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National Policy Statement on Urban Development (NPS-UD)

A new housing policy was introduced by the government in October 2021. This new policy will apply in Auckland, greater Hamilton, Tauranga, Wellington and Christchurch. The rules propose far more medium-density housing, enabling people to build up to three homes of three storeys on most sites without resource consent, from August 2022. It is not too far Auckland will become Tokyo or Shanghai?! Let’s see what we have known so far and how it can affect property development.

Comparison with the current AUP

Please see below the proposed Medium Density Residential standards comparison with current suburban and urban Zone standards.

Major changes are:

With a new maximum height of 11m, height to boundary set to 6m + 60 degrees, Building Coverage at 50% and the primary outlook reduced to 3x3 from 6x4. And Outdoor living space from 20m2 to 15m2.

Current AUP basic rules:

Case study:

Let take this project as an example.

This site is 658m2 located in mixed housing suburban zone. We designed 4 attached units of double-storey.

Under the current AUP rule, maximum building coverage is 40% which is 263m2. The new policy allows us to increase to 50% building coverage to 329m2. This means we get can roughly 20% bigger floor areas if we keep the double-storey design, and if we change to 3 storeys, we may get 30% more.

And the primary outlook is reduced to 3x3 which means we can have larger floor areas as marked below.

How this could affect, and whether we should wait or not on each possible case.

We believe the new policy will not affect most of our client cases now because we plan and design to suit each customer’s priorities with budget and the market situation. However, if you have a section to develop more units to get max returns or rental income, you may want to wait for the new policy execution. But of course, more units mean more costs first.

You can build other units on your land to rent out without resource consent, but it doesn’t mean you can sell them individually as there are still some uncertainly about this policy. Subdivision is a different story.

And, to skip the resource consent, the council will require the design to be in full compliance with the standard and unitary plan controls.

Please keep in mind this regulation is still under deliberation and the decision will not be made until late next year.

So, for those who have properties and start development planning, we suggest you consult us now so that we can plan ahead with caution and the best possible outcomes.

Resource website links

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