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New planning rules and investor opportunities

9 February 2022

Photo by Sean Benesh on Unsplash

The Government joined forces with the opposition to pass changes to the Resource Management Act in favour of housing densification.

In an effort to respond to the rising demand for homes and increase the housing stock of NZ, Labour and National parties reached an agreement and passed the Resource Management (Enabling Housing Supply and Other Matters) bill. This new law forces councils to loosen restrictions on building in urban areas reshaping NZ's cities.

Every council in Auckland, Christchurch, Tauranga, Wellington and Hamilton will be required to streamline the planning process by August 2022. This intensification would allow up to 3 homes of up to 3 stores to be built on most sites without resource or neighbours consent and limited rights of appeal (such as the high risk of natural hazards or a site having heritage value).

Some Tier 2 urban areas may be required to implement the medium density standards in the future. This will cover Whangarei, Rotorua, New Plymouth, Napier, Hastings, Palmerston North, Nelson, Tasman, Queenstown and Dunedin District Councils.

The bill was introduced in conjunction with the National Policy Statement on Urban Development, which aims to reduce urban planning and development constraints further. The implication of which is also being accelerated and should come into effect one year earlier, in August 2023.

The developmental potential is significant. Investors can gain access to land in the suburbs close to metropolitan areas that were previously zoned for a single house or single-family use. Building on the back of existing properties or turning existing large sections into a triple subdivision will become attractive options for astute investors.

The rules around intensification, removal of red tape and new builds being excluded from the latest tax changes are set to provide new opportunities for property investors.

The information contained in this article is exclusively for promotional purposes. It does not in any way constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as the basis for any legal action or contractual dealings. The information is not and does not attempt to be, a comprehensive account of the relevant law in New Zealand. If you require legal advice, you should seek independent legal counsel. does not accept any liability that may arise from the use of this information.

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