1 Mar 2024

The Mayor has received a response from Housing Minister Chris Bishop regarding a request from the Christchurch City Council for a pause to its housing intensification plan change.

Following a productive meeting in February between the Ministers and Mayor Mauger, Minister Bishop has advised the Council that the Government will consider pausing the implementation of Medium-Density Residential Standards (MDRS) components of PC14, but that they still expect the remainder of the plan change to complete implementation of the National Policy Statement on Urban Development (NPS UD). 


Mayor Mauger says while Minister Bishop’s letter does not provide a pause to the whole plan change, it will allow the MDRS components of the plan change to be paused.


View Minister Bishop's letter here.


“This is not everything we had asked for, but still represents a better outcome for our city,” Mayor Mauger says.


“The Minister has advised we must still continue to allow greater heights and densities in and around the city centre and commercial centres, but this allows us more time to consider what housing intensification will look like in residential areas beyond those areas affected by the NPS UD.


“It’s good to have had the clarity on what the Government expects of us, but we know there will be residents who remain concerned about the scale of development that may occur around the city centre and commercial centres.”


Mayor Mauger says Council staff are working through the next steps, and a report will come to Council in March. 


Plan Change 14 is designed to bring Christchurch’s District Plan in line with the former Government’s national direction to allow multi-unit housing developments, and to allow greater intensification in and around the central city and suburban centres. However, the new Government signalled in its coalition agreement that it intends to make MDRS optional for councils. 


In February, Minister Bishop and Environment Minister for the Environment Penny Simmonds met with Mayor Mauger to discuss an extension on the PC14 deadline, which is 12 September 2024. 


Minister Bishop is yet to advise the Council on the new deadline for the MDRS component of PC14.