Wellington needs more homes. There’s no question about that. As Mayor I will work to ensure we build more homes, quickly.

There has been a lot of debate over the district plan. This is now with the Independent Hearings Panel.

I don’t want to reopen old arguments, I want to open new homes. I will do this by focusing on where we can move quickly and get development going, including through promoting greater density across the city.

We must fix our consenting system, so new housing can be approved quickly. It is not good enough that the capital city lags far behind other cities in consenting new homes.

The immediate action we take, however, needs to be supported by a longer-term plan. We need a cohesive approach where well-designed housing is supported by good transport links, infrastructure, and greenspaces.

As Mayor, I will implement masterplans for key suburbs (including our CBD and the Let’s Get Wellington Moving mass rapid transport route) ensuring decisions on transport, housing, and urban development decisions are made together, not in isolation.

Collaboration with communities will be the bedrock of these master plans. This collaborative approach means residents will understand what’s happening, what their neighbourhoods will look like heading into the future, and how they can be part of shaping this.

I will also use my strong relationships with central government, the regional council and other local councils in the region to ensure we are using all the tools are our disposal to build more homes including freeing up underutilised land for development.

 

Top-level policies

  • Master planning key suburbs, including along the LGWM MRT route, to ensure we have attractive, functional suburbs with a wide range of housing and transport options, and community facilities, to suit the needs of all Wellingtonians. This process will involve local residents, businesses and mana whenua, to ensure master plans reflect the needs and views of the communities they will be shaping.

  • Establishing a new City Development Authority to undertake this master planning and ensure we have an dedicated organisation responsible for best practise urban development in our city.

  • Directing the City Development Authority to work with Kainga Ora to establish Specified Development Projects in Wellington, to accelerate the pace of housing, transport, and other urban development initiatives, including to implement Master Plans.

  • Aim to be the New Zealand home of the 15-minute suburb, a concept seen in multiple thriving cities around the world.

  • In my first 100 days in office, I will commission a review into our low residential consenting figures, with a view to doubling consents. We cannot implement the master plans and provide the housing this city desperately needs while Wellington consistently lags behind many other cities in New Zealand. The review will take into account the views of developers and the construction sector, homeowners, and government agencies like Kainga Ora, with a view to ensuring the council is providing clear and consistent decisions within appropriate timeframes.

 

Other policies

  • Stop the delay and cat and mouse games with central government on implementing the NPS-UD and MDRS, in order to provide certainty and simplicity.

  • Investigate options for promoting high quality urban design in Wellington, to ensure new developments are positive additions to neighbourhoods they are built in. This could include:

    - Updating and reviewing existing guidance on design to ensure it remains relevant and appropriate, especially given the introduction of the NPS-UD and Medium Density Residential Standards, and promotes best practise on issues like accessibility, energy efficiency, and water sensitive design
    - Introducing incentives for developers for projects with high standards of urban design
    - Moving away from in-fill to perimeter block housing
    - Using master planned suburbs as exemplars of high-quality urban design appropriate for our city

  • Well maintained and plentiful parks, greenspaces, and playgrounds, particularly in areas where significant intensification is occurring

  • Protect important heritage buildings that add value to our city, without unduly restricting the supply of new housing

  • Increase, or where possible, scrap height limits in the CBD

  • Work with Central Government to ensure there is sufficient funding for new infrastructure necessary to support an increase in housing development

  • Advocate with central government for extending rent subsidies to existing council housing tenants

  • Ensure all council/CHP housing provides a warm, dry and healthy home for its tenants

 

Construction workforce

  • One of the major challenges facing all of is the severe shortage of construction workers across the whole construction sector including civic construction and housing development. Whatever promises candidates make, they will be faced with this reality when it comes to implementing their policies.

  • That’s why I want to work with the relevant central government agencies including Workforce Development Councils, to ensure we have the workforce development we need to ensure we have the workers to fix our pipes, do our civic construction and build our homes.

  • It’s also why I have committed to reviewing building the Council’s own capacity to undertake civic works, such as repairing slips and building our parks.

  • Taking a work force development approach this will help ensure we have the construction workers we need to do the work this city needs including civic construction, fixing the pipes and dealing with the impacts of climate change.