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LGNZ welcomes a fresh look on urban development policy

Press Release – Local Government NZ

LGNZ will carefully consider the proposed National Policy Statement on Urban Development (NPS-UD) to assess if it meets the Governments aim of enabling urban development or simply adds more red tape to the planning process.

LGNZ will carefully consider the proposed National Policy Statement on Urban Development (NPS-UD) to assess if it meets the Government’s aim of enabling urban development or simply adds more red tape to the planning process.

Councils currently provide urban planning information in their long-term plans, as well as through the National Policy Statement on Urban Development Capacity (NPS-UDC), which the new guidance will replace.

However, LGNZ research, based on a detailed and in depth survey of 23 medium and high growth councils, showed the NPS-UDC was not fit-for-purpose, having been built on a flawed economic model, and the complexity of the reporting requirements meant councils incurred an estimated $4 million in costs for little to no benefit.

“We’re pleased that the Government is reviewing the flawed NPS-UDC, which achieved little more than filling out a dashboard for central government officials,” said LGNZ Vice President Stuart Crosby.

“However, we need to ensure that its replacement is fit-for-purpose, and not another academic white elephant that is imposed on local government.”

“It also needs to synch with a number of other policy workstreams that influence urban development, including how councils fund the infrastructure to open land for development, and how the NPS-UD will work with recently proposed guidance on protecting highly productive land at the end of cities.”

“Delivering land for future urban growth is a complex process which involves careful decision making and ultimately trade-offs, and we strongly support policy tools which enable communities to balance those trade-offs for themselves.”

Given the flaws with the previous policy statement, Crosby said it is highly likely that LGNZ would be calling for a cycle of mandatory reviews to be built into the proposed NPS-UD to ensure that it continues to deliver value.

“This NPS-UD is an opportunity to develop an economic model that delivers greater benefit, with more equitable cost-sharing and outcomes.”

*Ends*

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