What is Planning for Growth?

Planning for Growth includes the development of a Spatial Plan for Wellington City and the full review of the District Plan.

The Spatial Plan will set out our 'blueprint' for where and how we want to direct growth across the city. Whereas the District Plan is the 'rule book' that sets the rules for building heights and what types of housing and activities are permitted and where.

We know that without serious changes to current District Plan building rules, Wellington will be short between 4,600 and 12,000 dwellings by 2047, which means doing nothing is not an option.

Planning for Growth combines community feedback with detailed technical work to design a spatial plan for the city and is about how we navigate the key issues our city is facing.

Why it matters

The earth is moving, our climate is changing, and our population is growing.  How we live and move about 30 years from now will be very different to how things are today.

As we grow, we need to hold onto the things we love about our city, that make us who we are.

Our population is moving

50,000 to 80,000 more people will move to Wellington over the next 30 years. Based on current District Plan settings, we won’t have enough homes.

Our earth is moving

The risk of a big shake is never far away.  We need buildings that are strong, in places where people feel connected to each other and the things they need to stay safe.

Our sea and climate are moving

The reality of climate change has us thinking about where we should grow, and what we can do to help mother-nature absorb the effects of extreme weather events.

Liveable city

We have so much to be proud of.  Our beautiful city is alive with nature, culture and energy.  We know the challenges of affordability.  People are getting out of their cars and looking for a lifestyle that is good for the planet.  We are planning for growth, but really we are planning to make sure we are always that most loveable, liveable city.

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How we got here

Phase 1 - Engagement - Our City Tomorrow

In 2017, we asked Wellingtonians what they wanted for Our City Tomorrow. The people told us they want a city that is:

  • compact
  • inclusive and connected
  • greener
  • resilient
  • vibrant and prosperous.

We also know people support better public transport and more opportunities to walk and cycle around the city from Let's Get Wellington Moving.

We consulted on our 10-Year Plan in 2018, which included the Planning for Growth project as a priority. People supported our focus on growth and future-proofing the city. They also supported us working with partners in government and the community to increase housing supply. Council adopted the 10-Year Plan, including this project in June 2018.

We are building on Our City Tomorrow, and with your help we are now working to create the strategic direction for how our city should grow.

Phase 2 - Speaker series (March 2019)

In March 2019 we hosted Our City Tomorrow: The Speaker Series to kick off engagement for the Planning for Growth Project. The series consisted of three sessions where we heard from the Mayor and the experts on everything from the hopes of our young people, to how Artificial Intelligence (AI) is transforming the way we live, to living carbon neutral, to bringing nature to the city.

Check out what was discussed about being a smart capital, planning for growth, and creating places for people.

Phase 3 - Engagement - Growth Scenarios

In early 2019 we developed four growth scenarios and between 8 April and 17 May 2019 we asked people to tell us which ones they thought did the best job of balancing the different trade-offs.

People said the most important thing is to keep our compact form by enabling growth to happen in and around the central city and suburban centres.

Phase 4 - Speaker Series (March 2020)

In March 2020 we hosted our second Speaker Series called "What's the shape of our city tomorrow?". The series consisted of three sessions where we heard from the experts near and far on living comfortably with risk, and bold ideas for a new urban community.

The 2020 Speaker Series was a precursor to the city-wide engagement on the Draft Spatial Plan.

Phase 5 - Development of the Draft Spatial Plan

We have used your feedback, our technical work, and lining these up against other big projects like Let’s Get Wellington Moving to work out the best plan for the city into what is called Our City Tomorrow: A Draft Spatial Plan for Wellington City.

City-wide engagement on this Draft Spatial Plan will take place in late 2020.

WE ARE HERE - Phase 6 - Consultation on Draft Spatial Plan

We are here!

Submissions for the  Draft Spatial Plan have now closed. Organisations and residents who made submissions will have another opportunity to provide feedback via oral submissions in November.

Your feedback will help us complete a final Spatial Plan that will provide the direction we need for the District Plan Review.

View Our City Tomorrow: A Draft Spatial Plan for Wellington City

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What's next?

August-early October 2020 - City-wide engagement on the Draft Spatial Plan 

Late 2020 - Final Spatial Plan Completed 

Late 2020-Early 2021 - Prepare Draft District Plan

Early 20201 - Non-Statutory Consultation on the Draft District Plan

Late 2021 - Statutory Consultation on Proposed District Plan

We hope you will stay involved, and help us shape the city we love.

Sign up for news and updates

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Other relevant projects

Planning the future of a city involves working with others.

Planning for Growth along with other Council projects is all part of the 10-year plan and Council's overall strategic policy. Together they all contribute to our urban environment and help shape the city we love.

The Spatial Plan will be a key input into the next 10-year Plan (due for consultation in 2021), to ensure that there is sufficient funding and projects in the pipeline that support the City’s growth and liveability over the next 30 years. This includes infrastructure upgrades, sports and recreation spaces, and community facilities.

Here are some other projects that are happening around Council that are relevant to the Planning for Growth project and help bring it all together.

See what's happening to protect the natural environment

Backyard Tāonga

See what we we will be replacing as part of the District Plan Review

Wellington City District Plan

See what's happening to move more people with less vehicles

Let's Get Wellington Moving

Learn about Wellington's housing and business capacity and as well as the wider region's capacity

Regional Housing and Business Capacity Assessment

See what the Council is doing to make Wellington City a Zero Carbon Capital

First to Zero - Zero Carbon Capital

See what the Council is doing to look at smarter ways to manage city parking

Parking Policy

Check out this project which looks at developing a new community in the Upper Stebbings Valley

Upper Stebbings Valley Community

See the long-term priority areas for Wellington

Our 10-year Plan

Other projects:

Other strategies and plans:

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