Major change to rules for urban development



RMLA notes the surprise announcement of the Resource Management Enabling Housing Supply and Other Matters Amendment Bill, which will introduce major changes to the rules for housing in major cities. The release is just 3 days before the Select Committee is due to report back on consultation on the Natural and Built Environments Bill. That Bill is intended to be the core of the new resource management legislation going forward, alongside the forthcoming Spatial Planning Bill and the Climate Change Adaptation Bill.

This latest Bill will introduce an Intensification Streamlined Planning Process (ISPP) to speed up development. It is a further effort to address housing price and capacity matters primarily through the planning legislation and a strongly “supply side” approach to increasing capacity.  It will require councils to enable more intensive residential development with up to 3 dwellings per site, and up to 3-storeys. The intensification would be allowed as of right without resource consent throughout Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Wellington and Christchurch (the Tier 1 cities). This initiative follows on from policies in the National Policy Statement on Urban Development (2020) which require district plans to enable a minimum of 6-storeys within walkable catchments of main centres and rapid transit hubs in those cities.

The RMLA will be making a submission on this Bill.

Key matters include the extent to which this Bill may pre-empt provisions in proposed Natural and Built Environments Bill which is still being formulated; the implications for urban development quality from enabling much higher density while also reducing consent requirements; the number of legislative streams running together with this latest Bill being drafted in parallel with the three other Bills still being developed; and the absence of consultation.

Final Fact Sheet 19.10.21

Sally Gepp

You can find out more information on the proposals on the Ministry for the Environment (MfE) website: Link here, or on the Te Tūāpapa Kura Kāinga – Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) website: Link here. The Bill is available here.