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Resource material › Building Sustainable Urban Communities › Ministers' foreword

(Building Sustainable Urban Communities - discussion document)

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The future development of New Zealand’s urban areas is an important issue for us all. Our towns and cities face a number of economic, environmental, social and cultural challenges. Meanwhile, more New Zealanders are choosing to live in higher-density urban areas, while others are finding it harder to own their own home. These changes mean that how we manage the development of our urban areas is crucial for achieving the nation’s sustainable development goals.

Steps need to be taken to address the affordability problem and the other sustainability challenges facing our towns and cities. A number of local authorities have made good progress in establishing strategies and implementation plans to improve the sustainability of urban areas. We need to support the creation of high-quality urban environments at a range of densities, for residential, commercial and industrial uses, which are accessible by public transport, walking and cycling.

A possible new approach to sustainable urban development, proposed in this document, aims to strengthen the ability of existing types of urban development organisations, such as local authorities or their subsidiaries, and crown entities, to achieve positive sustainable urban development outcomes in their areas. The possible new approach would introduce a new suite of enabling regulatory powers and non-regulatory tools, with a ‘place-based’ focus.

This discussion document has been developed to explore a range of possible options and impacts of the proposed sustainable urban development approach, and to engage the public, local government sector and key urban development stakeholders.

The responsibility for sustainable urban development does not rest with local or central government alone. We all have to work together to come up with sustainable ways to create healthy, diverse urban communities. Please carefully consider the ideas put forward in this document, and make submissions to the Sustainable Urban Development Unit.



Hon Trevor Mallard
Minister for the Environment
Hon Nanaia Mahuta
Minister of Local Government

Hon Maryan Street
Minister of Housing
Hon Shane Jones
Minister for Building and Construction

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