New Government policy to encourage growth


Last week the Government announced its National Policy Statement on Urban Development 2020.  

The policy aims to ensure New Zealand’s towns are well-functioning urban environments that meet the changing needs of our diverse communities by removing overly restrictive barriers to development – allowing for growth by building up or spreading out in locations which have good access to existing services and infrastructure.

For Waitaki District Council, it is likely to mean a new and more considered approach to planning for our growth, particularly for the Ōamaru area, which will need to be factored into the District Plan Review.   

Making sure there is enough land for housing and business, and the close monitoring of this situation, is needed. Housing affordability and integration with infrastructure planning and funding also forms part of what we as Council must be thinking about in future urban development. 

One effect of the policy could mean that fewer car parks will need to be provided by individual developments in the future. This creates the possibility of greater levels of congestion, and we may need to start considering new modes of transportation in response.

Council plans will also need to enable (but not require) greater height and density, within a walkable range of (Ōamaru) town centre. The requirements on Ōamaru, and maybe even Weston, are not as great as for the main centres of New Zealand but it signals the need to be thinking about different ways of building new houses than what we’ve traditionally used to, including apartment living.

We’re still at the start of conversations over the District Plan Review, including how we balance urban growth with providing for heritage and protecting against natural hazards.  So, if the above has triggered something you might wish to discuss, then we’d be keen to chat with you! Please contact:​ 

Read the Policy Statement here:

Page reviewed: 31 Jul 2020 4:26pm