This Urban Development Strategy is one of four functional strategies in the Kāinga Ora strategic suite.   It provides a clear decision-making framework to guide us in making evidence-based choices about the nature and type of urban development interventions we might use in particular circumstances to achieve desired outcomes.

The strategy sets out how our strategic urban development priorities will contribute towards our agreed objectives, as well as the Kāinga Ora outcomes and vision set out in our Kāinga Ora 2030 Strategy and Te Rautaki Māori o Kāinga Ora 2021-2026.

The strategy recognises the importance of working collaboratively with our partners including Māori, local and central government agencies, developers, our customers, and the wider community to deliver these outcomes.

Read the Urban Development Strategy [PDF, 5 MB]

What are we trying to achieve

The Urban Development Strategy objectives, principles, and priorities link to the wider Kāinga Ora organisational outcomes and align with the expectations for Kāinga Ora set out in the Government Policy Statement on Housing and Urban Development (GPS – HUD).(external link)

We are working to achieve:

  • Thriving communities: People live in well-designed and well-functioning urban environments with access to jobs, public transport, and social services
  • Customer wellbeing: People live in communities with strong human connection and social and cultural amenities
  • Housing access: More housing in more places at a lower cost, offering a greater variety of housing options and tenures
  • Enabling Māori aspirations: Māori are leading, delivering, and contributing to housing solutions and urban development projects
  • Environmental wellbeing: Investment and design choices result in lower development emissions and minimise impacts on biodiversity and water quality
  • System transformation: Our development activity strengthens the overall development system, including growing system capability and capacity.

Our principles

The actions in the Urban Development Strategy are underpinned by seven strategic principles informing how we approach urban design, project delivery, and decision making.  The principles are enduring in nature and will apply to all aspects of the strategy’s strategic priorities and implementation.

We honour Te Tiriti o Waitangi by partnering within a He Waka Hourua framework and have early and meaningful engagement with Māori, offering Māori opportunities to participate.

We complement the private sector by delivering urban development outcomes the market cannot or will not deliver alone.

We create places people want to live, shaping urban form and design while contributing to thriving and inclusive communities.

We are a market leader innovating to reduce costs and improve outcomes at every stage of the urban development process.

We protect and enhance the environment, regenerating natural systems and through our urban development activity.

We actively mitigate impacts of climate change through our urban development investment decisions and take a proactive leadership role in accelerating low carbon urban development in Aotearoa. We support the sector to upskill and transition towards low carbon decision making.

We take a place-based community led approach to our work, ensuring the right response is brought to the right place at the right time. We will engage authentically and extensively with communities.

Strategic priorities

These priorities outline how we will achieve the outcomes and objectives set out in the Urban Development Strategy.  In order to achieve these we have established a robust time-driven implementation plan.

Grow housing supply and choices by increasing the supply of build ready land

  • Improve affordability by increasing the supply of housing and ensuring a range of housing types and tenures are available
  • Increase the supply of build ready land through efficient land use and intensification
  • Focus on supporting and enabling affordable housing options for Māori

Support Māori aspirations for urban development, and build development capacity and capability

  • Seek opportunities to facilitate and deliver housing/urban development projects, shaping effective systems for Māori
  • Recognise Māori aspirations to develop their own whenua outside of main urban areas and supporting Māori with advice and information to achieve this

Provide certainty and stability of land and housing supply through market cycles

  • Provide a substantial pipeline of development projects not driven solely by property cycles
  • Build industry capacity and capability, encouraging innovation, and reducing development costs
  • Reduce the speculative nature of the market, enabling the industry to respond rapidly to meet demand

Use our statutory powers and leverage to overcome barriers to high quality development

  • Unlock development in locations where potential housing yields are high and traditional approaches won’t achieve our outcomes
  • Focus on locations with significant Crown investment e.g. rapid transit routes, public housing
  • Work alongside partners to determine how our statutory powers can be utilised to achieve common objectives.

Page updated: 20 December 2022