National Policy Statement on Urban Development Capacity (NPS-UDC)

The National Policy Statement on Urban Development Capacity directs local authorities to provide development capacity in their resource management plans to meet demand for housing and business space.

Please note that the NPS-UDC has been replaced with the National Policy Statement on Urban Development.

About the National Policy Statement

The purpose of National Policy Statement on Urban Development Capacity (NPS-UDC) is to ensure local authorities enable development capacity for housing and business —through their land-use planning and infrastructure — so that urban areas can grow and change in response to the needs of their communities.

To do this growth, councils are required to:

  • monitor their markets for housing and business land
  • assess the development capacity against projected demand
  • if there's insufficient development capacity, respond in their plans to enable more capacity to grow.

The NPS-UDC is administered by the Ministry for the Environment (MfE), with support from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).

The policy statement document is available from the MfE website, along with the background research, consultation, Cabinet paper and supporting documents.

Guidance for local authorities

Together with MfE, we've developed guidance to support local authorities in high growth and medium growth urban areas to meet the requirements of the NPS-UDC.

Guidance for local authorities on the NPS-UDC

We've also developed an Urban Development Capacity dashboard, which provides a range of market and price efficiency indicators that local authorities are required to monitor and use when implementing the National Policy Statement on Urban Development Capacity.

Urban Development Capacity dashboard

Implementing the NPS-UDC

The NPS-UDC came into effect on 1 December 2016. Since then, local authorities in urban areas have been working towards meeting the requirements.

The following tables show the timelines for local authorities to meet the requirements. These differ depending on what type of growth the urban areas is experiencing.

High-growth urban areas

High-growth urban areas include:

  • Auckland (Auckland Council)
  • Tauranga (Bay of Plenty Region, Tauranga City and Western Bay of Plenty District)
  • Hamilton (Waikato Region, Hamilton City, Waikato District and Waipa District)
  • Christchurch (Canterbury Region, Christchurch City, Selwyn District and Waimakariri District)
  • Queenstown (Otago Region and Queenstown-Lakes District).
NPS-UDC RequirementsDeadlines
Monitor market indicators (PB6) 1 Jun 2017
Use price efficiency indicators (PB7) 31 Dec 2017
Housing and business development capacity assessment (PB1-5) 31 Dec 2017
Set minimum targets for housing capacity (PC5-11) 31 Dec 2018
Future development strategy (PC12-14) 31 Dec 2018

Newly defined high-growth urban areas

Newly defined high-growth urban areas include:

  • Whangarei (Northland Region and Whangarei District)
  • New Plymouth (Taranaki Region and New Plymouth District).
NPS-UDC RequirementsDeadlines
Monitor market indicators (PB6) 1 Jun 2017
Use price efficiency indicators (PB7) 31 Dec 2017
Housing and business development capacity assessment (PB1-5) 30 Jun 2018
Set minimum targets for housing capacity (PC5-11) 31 Dec 2018
Future development strategy (PC12-14) 31 Dec 2018

Medium-growth urban areas

Medium growth urban areas include:

  • Palmerston North (Horizons Region and Palmerston North City)
  • Kapiti (Greater Wellington Region and Kapiti Coast District)
  • Wellington (Greater Wellington Region, Wellington City, Porirua City, Lower Hutt City and Upper Hutt City)
  • Nelson (Nelson City and Tasman District).
NPS-UDC RequirementsDeadlines
Monitor market indicators (PB6) 1 Jun 2017
Use price efficiency indicators (PB7) 31 Dec 2017
Housing and business development capacity assessment (PB1-5) 31 Dec 2018

Newly defined medium-growth urban areas

Newly defined medium-growth urban areas include:

  • Gisborne (Gisborne District)
  • Rotorua (Bay of Plenty Region and Rotorua District)
  • Napier-Hastings (Hawkes Bay Region, Napier City and Hastings District)
  • Blenheim (Marlborough District)
  • Dunedin (Otago Region and Dunedin City).
NPS-UDC RequirementsDeadlines
Monitor market indicators (PB6) 31 Mar 2018
Use price efficiency indicators (PB7) 31 Mar 2018
Housing and business development capacity assessment (PB1-5) 31 Dec 2018

Consultation – Urban Development Policy

Proposed National Policy Statement on Urban Development

All Kiwis deserve healthy and affordable homes and access to jobs, education, amenities and services. That is why we consulted on how we should plan for the future growth of our cities. The consultation closed at 5pm, Thursday 10 October, 2019.

We received more than 240 submissions. Alongside this feedback, more than seven thousand people attended meetings held in 30 towns and cities across New Zealand as a part of the roadshow outlining the NPS-UD and four other proposals from our Ministry for the Environment (MfE) and the Ministry for Housing and Urban Development (HUD) colleagues. The roadshow included public and private sector meetings, sessions with local government and hui with local iwi/Māori. 

Now that the consultation period has ended:

  • officials will prepare a report that summarises the submissions and recommends changes in response
  • the report and recommendations will be presented to an independent technical advisory panel to review
  • officials will then seek agreement from Ministers to make any recommended changes to the proposals, and to approve the proposed NPS-UD
  • the submissions received, and the summary of submissions report will be made public once the policy is finalised.

If Ministerial and Cabinet approval is given, the proposed NPS-UD is likely to take effect in in mid-2020.

If you would like to continue to read up on the context and background for our proposal on a National Policy Statement on Urban Development, our website is still live - Consultation – Urban Development Policy

Published: July 23, 2020

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