New Zealand Tackles Nimby Defence of Property Interests Head in in New National Policy Statement

A very interesting read

Of course the New Zealand System is based on resource management which the draft statement says has not been focussed enough around spatial planning, or social and economic considerations.

Current processes for public participation tend to favour wealthier property owners over others (in particular younger, non-English speakers, ethnic minorities, the less educated and renters)….

Some planning decisions on urban development appear to consider only the effects on the natural environment or specific amenity considerations, and not how the urban environment meets the social, economic and cultural needs of people and communities. Many decisions
focus on the adverse effects of development, and do not adequately address its benefits (including for future generations). This can have a local and national impact…

The Government intends to introduce objectives and
policies in the NPS-UD that would:
• emphasise that amenity values can change over time, with changes in communities and their values, and through the opportunities urban
development offers
• shift the current perception that urban development only has negative effects on amenity for individuals, to also recognise that it can enhance amenity for other people and communities
• emphasise that local authorities should consider amenity values for current and future communities.

Current planning reflects a bias towards the status quo and away from change….

Part of the reason for the current constrained supply of housing and continuing unaffordability is the limited choice and variety of well-integrated, higher-density housing. A lack of higher density housing fuels higher prices across entire cities, not just where intensification might
be appropriate.
Often higher-density housing is not developed in a way that enhances the urban environment – in the right quantity, type or location that supports affordable living to meet the diverse needs of people and communities.

One cause is a political bias towards local propertied interests. Restrictions on intensification often reflect the interests of current property owners (who may not want change in their neighbourhood) over the needs of the wider community – for example renters, new home
buyers, social housing providers and future generations. These groups are prevented from living in homes close to the best job options, services and amenities. They are also less likely to live in areas easily accessible by public and active transport. Those most affected are people on
low, medium and even above average incomes, particularly young people, working families, Māori and Pacific people. As a result they spend more on transport to get to high-demand
locations

The document could be improved n a number of ways.  It could replace the term ‘urban development’ with ‘Urban Living’ as pioneered in Bristol to emphasise the positive qualities a well planned urban environment has on people and the planet.  Secondly it should make clear that urban living is essential in the transition to a zero carbon society.

One thought on “New Zealand Tackles Nimby Defence of Property Interests Head in in New National Policy Statement

  1. Reblogged this on Roger Gambba-Jones and commented:
    Lessons in spatial planning policy from the other side of the world – is ANYBODY on this side listening? In fact, will anybody stay in the job long enough to even understand it enough to try?

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