Kia ora and welcome to our August eNews!  This edition features:

  • The Official launch of the Regional Economic Development Plan 2022-2032
  • Density Done Well – A Thought Leadership piece from Malcolm McCracken
  • 6,000 new homes possible for Porirua in Northern Growth Area
  • Our region’s Future Development Strategy
  • Summer of Engineering – Internship opportunity

New Regional Economic Development Plan 2022 – 2032 – Officially Launched!

On a sunny morning on Monday 29th August, a group gathered at Hot Lime Labs in Lower Hutt to officially launch the Wellington Regional Economic Development Plan August 2022 – 2032.

It’s the first time a collective economic plan of this magnitude has been seen in the region, representing over 12 months of conversations and mahi across our region with 10 councils, iwi, business groups, Te Matarau a Māui (the regional Māori economic group), sector groups, central Government and many others.

From left: Daphne Luke – Chair, Te Matarau a Māui Māori Strategy, Co-Chair, Regional Skills Leadership Group, Hon. Tracey Martin – Chair, WRLC, Stu Taylor – Project Lead, REDP (WellingtonNZ), John Allen – CEO, WellingtonNZ, Julia Stevens – Project Co-ordinator, WellingtonNZ  

Described by WRLC Chair Tracey Martin as, “a significant example of the power of collaboration’, she says, “it’s successful implementation will be a job for us all – working together to make these opportunities a reality.”

Designed to create some of the 100,000 new decent jobs needed in our region over the next 30 years due to anticipated population growth, the plan’s approach focuses on:

  • acceleration of key sectors to build on our strengths and future opportunities. Sectors to be focused on are screen, creative and digital; science, technology, engineering and high-value manufacturing; visitor economy and primary sector, food and fibre.
  • acceleration of key enablers to build from a solid foundation. These enablers are Maori economic development; skills, talent and education; water accessibility and security; and resilient infrastructure.

REDP’s Programme Manager Stu Taylor will now manage the implementation of the plan’s first 33 initiatives. The plan is an action-oriented, ‘living pipeline of innovative ideas’, about identifying our strengths and opportunities, and future-proofing our region, and will be updated as needed.

Read the final plan here.


Density Done Well, Thought Leadership Piece: Malcolm McCracken

In this second installment of a two-part series, MC Cagney Transport Planner Malcolm McCracken, explains the enablers to density done well.

“These are just future slums” is a common response to articles these days regarding medium or high-density housing. While these comments are far from the truth, they often stem from genuine concerns from residents about the change that could occur in their neighborhood.

The way we enable density and the actions we take to support the increased population, dictate the outcomes for our community. There is growing consensus that density is critical to the future of our cities. A recent Kantar public opinion survey found 49% of Aucklanders were positive about the new housing rules, with 32% being negative and the remaining neutral (16%) or unsure (4%). The debate is shifting to how to do density well.

There are two key components to density done well. The first is creating a positive built form, allowing higher density while protecting privacy, daylight and open space. The second is the supporting actions which ensure our medium and high-density neighbourhoods are vibrant and livable.

Read the full article here

Update on our region’s Future Development Strategy

The National Policy Statement on Urban Development (NPS-UD) 2020 requires all councils to develop a Future Development Strategy (FDS), to ensure that projected urban growth over the next 30 years is planned for, informed, and undertaken in a way that delivers well-functioning urban environments.

The Wellington-Wairarapa-Horowhenua region already has the Wellington Regional Growth Framework (WRGF), a 30-year spatial plan that sets out a long-term vision for how the region will grow and respond to urban development challenges and opportunities in a way that gets the best outcomes for the region. 

Because work on the WRGF began before the NPS-UD was released as a draft or adopted, the WRGF does not meet all FDS requirements. 

In March 2022, the WRLC agreed to a joint regional approach to complete an FDS for the Wellington-Wairarapa-Horowhenua region.  The FDS must inform council 2024-2034 Long Term Plans. 

Since the agreed approach in March 2022, the following activity has been completed: 

  • a draft FDS project plan is complete
  • an FDS project lead has been appointed
  • Work has commenced on the HBA component of this project, being led by partner council
  • a steering group and working core team have been established
  • a workshop was held at the WRLC Annual Partners Forum in June to test the Challenges and Objectives of the WRGF and their relevance for an FDS.

The working FDS Objectives (including changes from the WRGF Objectives) can be viewed here. 


6,000 new homes possible for Porirua as Kainga Ora considers using UDA provisions

Through last year’s comprehensive spatial planning process in South Wairarapa, Featherston was identified as a Future Growth Node (referred to as an Urban Renewal Area in the Wellington Regional Growth Framework), and has been prioritised as the first town in South Wairarapa to be masterplanned.

The Northern Growth Area or NGA, is a 1,000+ hectare development area which is the first project to be selected for this new process under the Urban Development Act (the Act).

Due to Porirua’s Northern Growth Area (NGA) being identified by both Porirua City Council and the Wellington Regional Leadership Committee as a key area suitable for future urban growth, the Council requested Kāinga Ora to explore use of its tools under the Urban Development Act (UDA) to facilitate and coordinate housing in the area, specifically, by establishing a Specified Development Project (SPD).

The SDP process is a new pathway for complex urban development projects in New Zealand, and its benefits are in its power to streamline otherwise separate processes and stakeholders, without losing important checks and balances. A key benefit is greater coordination for project implementation and delivery, supporting the region’s need to address our housing shortages.

Read the full article here


Summer of Engineering – Build your team with mechanical engineering interns and graduates

One of the first of the 33 initiatives to be activated by our new Regional Economic Development Plan – led by WellingtonNZ, is the “Summer of Engineering” pilot programme, designed to facilitate recruitment of mechanical engineering interns and graduates, helping them gain work experience while building our engineering workforce. This is an expansion of the successful Summer of Tech.

Interns bring fresh ideas and energy, a thirst to put knowledge to practice, and are a great way to build your team. There are candidates ready to hit the ground running, learn and grow with you this summer and beyond.

The programme is open to organisations across the Wellington-Wairarapa-Horowhenua region. The programme’s team will help craft your role/s to attract the best candidates, do outreach to all major NZ tertiaries, and run an effective and efficient recruitment process.

Interested in offering internship or graduate opportunities this summer?
Employers must register on the Summer of Tech platform to confirm roles available as soon as possible, by end of August to ensure the best outcome. Candidate interviews are in September with letters of offer sent on 4 October for a mid-November start. The roles will run full time for 10 weeks.

Summer of Engineering makes it easy to get your brand out there and connect with future employees.
For more information contact Robbie McDougall, Strategic Engagement Manager and Engineering New Zealand, at

Find out more about the Summer of Engineering here


About the Wellington Regional Leadership Committee

WRLC is a joint regional partnership which brings together Iwi leaders, Mayors, Ministers of Government, and an independent chair, to join up thinking and work collaboratively on the cross-boundary, growth-related challenges in the Wellington-Wairarapa-Horowhenua region.

WRLC brings a solution-focused approach to exploring and activating better ways of working together on the region’s challenges and opportunities, working better today to positively shape tomorrow, ensuring our region is a place where people want to live and work.  

WRLC is supporting and building the region’s capacity to work together and demonstrate shared responsibility for our challenges, unlocking and maximising our potential to a build positive future for our region and it’s people.

Our work covers five key areas: Iwi capacity, housing, climate change, transport and economic development and recovery. You can find out more about our projects on our project page.

If you have any questions or are interested in getting involved, you can contact us at

Wellington Regional Leadership Committee

100 Cuba Street, Wellington
New Zealand

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