National Policy Statement on Urban Development 2020 (NPS-UD) and Proposed Change 3 (Urban Development)

Horizons is initiating a change to the Regional Policy Statement in the One Plan to meet the requirements of the National Policy Statement on Urban Development 2020 (NPS-UD). 


What is the NPS-UD and why is Proposed Change 3 needed?

The NPS-UD sets out objectives and policies for the provision of sufficient development capacity to meet the expected demand for housing and business land, and for the planning of well-functioning urban environments. It is intended to improve the responsiveness and competitiveness of land and development markets, improve resilience to climate change, and ensure planning decisions relating to urban environments take into account Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
The NPS-UD requires the Horizons Regional Policy Statement (RPS) to be amended to give effect to its provisions.


What is an ‘urban environment’?

‘Urban environments’ are defined by the NPS-UD as urban areas that have or are intended to be part of a housing and labour market of at least 10,000 people. 
In the Horizons Region, urban environments are Feilding, Levin, Palmerston North and Whanganui.


What is the scope of Proposed Change 3?

The scope of Proposed Change 3 has a narrow focus, with a view to giving effect to the NPS-UD with regard to intensification, responsiveness, climate change and Te Tiriti o Waitangi.


Key Documents - Submissions and Further Submissions

The closing date for original submissions was 5pm on Tuesday 15 November 2022. We received 19 submissions in total. A summary of submissions and copies of the submissions are available below. Further submissions closed on Tuesday 28 February 2023 and three were received.

For more information on Proposed Change 3 (Urban Development), please email or phone 0508 800 800.


Proposed Change 3 Timeline

Timeframe Action
September 2022 Council approval for public notification
October 2022 Public notification of PC3
October–November 2022 Submissions period – 20 working days
November-December 2022 Prepare summary of submissions (decisions requested by submitters)
Late January 2023 Publicly notify summary of submissions to enable certain persons (as defined by RMA) to make further submissions – either in support or opposition
February 2023 Further submissions period – 10 working days
Early–Mid 2023 Staff prepare recommendations in response to submissions received.  Meetings may occur with submitters to clarify relief sought
Mid-late 2023 Hearings held, Hearings Panel deliberates and makes recommendations to Council
Late 2023 Council to consider whether to adopt Hearings Panel recommendations as Council’s decisions.  If Council adopts those recommendations they will then become Council’s decisions which must be publicly notified.

More information

How will development capacity be monitored and assessed?

The NPS-UD also requires local authorities to ensure there is sufficient housing and business land development capacity to meet demand. For urban areas with populations that are greater than 10,000 people this includes a requirement to monitor development capacity.

As a larger city categorised as ‘Tier 2’ under the NPS-UD, reports also have to be prepared to assess future housing and business development capacity for Palmerston North. Reports are available to view on Palmerston North City Council’s website.