New Zealand cities are failing and poor planning is stopping them from growing, says Phil Twyford.
The Urban Development Minister says as a result, the price of land and housing is being driven up.
He says this is one of the “big drivers of the housing crisis”.
Phil’s comments following the release of a new approach to urban planning.
“We need a new approach to planning that allows our cities to grow up, especially in city centres and around transport connections.
“We also have to allow cities to expand in a way that protects our special heritage areas, the natural environment and highly productive land.”
When overly restrictive planning creates an artificial scarcity of land, or floor space in the case of density limits, Phil says you simply drive up the price of housing and deny people housing options.
He says the proposed National Policy Statement on Urban Development would direct councils – particularly in the six high growth centres of Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown – to free up their planning rules while focusing on high-quality streets, neighbourhoods and communities.
“We know it’s possible to create high and medium density communities with good urban design and open spaces that will reassure the most sceptical NIMBY. We also know that with good planning and transport infrastructure, growth on the fringes of the city can avoid the pitfalls of sprawl.
“Our Government wants councils to take a long-term strategic approach to the growth of their cities. This means joining up transport, housing and infrastructure in a 30-year plan that involves mana whenua and the wider community in a much more hands-on approach to planning,” says Phil.
“This National Policy Statement will sit alongside one on Highly Productive Land announced last week, to ensure we get the balance right and we develop in the right places. We need to house our people but we also need to feed them,” says Environment Minister David Parker.
“National Policy Statements help local authorities make good decisions about making room for growth, while ensuring it doesn’t come at the expense of natural environments.
“By providing clear direction to decision-makers, it will improve outcomes for communities through enabling more housing choices close to jobs and achieving quality urban environments.”