7 Dec 2023

Christchurch City Council will request a pause of Plan Change 14 which aims to increase housing around the city.

PC14 was notified in March to implement Medium Density Residential Standards to enable three houses per site up to three storeys as directed in the Resource Management Act and to implement sections of the National Policy Statement for Urban Development which requires greater heights and densities in and around the Central City and commercial centres.

At their meeting yesterday, Councillors voted to ask the Minister for the Environment to urgently issue a Gazette Notice which would set a new date for resuming the Independent Hearings Panel hearing and completing the Plan Change because the government says that it is going to make the medium density residential standards optional within 100 Days.

If the Minister changes the deadlines for the PC14 work, this will enable the Council to place work on hold until the legislative change , and then reassess whether to continue with or change PC14.

“This whole process has been a big decision for Christchurch. We have always said we want to get the best result for Christchurch, and today we’re asking the government to delay MDRS implementation until they let us know what change they are proposing,” Mayor Phil Mauger said.

“The staff time and hearings we’ve done up until to now won’t be wasted as there are parts the Council could continue to look at but there’s no point carrying on any further until we wait to hear what the plans are from Government. That is why we want to pause this process in the interim.”

“I am looking forward to working with Minister Simmonds on finding a way forward here that gets the best result for Christchurch.

Staff will report back to the Council on the next steps when the Government announces its legislative programme, and more is known about the nature of the intended changes.

They will also report back on progressing Coastal Hazards Plan Change 12 with urgency and will continue to process Heritage Plan Change 13.

Until they hear of a Minister’s decision on the request, Council staff and the Panel will continue preparing for the Hearings which is set to resume meeting early next year.