27 Mar 2024

Christchurch City Council now has until the end of next year to complete parts of its Housing and Business Choice plan change.

Minister Chris Bishop has approved the Council’s request for a time extension to parts of Plan Change 14, specifically those that relate to the Medium-Density Residential Standards (MDRS) beyond areas defined in the National Policy Statement on Urban Development (NPS-UD). The Council now has until 12 December 2025 to notify its decision on those parts. 

The Government still expects the Council to continue to the original deadline of 12 September 2024 for implementing the NPS-UD. 

Mayor Phil Mauger says the extension will allow the Council more time to consider the right response for Christchurch when it comes to planning for housing growth.   

“This whole process has been a big decision for our city. We’ve always said we want to get the best result, and having more time means we can consider whether we continue with this aspect of Plan Change 14 or change it. 

“The Minister has said we must still continue to allow greater heights and densities in and around the city centre and commercial centres, but we have some breathing space now to consider what housing intensification will look like in residential areas beyond those areas affected by the NPS-UD.” 

Plan Change 14 was publicly notified for submissions between 17 March and 12 May 2023. 

It was 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. 

The Government has signalled it wants to work with councils to ensure there is flexibility around the implementation of MDRS while ensuring enough development capacity is provided in the right places. 

Council staff are currently working through the next steps for Plan Change 14, and an update will come to the Council in April.  

Public hearings on the plan change have already been held throughout October and November 2023 and the six remaining hearing days will happen between 15 and 24 April 2024.   

Read Minister Bishop’s letter.