Stop Government intensifying every suburb in our cities before it's too late.

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Changes to the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) passed in December 2021 compel big city Councils to zone ALL suburbs medium density or greater, with limited scope for exceptions. 

From the 20th of August this year, these Councils will have little choice but to rubber-stamp building consents that allow developers, or your neighbour, to build 3 x 3-storey buildings (3 dwellings) 12 metres high, and a mere 1 metre off your boundary, in greater Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington, Hamilton and Tauranga. No less than 14 territorial authorities. You will have no rights to object under the law and no recourse to the RMA and no requirement for Councils to notify you.

The law change did not stop there. Medium-sized cities can suffer the same fate, at the discretion of the Minister and at any point in the future. No further law change is required. Look out Dunedin, Hastings, Napier, Nelson, New Plymouth, Palmerston North, Queenstown, Rotorua, Tasman District and Whangarei. 

Amongst many other disturbing negatives, there will be: 

  • severe impacts on neighbours’ sunlight, privacy and peace.
  • lack of freedom of choice for average-income people as to how they live
  • a major acceleration of the de-greening of our neighbourhoods, as what remaining   green spaces in city sections disappear under houses, tarmac and decks, with the   consequent negative environmental impact of higher summer and lower winter   temperatures
  • potential building of 12-metre-high, low-quality, featureless, dormitory-type structures   metre off neighbourhood boundaries increased
  • anxiety levels from the constant threat of this randomly occurring next door to your   home
  • local infrastructure stretched beyond capacity; increased road congestionExcessive
  • rate hikes to cater for reactive/inefficient infrastructure spending.
  • no on-site parking required, and little available street parking
  • a significant reduction in the value of one’s home, as soon as it is known these   structures are to be built next door

Significant issues surround the passing of the legislation:

-key stakeholders such as Councils were not included in its formulation

-the law was quietly released immediately pre-Christmas – to avoid notice?

-its enormous haste, eg the Select Committee process was slashed to 12% of normal, and the entire Bill was processed in 2 months, one-third of normal. 

-Not one of the select committee considering submissions was an elected MP from a Tier1 city. Many had property interests other than their family home. 

-the utter needlessness of the legislation in the face of: 

  • a significant build program already fully planned and being executed by Councils…
  • …which alone is exceeding New Zealand's building industry capacity as evidenced by extreme building industry inflation and
  • in Auckland's case, the Unitary Plan had meticulously provided for 900,000 homes for a city with just 560,000 currently- and they need more?
  • predictions at the time the legislation was being rushed through, that our current rate of building would exceed demand in the new year (2022) and…
  • official reporting at the time stated that Auckland's population growth rate was zero. 


Michael Kampkes , Citizens Against the Housing Act 2021    Contact the author of the petition

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