30-year strategy adopted to support 200,000 new residents

A strategy outlining how the region needs to be developed to support a population increase the size of Wellington city has today been adopted by the Wellington Regional Leadership Committee (WRLC).

The Future Development Strategy (FDS) sets out a plan for housing and infrastructure to achieve the collective vision of providing sustainable growth for a predicted increase of 200,000 people over the next 30 years.

WRLC chair and Rangitane o Wairarapa iwi representative Darrin Apanui says the FDS lays the groundwork for a region filled with attractive, connected places.

“Today’s decision will support the integration of new residents into our communities, with thriving urban environments with adequate, liveable housing, transport connections and access to council services.”

The FDS prioritises the effective use of zoned land and emphasises that growth is kept in existing areas where possible.

“Our region has the enviable advantage of having zoned twice as much housing than needed to meet demand.  This means we can focus our growth on building housing and enhancing our existing urban areas,” Mr Apanui says.

“We want to strike a balance between developing for growth, which improves new and existing residents’ access to essential services while protecting our regions’ natural areas and highly productive land.”

Consultation between October and November last year revealed seventy percent of submitters supported the vision but wanted to see a balance struck between greenfield versus brownfield development.

“We recognise that there will be opportunities for greenfield development, but that these must be managed appropriately, keeping public transport and placemaking principles front of mind,” Mr Apanui says.

Mana whenua input in the strategy was also considered, with a framework – Te Tirohanga Whakamua – developed to prioritise development which is important to iwi.

Mr Apanui says the FDS supports tino rangatiratanga for Māori by prioritising iwi developments.

“Māori have an important role to play in building the future of our urban environments. This is part of their role as kaitiaki through whakapapa, with a responsibility to protect, replenish, and sustain te taiao me te whenua,” Mr Apanui says.

Following today’s adoption of the FDS, work will begin on the strategy’s Implementation Plan which will set out priority actions to be undertaken by partners along with suggested timeframes for completion. 

Priorities include identifying incentives for development in the region and making the best infrastructure investments.

WRLC deputy chair and regional council chair Daran Ponter says the priorities underpin the needs to carefully consider future investment.

“We need to be smart with our infrastructure development. For example, more roads can lead to more traffic and congestion, when we should be looking at investing in ways to reduce demand, create efficiencies by working together, and integrate spatial planning,” Cr Ponter says.

Wellington Regional Leadership Committee

100 Cuba Street, Wellington
New Zealand

E: hello@wrlc.org.nz W: www.wrlc.org.nz