Special Housing Areas

Contents

Special Housing Areas (SHA) are provided for in New Zealand through the Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas Act via Housing Accords which are agreed between the Government and councils. The legislation was introduced to address the country’s housing shortages and enables land to be made available for housing significantly faster than normal.

Normal consenting requirements regarding utilities, infrastructure, traffic management, hazard and environmental mitigations still apply.

Rotorua Lakes Council signed a Housing Accord with the Government last year and council is currently dealing with two applications for SHA status for planned housing developments in Ngongotaha. The applications came from private developers.

Ngongotaha is an area that has been flagged for further residential development as part of Council’s spatial plan. Extensive public consultation occurred pre-draft and then again on the draft plan and this will be finalised and adopted later this year.

 The two proposed Ngongotaha developments have been considered by Council’s Resource Management Act Policy Committee which recommended that Council approve one to go to the Minister of Housing and Urban Development for consideration as an SHA. The other is to go back to the RMA Policy Committee for reconsideration.

  • Click here for the agenda for the 15 March extraordinary Council hui for the reports detailing the SHA proposals and factors taken into consideration by the RMA Policy Committee. The agenda also includes reference to consultation with regards SHA1.
  • Click HERE to read the Special Housing Areas Act
  • Click HERE  to view the powerpoint presentation made at a public information hui/meeting at Ngongotaha Bowling Club on Tuesday 10 April 2018 to provide the community with information about special housing areas and the legislation and process involved. 

  • Go to THIS LINK to view the Officer's report to the RMA Policy Committee for SHA1

  • Go to THIS LINK to view the Officer's report to the RMA Policy Committee for SHA2


What is a Special Housing Area?

Special Housing Areas are provided for in New Zealand through the Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas Act via Housing Accords agreed between the Government and local authorities (councils).

The legislation was introduced to address the country's housing shortages and enables a piece of land not zoned for residential to be given residential status without having to go through a District Plan change. In effect, it allows for new land to be made available for housing significantly quicker than normal.

Normal consenting requirements regarding utilities, infrastructure, traffic management, hazard and environmental mitigations still apply.

SHAs are not necessarily low-cost or social housing but may include these categories.

Locations for SHAs will be areas where:

  • Growth is best suited;
  • People want to live;
  • There is room for homes to be built;
  • Infrastructure is either largely in place or there is capacity to build infrastructure.

What's happening with the SHAs proposed for Ngongotaha?

The decision-making process for the two SHA applications in Ngongotaha is not yet complete. 

Special Housing Area 1

  • Following a decision by the Full Council, this application will go to the Minister for consideration as an SHA.
  • If approved by the Minister, the next stage will be preparation and submission of a resource consent application by the applicant. This will necessitate notification which will provide adjacent landowners with an opportunity to comment.
  • SHA 1 was included in Council's draft spatial plan which was consulted on last year.

Special Housing Area 2

  • This application will be subject to further deliberation by the RMA Policy Committee, as directed by the Full Council.
  • The RMA Policy Committee has since requested that the applicant undertake community consultation (including a public meeting) prior to the application being reconsidered.

The SHA process is prescribed by the Act.

What is the SHA process?

  1. Application is lodged
  2. Application considered by RMA Policy Committee
  3. RMA Policy Committee makes a recommendation to Full Council
  4. Full Council approves/doesn't approve the recommendation
  5. If a proposed SHA is approved to be referred to Minister for consideration/approval – it goes to the Minister

    If a proposed SHA is not approved to be referred to Minister for consideration/approval the SHA process stops
  6. If a proposed SHA is approved by Minister for SHA status a consent will be lodged
  7. Consultation happens if required as per Section 29 of the Act
  8. Independent commissioners hear and decide on consent

Will the public be consulted?

If a development is approved as an SHA a decision about whether it will be notified is part of the consenting process (neither of the proposed SHAs are at that stage) and as per the Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas Act 2013, notification would be limited to the following: adjoining landowners; relevant local authorities; infrastructure providers with assets on, under or over the land or adjacent land; any relevant designating authority (if that applies) – see the full version of this section of the Act at THIS LINK on the Parliamentary website.

Who approves a Special Housing Area?

Council or a private developer can propose an SHA. Two planned housing developments in Ngongotaha have been proposed as SHAs by the landowners.

Applications for SHAs are considered by Council’s Resource Management Act Policy Committee against SHA criteria and the committee makes a recommendation to the Full Council which then decides if a development will go to the Minister for Housing and Urban Development for consideration as an SHA.

The Minister has the final say on whether or not a proposed SHA will be approved.

If the Council decides to not recommend a proposal, the SHA process stops. Approval for urban development must then be pursued through the standard planning processes under the RMAct.

 


Page reviewed: 15 Apr 2018 10:31am