Rotorua moves to medium growth status


13 July 2017

Updated Statistics NZ urban growth projections of 7.2% for Rotorua to 2023 have moved the district to medium growth status under the National Policy Statement for Urban Growth Capacity.

Statistics NZ is updating its 2013-base urban area population projections for 2013-2023 and Rotorua’s move from low to medium growth status places additional reporting requirements on Rotorua Lakes Council, members of the council’s Strategy, Policy and Finance Committee meeting were told today [Thursday].

Medium growth areas are deemed to be those with a resident population of more than 30,000 (according to most recent Statistics NZ urban area estimates) and projected growth of between 5% and 10%.

Under the NPS responsive planning policies and ensuring capacity for housing and business in the short, medium and long term are key requirements for areas expected to experience growth, Group Manager Strategy and Partnerships Jean-Paul Gaston told committee members.

He said council officials had met with officials from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to discuss the NPS requirements for medium growth areas.

Mr Gaston said the new growth projections and requirements of the NPS would feed into the Rotorua district’s future development strategy (spatial plan), along with development of a housing action plan, the review of council’s infrastructure strategy (which will form part of the next long-term plan) and the proposed Special Housing Accord with the Government.

The Special Housing Accord will establish a relationship with Central Government to work across a range of housing issues and set agreed targets and will provide opportunities including:

  • Enabling Council to work with Government on establishing Special Housing Areas, triggering the ability to speed up zoning processes;

  • Looking at surplus reserve/Crown/other land;

  • Looking at issues on papakainga;

  • Help align other work with government agencies like NZTA (roading) and Housing NZ (social housing).

Mayor Steve Chadwick, who met with Minister for Building and Housing Nick Smith and Rotorua MP Todd McClay following the local MP’s proposal for a Special Housing Accord for Rotorua, said she had made it clear that for Rotorua, the need to address housing pressures wasn’t just about opening up new land/housing areas but also about regenerating the suburbs.

The Strategy, Policy & Finance Committee will recommend to the full Council that it supports entering into a Housing Accord with Government under the Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas Act 2013.

About the National Policy Statement (NPS) on Urban Development Capacity

The purpose of the NPS is to ensure regional and district plans provide adequately for the development of business and housing. This is to enable urban areas to grow and change in response to the needs of their communities.

  • Go to THIS LINK for more about the NPS.

  • Go to THIS LINK to view the requirements for medium and high urban growth councils.

  • Go to THIS LINK to view the NPS on Urban Development Capacity

About the Special Housing Accord

Introduced as part of Budget 2013, the Housing Accord and Special Housing Areas legislation enables the streamlining of new housing developments. The main objective is to increase the volume and pace of supply of land for housing and reduce upward pressure on the cost of homes, particularly in high growth districts. 

Last year Parliament passed all stages of the Housing Legislation Amendment Bill which amended legislation relating to increasing the supply and affordability of housing. The amendment bill came into force in September 2016 with amendments to the Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas Act 2013.

  • Go to THIS LINK for more about the recent announcement proposing an accord for Rotorua.

About the spatial plan

The spatial plan will set out, at a district level, where future development will do, what type of development and at what intensity.

Council has held informal consultation, based on a consultation document which presented potential future scenarios, and feedback from that process will be used to develop a draft spatial plan. The draft plan will then go out for formal submissions and hearings before a final plan is adopted by Council.

  • Go to p13 of the today’s Strategy, Policy & Finance Committee meeting agenda for more about the feedback that was received and what happens now.

  • Go to Council’s online consultation hub Let’s Talk – Korero Mai for more about the spatial plan and to view the discussion document. Click on the tile titled ‘Planning for the future of Rotorua’.


Gambling policy deliberations

The Strategy, Policy & Finance Committee will recommend to the full Council that proposed amendments to the Class IV Gambling and Board Venue Policy be approved, subject to amendments which were agreed today including retaining a cap of 380 gambling machines and allowing relocations within the CBD with original machine numbers.

Go to p17 of the today’s Strategy, Policy & Finance Committee meeting agenda for more about the gambline policy review.


Today’s commitee meeting was livestreamed. To view the meeting go to THIS LINK on Council’s website

The spatial plan/urban growth/housing accord discussion was the first item following adoption of previous minutes, followed by the gambling policy deliberations .


Air quality control bylaw submitters heard

Submissions to Rotorua Lakes Council’s Air Quality Control Bylaw review were heard by the Strategy, Policy & Finance Committee today the committee’s regular monthly meeting.

A total of 28 submissions were received after the proposal for the review of the bylaw, which is administered by Bay of Plenty Regional Council, was approved for consultation in May.

Seven submitters were heard.

Go to THIS LINK to see the submissions of those who will be speaking at the hearing.

The hearing was livestreamed and you can view the hearing at THIS LINK

For more information about the bylaw review go to Council’s online consultation hub Let’s Talk – Korero Mai and click on the link ‘Air Quality Control Bylaw’.




Page reviewed: 07 Jun 2017 12:01pm