NZPI's Submission on Urban Development Bill

18 February 2020

The Urban Development Bill is a complex piece of legislation which provides specific powers to enable Kāinga Ora - Homes and Communities (Kāinga Ora) to undertake urban development within specified development project areas (SDPA) as well as providing the ability to use powers of acquisition for all of Kāinga Ora’s development activities. The Bill sets out the process for establishing an SDPA, the preparation of a respective development plan, notification of the plan, providing it and submissions to an Independent Hearings Panel (IHP), and the collection of rates and development contributions.

NZPI generally supports the establishment of urban development agencies as planning implementation mechanisms. However NZPI has significant concerns with the Bill – both in terms of its overall conception, the assumptions it is based upon (as expressed in Cabinet papers), and its workability and likely (but unintended) consequences. In summary the Bill:

  • risks being a heavy-handed and costly Central Government duplication of functions and roles that should be delivered by enabled and empowered Local Government agencies;
  • is based on insufficient analysis of what can, and what already has, been achieved in urban regeneration in Auckland within existing legislation;
  • fails to integrate with overlapping and parallel Central Government interventions including the National Policy Statement on Urban Development Capacity and the proposed NPS on Urban Development;
  • builds on incomplete accounts of urban development agency tools and mechanisms in Australia (eg Western Australia);
  • risks enabling privately owned and managed regeneration developments with minimal accountability to the relevant local authority or affected public;
  • fails to provide appropriately for partnership and collaboration between Central and Local Government in urban regeneration;
  • fails to provide for value uplift capture or betterment tax to contribute toward necessary supporting infrastructure development costs.

NZPI’s submission is that the outcomes sought in the Bill are better achieved:

  • Either by in the short term: modifying the National Policy Statement on Urban Development to provide for urban regeneration situations so that the activity is coordinated with existing NPS’s and integrates with existing planning frameworks;
  • Or by in the longer term: incorporating its provisions into the RM Reform process and providing appropriately for powers of land amalgamation, compulsory purchase and value uplift funding, and Government incentive funding;
  • Or something in between but which in any case requires implementation to be carried out by Central and Local Government working collaboratively.

Click here to download Submission