17 Nov 2022

Govt's investigator working with Christchurch council over housing intensification concerns

5:52 pm on 17 November 2022
Phil Mauger

Associate Environment Minister Phil Twyford wrote to new mayor Phil Mauger about the appointment. Photo: RNZ / Nate McKinnon

The government has appointed an investigator to work with the Christchurch City Council on housing intensification.

In September, the council voted against a plan change implementing the government's new density guidelines for major cities.

These allow three houses of up to three storeys to be built on most residential sites, without requiring resource consent.

Former mayor Lianne Dalziel sent a letter to Minister of Environment David Parker, which stated the council did not support the government's one-size-fits-all approach.

Acting mayor Pauline Cotter said the council did not oppose housing intensification, but did not want a blanket, citywide approach.

Pauline Cotter

Acting mayor Pauline Cotter Photo: Supplied

"There are some areas where allowing more housing does make sense and we're willing to look into that," she said.

Associate Environment Minister Phil Twyford appointed mediator John Hardie as investigator.

Hardie will work with the council and the government to understand Christchurch's issues.

Twyford also wrote a letter to new mayor Phil Mauger about the previous council's decision to vote against the housing plan change, explaining the reasons for an investigator.

Cotter said the council welcomed the appointment.

"We are looking forward to working together to find the best outcome for Christchurch," she said.

The investigation is expected to start by Monday 21 November.

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