Government Policy Statement on Housing and Urban Development

23 Jun 21

The Government is seeking to align existing policy and provide long-term direction for achieving consistent outcomes in housing and urban development through a Government Policy Statement on Housing and Urban Development (GPS-HUD). Feedback on the document is sought by 30 July 2021.

The purpose of the GPS-HUD is to state the Government’s overall direction and priorities, and inform and guide decisions and actions of agencies involved, in housing and urban development.

The GPS-HUD discussion document recognises the need to partner with iwi and Māori, and collaborate with and provide investment for organisations representing a range of interests including the community and social sector, Local Government and private sector to achieve desired outcomes.

The overall aim of the GPS-HUD is to achieve healthy, secure, and affordable homes within thriving, inclusive, and sustainable communities. Four key outcomes are identified in the GPS-HUD discussion document:

  • Thriving communities: people live in homes and communities that are affordable, connected, sustainable, safe, and inclusive.
  • Wellbeing through housing: all New Zealanders own or rent a home that is affordable, healthy, accessible, and secure.
  • Partnering for Māori housing and urban solutions: Māori determine their housing needs and aspirations, and decide on the means to achieve those aspirations.
  • An adaptive and responsive system: housing and development system is integrated and responsive to challenges and opportunities.

To achieve these outcomes, the Government has proposed the development of specific implementation plans to sit alongside the GPS-HUD, and include a higher level of detail; this will include existing implementation tools such as the National Policy Statement on Urban Development. The aim of this structure (shown in Figure 1 below) is to enable more frequent updates in response to changing needs, instead of only updating the GPS-HUD. This will also include a monitoring framework to track progress towards outcomes. The GPS-HUD will provide binding direction to Kāinga Ora, and expectations for other agencies to support the GPS-HUD direction. Consultation documents suggest NPSs and Spatial Plans under the proposed reform of the Resource Management Act 1991 will need to be consistent with the GPS-HUD, and in turn any plans and decisions that flow on from these.

Place-based approach

It is proposed that the GPS-HUD take a place-based approach, as opposed to applying a one-size-fits-all approach to the country. This will also inform the approach taken to reform of the Resource Management Act 1991 and introduction of the proposed Strategic Planning Act, as well as a review into the Local Government. The Government has identified the needs of specific places/areas in the discussion document, where the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development is prioritising effort and investment. These “needs” are categorised as:

  • Place-based partnership need: to work with Kāinga Ora, councils, iwi, to develop and implement local solutions.
  • Public housing need: public housing needs identified in the Public Housing Plan 2021-24 (where population has exceeded new housing development).
  • Urban Growth Partnership areas: collaboration on direction for high growth urban areas with a focus on long-term land use and infrastructure planning (intended to become more commonplace under resource management reforms).

All three “needs” are identified throughout focus “areas” in the North Island, while Urban Growth Partnership areas are identified in the South Island in Christchurch and Queenstown.

Partnership and collaboration

The Government has highlighted the need for partnership with iwi and Māori, and collaboration with various groups in the community and social sector, Local Government, and the private sector, in order to achieve the desired outcomes. For example, it is intended that iwi and Māori will play a crucial role in the housing and urban development system such as investing in housing and urban development through post-settlement entities. In addressing the importance of collaboration, the GPS-HUD discussion document recognises that the private sector is overwhelmingly the largest provider of accommodation in the country. To support this, the GPS-HUD will promote government investment and support towards new projects, and direct investment towards innovation and skills training such as through apprenticeships. The Government intends to direct investment towards working with non-government providers to increase the supply of purpose-built rental housing and alternative pathways to home ownership.

Next steps

The Government is seeking feedback on the GPS-HUD discussion document. Consultation is open until 30 July 2021 at this link. Following this, the Government must publish the GPS-HUD by 1 October as required by the Kāinga Ora–Homes and Communities Act 2019.


Want to know more?

If you have any questions about the Government Policy Statement on Housing and Urban Development, please contact our specialist Environment, Planning, and Natural Resources Team.

PDF version: here