Greater Christchurch Housing Development Capacity Assessment

Report into housing development capacity in Greater Christchurch released

31 July 2021

An assessment of Greater Christchurch’s capacity to meet the projected demand for housing over the next 30 years shows it is well placed to cater for the growth.

The Greater Christchurch Partnership has today released the Housing Development Capacity Assessment [PDF, 2.1 MB] that it has prepared as part of the National Policy Statement on Urban Development requirements.

The assessment covers the territorial authority areas of Christchurch City, Selwyn and Waimakariri and examines whether there is sufficient development capacity to meet the projected increase in demand for housing as the area’s population grows.

“The resident population in Greater Christchurch is projected to grow from 536,880 in 2021 to 705,600 in 2051 – an increase of 168,720 people,’’ says Jim Palmer, the independent chair of the Greater Christchurch Partnership.

“Because our population is ageing, we can expect to see strong growth in the number of couple-only and one person households. Overall, we are likely to see a 37 per cent increase in the number of households across Christchurch, Selwyn and Waimakariri – that is an extra 77,100 households.

“What the Housing Development Capacity Assessment shows is that across the whole of Greater Christchurch there is more than sufficient urban development capacity to meet that growth,’’ Mr Palmer says.

At the district level Selwyn and Waimakariri face some shortfalls in the medium and long term. However, this could be offset by capacity in Christchurch City.

“We have been aware of the capacity constraints in Selwyn and Waimakariri for some time and changes have been made to the Canterbury Regional Policy Statement to enable those Councils to consider rezoning land within their districts to meet the medium term shortfall in housing capacity,’’ Mr Palmer says.

The Greater Christchurch Housing Development Capacity Assessment has been provided to the Ministry for the Environment. The Ministry is getting similar assessments from other major cities around New Zealand so it can build a comprehensive picture of the country’s capacity to cater for housing growth.

The assessment will also be used to help inform work on the Greater Christchurch Spatial Plan, which will essentially create a blueprint setting out where and how the area should grow and develop into the future and help address long term capacity shortfalls.

Links and further information