Spatial Planning

Greater Christchurch is experiencing significant population growth. We need to get ahead of the game in relation to planning for future growth in Greater Christchurch and give effect to our residents’ aspirations for the future of Greater Christchurch.

In 2020 we heard from our residents about what they would like Greater Christchurch to be like in 2050Central government, mana whenua, and local government are now working together to prepare an ambitious plan for Greater Christchurch. 

 The Spatial Planning work-programme includes:

  • Greater Christchurch Spatial Plan
  • Greater Christchurch Transport Plan
  • Mass Rapid Transit Investigation

We are currently preparing the draft Spatial Plan which outlines plans for future growth.   We are keen to share our ideas with the public and hear their feedback in early 2023.  At the same time we will seek feedback on the Mass Rapid Transit work, as these projects work together. We want to give our residents as full a picture as possible of our future of Greater Christchurch.

You can find out more information about each of these projects below.

The Greater Christchurch Partnership and the Crown have established an Urban Growth Partnership for Greater Christchurch – the Whakawhanake Kāinga Committee – to formalise the relationship between central government, local government and Mana Whenua in Greater Christchurch.

Urban Growth Partnerships are part of the Government’s Urban Growth Agenda. These partnerships provide a forum for central government, local government, and Mana Whenua to align decision making processes, collaborate on the strategic direction for New Zealand’s high growth urban areas, and improve coordination across housing, land use and infrastructure planning.  Spatial planning is an important tool to drive joint action.

The partners include:

  • Environment Canterbury
  • Mana Whenua
  • Christchurch City Council
  • Selwyn District Council
  • Waimakariri District Council
  • Health
  • Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency
  • Crown (led by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, Kāinga Ora, and Department of Internal Affairs)

Greater Christchurch is Aotearoa New Zealand’s second largest urban area with a population of over half a million people – 10 per cent of the national population and 45 per cent 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 business 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.

Residents in Greater Christchurch will need  access to suitable and affordable homes, jobs and economic opportunities so they can prosper as well as transport and other infrastructure options that are sustainable and respect our natural environment.

A major challenge in Greater Christchurch is how to promote healthier and more socially connected, resilient and sustainable ways of living. This includes where and how we live, how we protect and restore the environment, how we adapt in the context of a changing climate, and how we shift to a net zero emissions future.

We have a strong foundation to develop a sustainable and modern city which provides a place where residents enjoy high wellbeing and prosperity.

A strong partnership between central government, local government and Mana Whenua is a key to effectively respond to the opportunities and address the challenges we face. Together we will leverage the tools, resources and investment needed to make transformative change in Greater Christchurch.