MEDIA RELEASE: Urban Development NPS Needs Careful Consideration

03 June 2016

NZPI considers there is merit in preparing a National Policy Statement on urban development, especially one that addresses the wide range of issues that are relevant to our urban areas today.

The responsible Minister, the Hon Nick Smith, has indicated the National Policy Statement released yesterday would not solve housing problems itself, but combined with the Proposed Unitary Plan (in Auckland) and the Government's Resource Management Act (RMA) reforms was part of a "long-term solution that will make a material difference".

Bryce Julyan, NZPI’s Board Chairman, says, “NZPI will be looking carefully at the Proposed NPS – in particular we will want to see if the proposed NPS on Urban Development Capacity provides a constructive and guiding policy statement that we believe is necessary in New Zealand now”.

NZPI considers that regardless of an NPS, what is needed is more coordination between the different levels of development planning in New Zealand, so that local planning for urban growth is managed, rather than being forced to respond to sudden surges in population growth or inflows of capital.

Policy interventions that address urban planning issues need to be comprehensively considered alongside other urban development objectives and strategies. NZPI generally supports the use of spatial planning for the successful development of an urban environment. However, we caution that good spatial planning is not limited to addressing the provision of land solely for housing and business opportunities. Planning for future housing or business development needs to be an integrated process addressing all elements that make a successful, livable city. These include locations for employment, social and public services and facilities, transport networks, and other infrastructure, parks, reserves and community amenities and facilities.

Bryce Julyan commented, “the Institute welcomes the use of the NPS mechanism to provide national guidance in planning for our cities. NZPI will be working with its members to consider this proposed document and develop a submission to meet the deadline of 15th July 2016 .

Contact Bryce Julyan at