Harcourts Accommodation Centre Explain the New Housing Density Standards

Monday 20 December 2021, 3:26PM
By Beckie Wright

The Government has introduced a Bill that proposes amendments to the Resource Management Act 1991 to bring forward and strengthen the National Policy Statement on Urban Development 2020. 


In July 2020, the Government released the National Policy Statement on Urban Development (NPS-UD). The NPS-UD is a powerful tool that supports greater housing density and requires councils to plan better for growth. The councils in New Zealand’s main urban areas – Auckland, and greater Hamilton, Tauranga, Wellington, and Christchurch (Tier 1 councils) are making good progress towards implementing the NPS-UD. However, it will not be until 2024 when the impacts of the NPS-UD really start to be felt. Between then and now, more needs to be done to build more homes. 


The Bill introduces a new planning process to support tier 1 councils to implement the NPS-UD’s intensification policies quicker. The Bill proposes a new planning process to support councils to implement the intensification policies in the NPS-UD. This will be called the Intensification Streamlined Planning Process (ISPP). 


The ISPP is based on the existing streamlined planning process under the Resource Management Act, but is intended to be faster, easier, and less costly for councils. The ISPP would enable the intensification outcomes to be achieved at least a year earlier, in 2023 rather than 2024. The Bill proposes Tier 1 councils will be required to apply medium density residential standards from August 2022. 


These new standards will allow people to develop up to three homes of up to three storeys on most sites without the need for a resource consent. Exemptions will apply based on qualifying matters set out in the NPS-UD, such as heritage areas and natural hazards. The ISPP will also be used to implement the MDRS by the required councils/urban areas. 


Some Tier 2 urban areas may be required to implement the medium density standards if the Minister of Housing and Minister for the Environment consider there is acute housing need. 


So, with this in mind, please take a moment to find out more about property management companies and property asset management by visiting the website at .