Using land for housing: public views sought


The Productivity Commission is seeking comment from industry, local authorities and the public on ways to improve how local government makes land available for housing. The Commission is inviting submissions on its issues paper “Using land for housing” by 22 December.

“Housing affordability is a key challenge facing New Zealand, especially in our growing cities,” said Commission Chair, Murray Sherwin. “The limited availability and high price of land is a concern when housing is becoming difficult to access for many.

“Making it easier to access and use land for housing is an essential part of any response. Our inquiry will look at options for sourcing land, including new developments on the edges of cities as well as intensifying housing within cities. We will also examine the factors that limit how land can be used, including the availability of infrastructure.

“The ability to access and use land for housing is affected by local government planning processes, such as District Plans, Long-Term Plans, resource consents, and local rules such as height restrictions or minimum lot size rules. These processes help protect the environment and ensure communities have the services they need to prosper. But it’s equally important that they don’t unnecessarily restrict the supply of land for housing for our growing cities.

“The Commission will be looking for examples of planning approaches that enable an adequate supply of land to be developed, while balancing the competing impacts of development. We will be focusing on the local authorities in New Zealand’s fastest-growing areas, but we are interested in hearing about good practices and approaches everywhere, including from overseas.

“In order to understand which local government processes work well on the ground, we need to hear from those who have experience with developing land, interacting with councils or running local authority planning and land use processes. In particular, we are keen to hear people’s views on the questions set out in our issues paper."

About the inquiry

The Commission has been asked to examine and compare the rules and processes of local government to identify leading practices in planning and taking decisions about making land available for housing, and providing for necessary infrastructure. It has also been asked to look at models adopted by cities overseas that might provide valuable lessons for New Zealand.

Inquiry timeline

22 December 2014:  Due date for submissions on issues paper
May 2015:   Draft report released for submissions
30 September 2015 Final report due to Government

For further information, please contact Catherine Jeffcoat:
T: (04) 903 5160
M: 029 770 8697