The Government has today called for public input on a prospective National Policy Statement (NPS) on Urban Development.  It is intended that the NPS would provide policy guidance for councils to help ensure that "regional policy statements and regional and district plans under the RMA provide adequate opportunities to develop land for business and housing"

At this stage there are no draft provisions on which to comment.  Instead, the Government is seeking high level comments "to inform the development" of the NPS, and in particular on the following questions:

  • Is your area experiencing high levels of population growth and challenges in planning for this growth?
  • How could a NPS and supporting guidance help to address these issues?
  • What could a NPS and supporting guidance contain?

Responses and any questions should be addressed to npsurbandevelopment@mfe.govt.nz.

The deadline for comments on this initial phase of the development of the NPS is 4 February 2016.  The next stage (signalled for some time in 2016) would be the development of and consultation on a substantive draft NPS.