17 Nov 2022

The Associate Minister for the Environment Phil Twyford has written to Mayor Phil Mauger in response to Christchurch City Council’s request for a bespoke approach to housing intensification rules in Christchurch.

The letter, addressed to Mayor Phil Mauger, outlines that an investigation will take place under section 24a of the Resource Management Act.  The aim of the investigation is to assist the Government’s understanding of the issues in relation to housing intensification in Christchurch and explore the way forward.

The investigation is scheduled to start by Monday 21 November.

The investigator, John Hardie, will work collaboratively with the Council to find a way forward. Mr Hardie has skills in mediation and knowledge of Christchurch.

“We welcome the appointment of an investigator to work with us to find a way forward to meet our housing challenges,” says Acting Mayor Pauline Cotter. 

“We are not against housing intensification, but we do not want a blanket, citywide approach. There are some areas where allowing more housing does make sense and we’re willing to look at that.

“We are looking forward to working together to find the best outcome for Christchurch.”

In September then Mayor Lianne Dalziel, sent a letter to the Minister for the Environment Hon David Parker explaining the Council would not notify Plan Change 14 as it did not support the one-size fits all approach the Government had legislated for in the main cities through introducing new Medium Density Residential Standards.

Council staff drafted Plan Change 14, also known as the Housing and Business Choice Plan Change, to give effect to the new Medium Density Residential Standards. Once notified, it would have meant in most residential areas of Christchurch people could build up to three homes, up to 12 metres high (generally three stories) on a site, without resource consent.

Read the letter from Associate Minister for the Environment Hon Phil Twyford.

Read the Terms of Reference.