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Kotahi Urban Form & Development

What we know about urban form and development in our region

This topic covers the built environment, where development should go, and infrastructure needed to create urban communities. There are a few HBRC and government policy documents that fit under this topic.

A chapter in HBRC’s Regional Policy Statement covers the built environment. It guides where and how development should be enabled and looks at the adverse effects of unplanned development, and the adverse effects on versatile land. 

The Government’s National Policy Statement for Urban Development aims to ensure New Zealand’s towns and cities are well-functioning urban environments that meet the changing needs of our diverse communities. It removes barriers to development to allow growth ‘up’ and ‘out’ in locations that have good access to existing services, public transport networks and infrastructure.

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, Napier City Council and Hastings District Council developed a strategy called the Heretaunga Plains Urban Development Strategy.  The joint strategy was first adopted by the three councils in 2010. A reviewed version was re-adopted by the same councils in 2017. The HPUDS strategy looks at managing urban growth on the Heretaunga Plains and surrounds, over the thirty-year period from 2015 to 2045. 

The Regional Council has found issues with subdivision and consent applications from local territorial authorities. The issues that often arise in local applications where HBRC has been a submitter include:

  • the adverse effects of ad-hoc, unplanned development, particularly adequacy of infrastructure
  • loss of highly productive soils
  • the potential impacts of reverse sensitivity
  • proposals to develop areas known to be at risk of one or more types of natural hazards
  • the availability and allocation of water
  • risks posed by development to community drinking water sources.
Urban 2
Urban 1

What our science is telling us

A Housing Assessment for the Hastings-Napier Urban Area was completed in 2021 by Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, Napier City Council and Hastings District Council. It focused on housing demand and development capacity over the short, medium and long-term. The assessment found that Napier City Council and Hastings District Council have enough capacity for various types of housing and sufficient infrastructure capacity including planned investment, for the short and medium term.  However, there are limitations around the modelling for infrastructure as there is unknown infrastructure capacity, especially in Hastings.

There will be infrastructure gaps in greenfield areas. The Regional Council needs to ensure the objectives and policies that require infrastructure to be delivered at the same time of subdivision, and that subdivision and development do not occur out of sequence, should be carried over into Kotahi. A Business Land Capacity Assessment is due for completion in mid-2022.

Kotahi & Urban and Development

HBRC needs to meet the requirements of the National Policy Statement for Urban Development.  The NPS-UD requires a Housing and Business Analysis and a Future Development Strategy to be completed in time to inform the respective 2024 Long Term Plans for Napier City, Hastings District and Hawke’s Bay Regional councils. That work can inform the appropriate provisions for inclusion in the regional policy statement parts of Kotahi.

Your Feedback

The following infographic displays what the community has told us about this catchment in our first round of engagement.  For more information read the full Kotahi Community Engagement Report.

1022 Urbanaresults V02



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