Recommended Sponsor - Buy Original Artwork Directly from the Artist

Source: Environment Canterbury Regional Council

Consultation is open on a draft plan that provides a blueprint for how population and business growth will be accommodated in Greater Christchurch into the future.

The draft Greater Christchurch Spatial Plan has been developed by the Whakawhanake Kāinga Komiti (Urban Growth Partnership for Greater Christchurch), following strong community input during the Huihui Mai – let’s come together engagement earlier this year.

We are a member of the Komiti.

Minister of Housing Hon Megan Woods, who is a member of the Whakawhanake Kāinga Komiti, said having over 7,000 responses to the Huihui Mai survey has provided clear signals on ways Greater Christchurch needs to grow to meet the needs of current and future generations and address challenges of population growth, housing affordability and climate change.

“The Komiti received a strong direction from residents on how to tackle some of the big issues facing the city region, such as improving public transport, building in the right places, strengthening climate resilience and restoring the natural environment.

“The draft Spatial Plan has built on what the community has said, outlining some keys ways we can future-proof Greater Christchurch for generations to come. The question now being asked of residents is whether the draft Spatial Plan is on the right track.”

The Huihui Mai consultation showed high levels of support (86 per cent) for intensifying development along key public transport routes.

Positive steps for mana whenua

For mana whenua, the plan identifies the development of kāinga nohoanga within traditional reserve sites and urban areas as a development priority and expressly commits that Māori land will not be utilised for infrastructure purposes.

Mana whenua governor Gail Gordon said both commitments are positive steps forward in the relationship between mana whenua and local and regional councils, as is the explicit recognition of Te Tiriti and rangatiratanga in the plan.

Six priority development areas

Waimakariri Mayor Dan Gordon said the draft Spatial Plan builds on this direction by identifying six priority development areas, additional to kāinga nohoanga development, for coordinated and focused action to unlock investment. These include the Rangiora Town Centre and surrounds; Rolleston Town Centre and surrounds; Papanui; Central City; Riccarton; and Hornby.

“Focusing future development in and around specific areas means we can plan strategically for growth so there’s good public transport, quality high-density housing, and plenty of green spaces to enjoy,” he said.

Effective partnerships are key

Christchurch Mayor Phil Mauger said Eastern Christchurch has also been identified as a priority area.

“It’s clear we need to do more to support communities and ecosystems to adapt to the impacts of climate change. This is a major challenge, especially in Eastern Christchurch with its coastal location and low-lying areas.

“Effective partnerships between local and central government, community organisations and businesses will be crucial to building community resilience.

“We must ensure we work with the local communities to find the right result.”

Selwyn Mayor Sam Broughton said the draft Spatial Plan brings the key partners together to ensure Greater Christchurch is the best place in the world to live, work and play.

“The community has been clear that they want a planned approach to growth that sets us up for a sustainable and prosperous future. It’s critical local and central government work hand-in-hand with communities to increase our resilience to natural hazards and climate change, and improve access to employment, education and housing,” he said.

Focus on green belts

Environment Canterbury Chair Peter Scott said the draft Spatial Plan has a strong focus on protecting and improving our natural environment.

“Residents told us loud and clear that we need to do more to protect the environment. The Plan prioritises enhancing and expanding our blue-green network which is made up of our waterways and green spaces. As part of this, there is a focus on the use of green belts to protect our natural ecosystems, support agriculture, and provide recreational opportunities.”

“While there are lots of challenges ahead of us, there are lots of opportunities too. The Plan sets the direction for future growth, and this consultation is an opportunity for residents to let us know whether we’ve hit the mark.”

How to provide feedback

The draft Greater Christchurch Spatial Plan is open for submissions from 19 June to 23 July.

Submissions can be made online, at service centres and libraries, or posted to Greater Christchurch Spatial Plan Consultation, Greater Christchurch Partnership, PO Box 73014, Christchurch 8154.

Whakawhanake Kāinga Komiti

Local Councils, mana whenua, and the Crown set up the Whakawhanake Kāinga Komiti in 2022 to collectively plan for our future development. The partners include mana whenua, us, Christchurch City Council, Selwyn District Council, Waimakariri District Council, Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, and the Crown (led by Te Tūāpapa Kura Kāinga – Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, Kāinga Ora, Te Tari Taiwhenua – Department of Internal Affairs).

For more information visit the Greater Christchurch Partnership website.