National Policy Statement on Urban Development

The National Policy Statement on Urban Development (NPS-UD) aims to ensure that New Zealand’s towns and cities are well-functioning urban environments that meet the changing needs of our diverse communities.

About the National Policy Statement on Urban Development

Building housing in the areas where development is most needed will help our cities meet the diverse needs of their communities, and encourage well-functioning and liveable urban environments. 

The NPS-UD directs councils to remove overly restrictive planning rules that make it more difficult to build homes. It requires councils to respond to changes in demand by enabling denser housing in the walkable distances in areas such as around city centres and rapid transit stops.  

Building housing in the areas where development is most needed will help our cities meet the diverse needs of their communities, and encourage well-functioning and liveable urban environments. 

The NPS-UD replaces the National Policy Statement on Urban Development Capacity 2016 (NPS-UDC), and is administered by the Ministry for the Environment (MfE), with support from Te Tūāpapa Kura Kāinga - Ministry of Housing and Urban Development. 

To read the NPS-UD, visit the MfE website 

Major policies in the NPS-UD

Intensification 

Council plans will need to enable (but not require) greater height and density, particularly in areas of high demand and access.  

Car parking 

Councils will no longer be able to require developers to provide car parking through their district and city plans. Developers can still provide car parking if they wish. Mobility parking is not affected by this direction.  

Responsiveness 

Councils must consider private plan changes where they would add significantly to development capacity, good outcomes and are well connected by transport corridors.  

Wider outcomes 

Councils are directed to give greater consideration to ensuring that cities work for all people and communities. Particular focus is given to access, climate change, and housing affordability.  

Strategic planning 

Councils are required to work together to produce ‘Future Development Strategies’, which set out the long-term strategic vision for accommodating urban growth.  

Evidence and engagement 

Councils must use a strong evidence base for their decision making and ensure they engage with Māori, developers and infrastructure providers.  

Published: October 4, 2021

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