Work programme

The Greater Christchurch Partnership and Urban Growth Partnership have a strong focus on delivery through an integrated work programme, guided by the direction set through GCP strategic documents, national policy direction and agreed partner expectations.

Central government, mana whenua, and local government are working together to prepare an ambitious plan for Greater Christchurch so that we can get ahead of the game in relation to planning for future growth, and give effect to our residents’ aspirations for the future of Greater Christchurch.

The Greater Christchurch and Urban Growth Programme includes:

  • Greater Christchurch Spatial Plan - which will provide a blueprint for how we will accommodate future population and business growth in our city region.
  • Greater Christchurch Transport Plan - which will provide for consistent and integrated investment in transport and propose an action plan in the short, medium and longer term.
  • Turn up and go/ Mass Rapid Transit Indicative Business Case - exploring the creation of a high-tech, high-frequency, high-capacity, no-emission, public transport service called 'turn up and go'.
  • Public Transport Futures - Implementation of the endorsed investment programme for improving the foundations and rest of network public transport system.

  • Regional Public Transport Plan - Set out the objectives and policies for delivering public transport and describes the services provided in the future to meet the needs of new and existing customers and the policies which those services will operate by.

  • Joint Housing Action Plan - the vision that everyone in Greater Christchurch has access to a healthy, warm, sustainable, affordable home.
  • Kāinga Nohoanga Strategy - the development of self-governing kāinga nohoanga on Māori Reserve land enabling and providing for kāinga nohoanga within urban areas.
  • Priority Development Areas (PDA) and Priority Regeneration Areas (PRA) - enabling aligned and coordinated action across multiple agencies to inform and prioritise investment to achieve change and growth that will not be delivered by the market on its own.
  • Blue-Green Network Strategy - developing an integrated blue-green network strategy reflecting the blue-green network principles and environmental directions. This strategy will also include investigating options to establish a Green Belt Action Plan.

  • Economic Development Plan - creating a comprehensive economic development plan that integrates and coordinates existing strategies and plans to realise the Spatial Plan’s aspirations for economic prosperity.                                                               

  • Spatial Plan Implementation – statutory tools and non-statutory tools - To assess, propose and implement the suite of statutory tools and non-statutory tools that will give effect to the Spatial Plan and enable delivery of the joint work programme.        


Greater Christchurch is Aotearoa New Zealand’s second-largest urban area with a population of over half a million people – 10% of the national population and 45% of the South Island population.  It is the economic, logistics and service hub for the Waitaha/Canterbury region and the South Island.

Greater Christchurch has recorded more than a decade of strong population and employment growth. This growth, along with the redistribution of people and businesses displaced by the earthquakes in 2010 and 2011, and significant investment in recovery and regeneration, has changed our urban areas.

We expect this strong growth rate to continue.  We need to plan now for how our urban areas will provide housing for more people and what they will need to live well in the future.

We've had a coordinated approach to urban planning and transport investment in Greater Christchurch since 2007. 

Our current Urban Growth Programme builds on this work, considering future opportunities and challenges and integrating urban and transport planning for our urban areas so we are ready for the future.

In 2020 Greater Christchurch residents told us that by 2050 they wanted Christchurch to be sustainable, vibrant and safe, with less urban sprawl, more affordable housing and much better transport options lessening our dependence on cars.  See the Engagement Report [PDF, 747 KB](external link) for more details of what the community told us.  This has provided us with clear direction on the aspirations of the community, which is guiding our current work.

Greater Christchurch has a strong foundation to develop a sustainable and modern city where people enjoy a high standard of living.  Read our Foundation Report(external link) if you want to learn more about the strengths we can build on and the challenges we need to address as we plan for the future.