Town Planning Services for Individuals, Groups and Organisations

News & Updates

Changes are occurring frequently to national planning policy and local planning instruments.  If you are up-to-date, you are more likely to have the time to to make a good quality submission. 


Urban Development Authorities
Resource Legislation Amendment Bill 
Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment released in September 2017 a summary of submissions received on the the proposal for Urban Development Authorities released in February 2017.  MBIE anticipated that the proposal would proceed in some form, even if the government changed.  No official annoucement on this proposal has been made by the new government.  For further information see MBIE website
This bill became law in April 2017 and dramatically changed sections of the Resource Management Act 1991.  For further information see Ministry for Environment website 

National Planning Standards
National Policy Statement on Urban Development Capacity
The use of National Planning Standards (also known as national planning template) was approved as part of the latest RMA changes.  A series of discussion papers was released by the Ministry for Environment in May 2017.  A first set of draft standards for public comment are expected April 2018.  For more information see website.  

The New Zealand Planning Institutes' submission on the Discussion Papers can be viewed here 
This NPS came into effect on December 2016 and requires Councils to provide sufficient residential and business land capacity (in terms of zoning + infrastructure) for the next 30 years.  For further information see website:


Wellington region

Hutt City Council
Wellington City Council
Hutt City Council publicly notified Proposed Plan Change 43 Residential and Suburban Mixed Use on 7 November 2017 with submissions due 9 March 2018.  This proposal seeks to provide a range of residential intensification options for various localities and effects the majority of residential areas in the District, albeit to different degrees.  For further information see website.

Hutt City Council published in July 2017 a spatial plan for Petone called 'Petone 2040'.  For further information see website.

Wellington City Council consulted on a draft plan change to introduce medium density residential areas in Tawa and Newlands in late 2015 as part of their Housing Choice and Supply Project.  This project appears to be on hold, although it remains on the Council's list of current projects.  

The Council as of 23 February 2018 had three active plan changes.   

Wellington City Council is also signatory to a Housing Accord.  Special provisions apply to Special Housing Areas. The largest of these areas is Shelly Bay.  Information on the resource consent and Council land sale in Shelly Bay can be found using the below link. 

The Council released its decision on Plan Change 39: Transport on 16 January 2018.  This plan change refers to minimum parking standards and integrated transport assessments for high trip generating activities. 

Hutt City Council has also notified proposed plan changes for Copeland Street Reserve, 64 Waipounamu Drive - Kelson, and 135 Witako Street.  

Hutt City Council in February 2018 released information about work being taken in relation to increasing regulatory protection of ecological areas and landscapes.  See website for more details. 


Wellington City Council established a 'Mayor’s Housing Taskforce' in 2016, which provided a series of recommendations in June 2017 on how the Council could address housing issues.  A copy of the report can be viewed using the link below.  


Upper Hutt City Council
Porirua City Council
Upper Hutt Council's Land Use Strategy 2016-2043 signals a number of future plan changes, including a review of residential provisions.  Additional land is anticipated to be proposed for housing, including the 'Southern Growth Area' also known as the Silverstream Spur.  For further information see website.

A decision is awaited on notified plan change 42 (Mangaroa & Pinehaven Flood Extents).  The Council is also in the process of considering Plan Change 44 (Temporary events).  For further information see website.

Porirua City Council is in the process of preparing a Draft District Plan.  In late 2015, the Council released 12 Discussion Papars on options being considered.  A further 6 issue papers were released for feedback in October 2017.   

Notification of a draft plan change is expected by October 2018.  For further information see website.


Greater Wellington Regional Council
Kapiti Coast District Council
Kapiti Coast District Council made decisions on the Proposed Replacement District Plan in November 2017, following the consideration of recommendations from the hearing panel.  A number of appeals have been lodged, which could take some time to resolve.  Interested persons are advised to check with the Council what provisions apply to particular sites and topics.   For further information see website.

Greater Wellington Regional Council notified a replacement regional plan 'Proposed Natural Resources Plan' in 
2015.  Plan change hearings have commenced and are expected to continue until mid 2018.  For further information see website.

GWRC is also consulting on the Te Awa Kairangi / Hutt River Environment Strategy Action Plan, with submissions closing 9 March 2017.   For further information see website. 




Articles & Reports

6 May  2017

November 2016

This article was published on Scoop and is about the need for planning legislation to provide a good urban planning framework.  This framework should clearly explain desired outcomes for urban environments.  Not just in terms of increased housing supply, but also covering wider social and environmental outcomes such as amenity, accessibility, safety and affordability.  It promoted the creation of places that people want to live in.     

This article by Ton Buhrs of Lincoln University investigates 6 trends in NZ, which are associated with the erosion of democracy.  Amongst other items, it refers to changes in planning legislation and quotes my 2016 report on the Resource Legislation Amendment Bill.  
OECD Environmental Performance Review of NZ 2017
This report is the third independent Environmental Performance Review of New Zealand. It evaluates progress towards sustainable development and green growth, with a focus on water resources management and sustainable urban development.  It identifies rising environmental pressures in New Zealand and recommends changes to recent legislation including the Housing Accord and Special Housing Areas Act and the National Policy Statement on Urban Development Capacity.