Chch mayor to meet with environment minister over housing density

Phil Mauger. Photo: Supplied
Phil Mauger. Photo: Supplied
Christchurch Mayor Phil Mauger will travel to Wellington to discuss halting housing density plans in the Garden City.

Under the new density guidelines introduced across the motu last year, Christchurch would have to allow three-storey residences to be developed in many parts of the city without resource consent.

The rules were adopted in Auckland and Wellington.

But Christchurch city councillors voted against the plan at a fiery meeting in September 2022.

The council stressed it was in support of building more housing but was concerned by the "one size fits all" national approach and possible loss of additional protections for heritage areas and tree cover.

Then-mayor Lianne Dalziel wrote to then-Minister for the Environment David Parker asking for the process to be paused so the council could develop its own housing plan instead.

Penny Simmonds. Photo: Supplied
Penny Simmonds. Photo: Supplied
An investigator was then appointed by central government to work with the council.

But the new government had since stated in its coalition agreement that it would make the housing density changes optional.

In response, the council halted the final six days of hearings on the proposed changes until at least next month.

Minister for the Environment Penny Simmonds said her office had received the letter from Mauger and, in response, had invited him to Wellington next week to discuss the issues it raised.

Mauger confirmed he would be attending the meeting next Tuesday.