The high cost and availability of housing in New Zealand, particularly in the larger cities and faster growing areas like Tauranga, is a top of mind issue for central and local government alike.
Tauranga City Council has signed an agreement with the Government to work together to address housing issues in the city by increasing the supply of land available for development: the Tauranga Housing Accord.
The Tauranga Housing Accord (742kb pdf)
The targets of the Accord are:
- To provide additional development capacity for:
||1,500 - 1,600
||1,550 - 1,650
||1,600 - 1,700
|New dwelling consents
||1,700 - 1,800
||1,750 - 1,850
||1,800 - 1,900
- For these new developments to deliver dwellings at a more affordable price point; and
- To increase the supply of land for residential development to ensure a healthy degree of competitive pressures amongst developers in the Tauranga housing market.
One of the ways this is done is by identifying specific sites in the city that are suitable for new housing. These sites are called Special Housing Areas.
Special Housing Areas are sites in the city that are suitable for new housing and able to be developed fast to increase housing supply. Development of these sites can be fast-tracked under the Housing Accord and Special Housing Areas Act 201, through an accelerated resource consenting process.
Special Housing Areas are proposed by landowners / developers, considered by Council and if supported by Council, submitted to the Minister of Building and Construction for a final decision. Under the current Housing Accord, Council and the Government will be able to consider applications for new Special Housing Areas up until September 2019.
Special Housing Areas will only be established in areas where there is a clear demand for housing, and where there is already suitable infrastructure in place (e.g. roads, wastewater systems, water supply pipes), or plans for it to be built.
Developments do not need to be for low cost housing, affordable housing or social housing in order to be progressed through a Special Housing Area. However when recommending Special Housing Areas, Council may include criteria specifying maximum building height, the minimum number of dwellings and a measure for affordable houses.
Guidance for Council on criteria for the consideration of proposed Special Housing Areas is provided in the implementation policy below.
Housing Accord and Special Housing Areas Act 2013 Implementation Policy (61kb pdf)
Housing Accord and Special Housing Areas Act 2013 Implementation Policy - Appendix 1 (146kb pdf)
Tauranga City Council considers new Special Housing Areas in batches, approximately every six months. The next call for applications is planned to take place mid-2018. Developers and landowners will be able to approach Council with proposals for new Special Housing Areas then.
When applications are open, here’s how it works:
- Developers / landowners identify a piece of land suitable for residential development: either greenfield – undeveloped as yet – or brownfield with existing houses or commercial / industrial properties on it but with potential for redevelopment into housing.
- They determine what type of housing the land could accommodate and shape a high level development concept. Consider a range of residential housing typologies such as suburban residential, terraced housing, apartments etc.
- They assess how soon development could happen, and contact us with this information and we talk it through together.
Council doesn’t need a detailed development plan to consider approving a Special Housing Area. The finer detail of developments are determined through the subsequent resource consenting process.
The Council will request public comments and views on possible Special Housing Areas, subsequently deciding whether to recommend the establishment of a Special Housing Area to the Minister of Housing.
Once a Special Housing Area is established a developer or landowner in the area may apply for a resource consent to undertake development. These developments are called Qualifying Developments. A Qualifying Development must be predominantly residential and meet any criteria that the Council specifies for the Special Housing Area they are in. Applications for resource consents for qualifying developments can only be made for developments in Special Housing Areas. The applications are considered by the Council and the consent must be processed within the agreed timeframes set out in the Act.
There is a 12 month limit for making resource consent applications in Special Housing Areas to discourage land banking. The Minister of Building and Construction has the power to recommend disestablishing a Special Housing Area early or removing land from a Special Housing Area if more than 12 months have passed since the establishment, and no consent application or plan change have been lodged.
The Act provides only a limited ability for the community to be involved in the resource consenting process. Formal consultation is only possible with the owners of land adjacent to the development site, and then only in certain circumstances.
No proposed special housing areas at this time.
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) reviews progress against the targets of the Tauranga Housing Accord on an annual basis.
Tauranga Housing Accord monitoring report (12 months to August 2015) (760kb pdf)
Tauranga Housing Accord monitoring report (12 months to August 2016) (405kb pdf)
Tauranga Housing Accord monitoring report (12 months to August 2017) (143kb pdf)
Last Reviewed: 08/05/2018