Proposed National Policy Statement - Urban Development

The government is currently consulting on the proposed National Policy Statement on Urban Development (NPS-UD), which will replace the National Policy Statement on Urban Development Capacity 2016 (2016 NPS-UD). The 2016 NPS-UD directs local authorities to provide sufficient development capacity in their resource management plans to meet demand for housing and business space. The 2016 NPS-UD will be incorporated into the proposed NPS-UD. The proposed NPS-UD will build on existing requirements for greater development capacity and add new content.

The Ministry for the Environment has released a discussion document providing an overview of the proposed NPS-UD and how it will operate. In summary the NPS-UD will give direction on what is meant by ‘quality urban environments’; through the implementation of objectives and policies which will include a non-exhaustive description of the features of a quality environment.

Objectives and policies, among other things, would require councils to:

  • Provide enough opportunities to meet demand for development, for example more land would be identified and zoned for housing;
  • Describe the type of development they expect and ensure their plans allow for expected levels of development;
  • Enable more dense housing development in certain areas, for example more compact, multi-unit dwellings built close to public transport, services and amenities.

In addition the discussion document suggests the NPS-UD will limit the ability of councils to regulate the number of car parks required for a development and require or replace particular rules in district plans where they might prevent good development. The NPS-UD will also encourage councils to work together on implementing the NPS-UD and engaging with iwi/hapū and infrastructure providers.

The timing for summary of the submissions (received during consultation) and advice to Cabinet remains uncertain however the Ministry for the Environment intends the NPS-UD will likely take effect in the first half of 2020.

If you are interested to learn more about the NPS-UD, the Ministry for the Environment is holding a number of public meetings across the country.

For more information, including how you can make a submission and to see the full timetable for public meetings, go to:

The deadline for making a submission is 5pm on 10 October 2019.

Please contact us if you like to discuss the proposed NPS-UD or would like assistance with preparing a submission.

 Disclaimer: This is a brief summary for information purposes only and is not legal advice.

Posted on Wednesday 4th September, 2019 at 01:30 pm