Implementing the national policy statement on urban development

The timeframes for councils to implement the NPS-UD vary by policy and by which of the three “tiers” of urban environment the council has jurisdiction over. 

HUD and MfE have ongoing engagement with councils to provide support on specific areas of implementation and will issue further guidance where a need is identified.

Please note that guidance is for information purposes only and does not have statutory weight.

Implementation timeline

Every tier 1, 2 and 3 council must amend its regional policy statement or district plan to give effect to the provisions of the NPS-UD as soon as practicable. In addition, some policies have specific requirements. The following table shows the timelines for local authorities to meet the requirements. 

Initial implementation

Deadline NPS-UD requirement 
Initial implementation
20 August 2020 

The NPS-UD comes into force, replacing the NPS-UDC. All objectives apply. 

By 31 July 2021 

Tier 1 and 2 councils have completed the housing assessment aspect of the new HBAs 

Not later than 20 February 2022 (18 months after commencement date) 

Tier 1, 2 and 3 councils have removed provisions in plans relating to minimum parking rates 

Not later than 20 August 2022 (Two years after commencement date) 

Tier 1 and 2 councils have notified plan changes implementing intensification policies 

Tier 1 councils do this with the incorporation of the MDRS under the Resource Management Act 1991.  

As soon as practicable 

Tier 1, 2 and 3 councils have amended their regional policy statements and district plans to give effect to the NPS-UD. 

Tier 3 councils have notified plan changes implementing intensification policies 

In time to inform 2024 long-term plans 

Tier 1 and 2 councils have completed HBA 

Tier 1 and 2 councils have prepared or reviewed FDSs 

Ongoing timeframes


Tier 1, 2 and 3 councils must monitor housing indicators 

Tier 1 councils must also monitor development uptake in medium- and high-density zones 

At least annually 

Tier 1, 2 and 3 councils must publish the results of their monitoring 

As soon as practicable and within 12 months of publishing the relevant monitoring report 

Tier 1 councils evaluate zone rules, where uptake is not meeting the development outcomes anticipated and notify plan changes if required 

Every three years 

Tiers 1 and 2 update HBA to inform FDS, long term plan, infrastructure strategies 

Tiers 1 and 2 update FDSs 

Every six years 

Tiers 1 and 2 prepare new FDS 


Urban environments

Tier 1 urban environments

  • Auckland (Auckland Council) 
  • Christchurch (Canterbury Regional Council, Christchurch City Council, Selwyn District Council and Waimakariri District Council) 
  • Wellington (Wellington Regional Council, Wellington City Council, Porirua City Council, Hutt City Council, Upper Hutt City Council, Kāpiti Coast District Council) 
  • Tauranga (Bay of Plenty Regional Council, Tauranga City Council and Western Bay of Plenty District Council) 
  • Hamilton (Waikato Regional Council, Hamilton City Council, Waikato District Council and Waipa District Council).

Tier 2 urban environments

  • Whangārei (Northland Regional Council, Whangārei District Council) 
  • Rotorua (Bay of Plenty Regional Council and Rotorua District Council) 
  • New Plymouth (Taranaki Regional Council, New Plymouth District Council 
  • Napier-Hastings (Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, Napier City Council and Hastings District Council) 
  • Palmerston North (Manawatū-Whanganui Regional Council and Palmerston North City Council) 
  • Nelson Tasman (Nelson City Council, Tasman District Council) 
  • Queenstown (Otago Regional Council, Queenstown Lakes District Council) 
  • Dunedin (Otago Regional Council and Dunedin City Council). 

Tier 3 urban environments

  • All other local authorities with jurisdiction over an “urban environment” are also required to comply with the NPS-UD. 
  • An “urban environment” is defined in the NPS-UD as “any area of land (regardless of size, and irrespective of local authority or statistical boundaries) that: (a) is, or is intended to be, predominantly urban in character; and (b)  is, or is intended to be, part of a housing and labour market of at least 10,000 people”. 

Published: December 21, 2021