Urban planning

Urban planning

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What would a high-performing planning system look like?
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Our brief
Completed

The Government has asked the Productivity Commission to look at ways of improving New Zealand’s urban planning system.

This inquiry follows on from the Commission’s investigation of how councils make land available for housing, which found that New Zealand’s urban planning laws and processes were unnecessarily complicated, slow to respond to change and did not meet the needs of cities.

The Commission has been asked to identify the most appropriate system for allocating land use in cities to achieve positive social, economic, environmental and cultural outcomes. This includes the processes that are currently undertaken through the Resource Management Act, the Local Government Act and the Land Transport Management Act. The inquiry will look beyond the existing planning system and consider whether a fundamentally different approach to urban planning is needed.

The Commission will begin the inquiry with the publication of an “issues paper” that will outline its proposed approach, the context for the inquiry and a list of key questions to be addressed. We expect the issues paper to be available in December 2015. The Commission will seek submissions from all interested parties and consult broadly to help inform and ground its analysis.

The final report to the Government is due end of February 2017.

Issues paper
Completed

The issues paper (PDF) outlines the Commission’s proposed approach to the inquiry, the context for the inquiry, and a preliminary list of key questions to be addressed. Read the media release.

The terms of reference for this inquiry invite the Commission to identify the most appropriate system for allocating land use in cities. This includes the processes that are currently undertaken through the Resource Management Act, the Local Government Act and the Land Transport Management Act. It also includes elements of the Building Act, Reserves Act and Conservation Act that affect the ability to use land in urban areas. The inquiry will look beyond the existing planning system and provide a framework for assessing future planning reforms.

15/01/16 Article in the NBR: Urban planning: new approaches needed

27/04/16 Research note: What can complexity theory tell us about urban planning?

The purpose of this note is to generate a discussion about cities as complex, adaptive systems and possible implications for urban planning. The note raises questions about the place of different broad approaches to planning, in dealing with complexity. It also raises questions about how collective choice mechanisms to support a participative, collaborative approach would develop.

Inquiry timeline

9 December 2015: Issues paper released for submissions
9 March 2016: Submissions close
August 2016: Draft report released
February 2017: Final report due to Government

Subscribe to receive regular updates.

Inquiry contacts

Administrative matters

T: (04) 903 5167
E: info@productivity.govt.nz

Steven Bailey, Inquiry Director

T: (04) 903 5156
E: steven.bailey@productivity.govt.nz

Quick link for this page: www.productivity.govt.nz/inquiry-content/urban-planning

Draft Report
Completed

The Better urban planning: Draft report (PDF, 5.14Mb) is now available. It outlines the Commission’s draft findings and recommendations, and calls for feedback by 3 October 2016.

The terms of reference for this inquiry invite the Commission to identify the most appropriate system for allocating land use in cities. This includes the processes that are currently undertaken through the Resource Management Act, the Local Government Act and the Land Transport Management Act. The inquiry will look beyond the existing planning system and provide a framework for assessing future planning reforms.

Supporting documents

This report has been informed by the following documents commissioned by the Productivity Commission.

 

Download individual chapters of the report

Inquiry timeline

19 August 2016: Draft report released for consultation
03 October 2016: Submissions close
February 2017: Final report due to Government

Subscribe to receive regular updates.

Inquiry contacts

Administrative matters

T: (04) 903 5167
E: info@productivity.govt.nz

Steven Bailey, Inquiry Director

T: (04) 903 5156
E: steven.bailey@productivity.govt.nz

Quick link for this page: www.productivity.govt.nz/inquiry-content/urban-planning

Final report
Completed

The Productivity Commission has completed its inquiry into New Zealand's urban planning system.

The Government asked the Commission to review New Zealand’s urban planning system and to identify, from first principles, the most appropriate system for allocating land use to support desirable social, economic, environmental and cultural outcomes. We were asked to look beyond current arrangements and consider fundamentally different ways of delivering urban planning.

The report - Better urban planning - recommends a future planning system that would look quite different to current urban planning and resource management arrangements. The Commission's recommendations aim for a system that copes far better with the stresses of growth – such as escalating house prices and inadequate infrastructure – while affording more effective protection of the natural environment.

Media release: Urban planning: Moving beyond the wheel spin.

Some of the supporting documentation commissioned as part of this inquiry are listed under our draft report including reports that were commissioned as part of the final report.

Download invidual chapters of report 

New inquiry: Urban planning

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News
Date: 
Sun, 01/11/2015

The Government has asked the Productivity Commission to look at ways of improving New Zealand’s urban planning system.

This inquiry follows on from the Commission’s investigation of how councils make land available for housing, which found that New Zealand’s urban planning laws and processes were unnecessarily complicated, slow to respond to change and did not meet the needs of cities.