“The National Policy Statement on Urban Development Capacity (NPS-UDC) requires councils to allow for a greater supply of houses, so prices rise more slowly and houses are more affordable. The long-term root cause of New Zealand’s housing affordability problems is insufficient land supply, especially in Auckland where median section prices increased 350 per cent from 1990 to now; building costs increased only 78 per cent during the same time.
“The NPS-UDC will require councils to base their decisions on better information, including house prices in their areas. It is also a powerful lever for those seeking additional residential zoning from councils in that they can appeal council decisions to the Environment Court on the basis the council is not meeting supply requirements,” Dr Smith says.
The NPS-UDC takes effect on 1 December and the biggest councils experiencing high growth will be most affected, including Auckland, Christchurch, Tauranga and Hamilton. Smaller, fast-growing cities such as Nelson and Queenstown will also be affected.
“It also requires local authorities and infrastructure providers to better co-ordinate the provision of services needed to support housing and business growth,” Dr Smith says.
Read the press release here and here is the statement:National_Policy_Statement_on_Urban_Development_Capacity_2016-final copy.pdf
Update November 2016
National policy statements are issued by the government to provide direction to local government about matters of national significance which contribute to meeting the purpose of the Resource Management Act 1991.
A useful summary and timeline for the NPS can be found here.