A City for People declares victory as Wellington City Council passes an ambitious Spatial Plan, but calls on Central Government to speed up implementation, infrastructure.

June 25, 2021 12:15 pm

A City for PeopleGeneration Zero, and Renters United are elated that Wellington City Councillors passed a more ambitious Spatial Plan today that goes above and beyond the original Draft Spatial Plan. They have taken real action on the housing crisis and will ensure we provide more homes for all. 

Over the past months, we have strived to give platform to the under-represented voices in this conversation about Wellington’s future. This space has been dominated by the privileged few; conservative resident’s associations, landlords, property speculators, and heritage lobby groups who benefit from this broken system. They have strong incentives to maintain this status quo at the expense of this city’s real character – its people. We’re proud to have been able to radically change the direction of debate to center intergenerational equity, the decolonisation of our built environment, and people’s right to adequate and accessible housing. 

There has been a national spotlight on this campaign thanks to strong advocacy from so many people across the region. Thanks to the pressure you have all brought we’re finally seeing a shift in Council on this issue. Councillors are recognising that decades of inaction means house prices and rents are out of control, while badly maintained properties rot from underneath us. People are being priced out of the city, spending hours each day commuting while the city sprawls and our emissions rise.

We would like to thank the Councillors who stood up for a progressive vision for our city – your efforts to push this plan further are deeply appreciated. We applaud the 1,300+ residents of Wellington who made their voices heard and signed our petition demanding action from the Council, and got this more ambitious Spatial Plan across the line. Thank you to the people who shared their housing stories with us and entered our photo competition – your words and pictures have made this an issue no one could ignore. 

The outcome of today’s vote will enable thousands more of the homes that Wellington desperately needs. The reduction of the colonial character precincts and the increases to walkable catchments around public transport and the centre city are both big wins for action on the housing and climate crises. The outcome of these changes are a plan that goes above and beyond the original Draft Spatial Plan. This is a strong signal to other cities in New Zealand that it’s time to step up and implement the NPS-UD to enable enough homes for all.

However, this isn’t the end of the process. Over the next two years, this Spatial Plan will inform the development of the new District Plan. We are committed to supporting a District Plan that allows Wellington to plan for the future but are disappointed that legislation requires such a delay in implementing this vision with two extra consultations and a court process. 2024 is too long to wait to fix our housing crisis, which is severe and getting worse by the day. We now call on Central Government to intervene and speed up the implementation of the NPS-UD and fund infrastructure to realise this new development capacity.

Ngā mihi nui,

A City for People, Generation Zero, and Renters United

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