on the draft NPS close on 15 July 2016.  The aim is to have the policy finalised to take effect in October, in conjunction with Auckland’s new Unitary Plan and the RMA changes being progressed through the Resource Legislation Amendment Bill. 


The NPS sets out nine principles – the last five of which will apply only to local authorities containing within their jurisdiction part or all of a High Growth Urban Area.

Those meeting that definition now are: Auckland, Tauranga, Hamilton, Queenstown and Christchurch.

Policies 5 to 9

5   -   Regional councils must incorporate within their regional policy statements minimum targets specifying the       
         total number of dwellings and the dwelling types required to meet anticipated residential growth, with an         
         additional margin of 20% over projected short and medium term demand and 15% over projected long-
         term plan.

6   -   These targets must be reviewed every three years.

7   -   Local authorities must provide a future land release and intensification strategy alongside their other planning 
         documents, to demonstrate that there will be sufficient development capacity for the targets to be met.

8   -   The intensification strategy must identify the location, timing and sequence of planned land release over the 
         long term and provide a process for flexible implementation.

9   -   In developing the strategy, local authorities must take into account the views of infrastructure providers, land
         owners, property developers and other stakeholders as appropriate.

Principles 7 to 9 must be implemented by the end of 2018 or within 12 months of becoming a High Growth Urban Area.
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