Productivity Commission: Better Urban Planning

29 March 2017

The Productivity Commission has completed its inquiry into New Zealand's urban planning system.

The Government asked the Commission to review New Zealand’s urban planning system and to identify, from first principles, the most appropriate system for allocating land use to support desirable social, economic, environmental and cultural outcomes. We were asked to look beyond current arrangements and consider fundamentally different ways of delivering urban planning.

The report - Better urban planning - recommends a future planning system that would look quite different to current urban planning and resource management arrangements. The Commission's recommendations aim for a system that copes far better with the stresses of growth – such as escalating house prices and inadequate infrastructure – while affording more effective protection of the natural environment.

Chapter 7 includes a number of specific recommendations relating to the active protection of Māori Treaty interests in the built and natural environments, and Chapter 13 includes provisions for Māori participation in stewardship of the planning system.