As part of the Government’s Urban Growth Agenda (UGA), 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 criteria.
In March 2022, the WRLC agreed to a joint regional approach to complete an FDS for the Wellington-Wairarapa-Horowhenua region, to be managed by WRLC. The FDS must be substantially complete by June 2023 to inform council 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 manager 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 are in the process of being forced
- 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.
Suggested new working challenges for the Future Development Strategy
(underlined words indicate new additions to the WRGF wording.)
- The region lacks sufficient and affordable and quality housing supply and housing and tenure choice, housing affordability is declining and
- A significant investment in infrastructure is needed to enable enough housing and quality urban environments, with limited capacity to fund and deliver this and a limited ability to influence the infrastructure needed for “dense sprawl”.
- Many of the urban areas in the region are vulnerable to the impacts of natural hazards and climate change, and as the region grows and becomes more densely settled, it will become increasingly important to improve resilience and protect and enhance the region’s natural environment.
- There is continuing inequitable access to social, educational and economic opportunities within the region.
- Mana whenua and Māori in the region have poor access to affordable housing choices.
- If we don’t have the right urban form (less car dependent), infrastructure, incentives and behaviours related to mode shift we will still largely use [petrol] vehicles to move people and freight around the region and we won’t be able to meet our long-term climate change and emissions objectives.
The WRLC meet in September to consider the above proposed changes to the FDS working challenges.
Updates to the FDS Project can be found on the .