MEDIA RELEASE: Productivity Commission Urban Planning Report

19 August 2016

NZ PIanning Institute Chair welcomes "idea-packed" report on urban planning

NZPI signals need for constructive submissions

New Zealand Planning Institute Chair Bryce Julyan welcomes the Productivity Commission's draft report "Better Urban Planning" and the opportunity to submit on the ideas within it. He says, "This is a timely report, packed with policy ideas, and a good basis for a constructive examination of our urban planning framework."

NZPI's engagement with the Productivity Commission's enquiry into New Zealand's system of urban planning includes the preparation of several detailed submissions prepared in consultation with the Institute's 2,000 plus membership, and the Commission's participation at NZPI's annual conference earlier this year.

NZPI acknowledges that many of the ideas signalled in the report need careful consideration and further evaluation, however the draft report's recommendation that Spatial Plans should be a standard and mandatory part of the planning hierarchy is welcomed, in principle. Julyan says "our members support this planning tool as it is essential in good urban and regional planning - particularly in growth areas experiencing pressure on resources and infrastructure, while stakeholder participation is a prerequisite."

NZPI notes the report's recommendations for a new Government Policy Statement and a future planning system based on a "productive and collegial relationship between central and local government". Julyan says the gap between central government's economic development planning and city council urban planning needs to be addressed. He says better coordination and an integrated approach is needed 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 or investment.

He says, "outcomes from this review have the potential to plug significant gaps and create more efficiency and certainty in our urban planning framework. We will continue to work closely with our members to consider, fine-tune and further develop the Productivity Commission proposals."

For further information contact please contact Bryce Julyan, NZPI Chair at