Future Growth

Aerial image of the Town Basin and Hatea River.

Explore how we are planning for a better tomorrow!

We have a strategic programme for planning, managing and optimising future growth opportunities over the next 30 years.

Whangārei is a hub for Northland and is the only city north of Auckland. Our population is set to grow up to 142,000 by 2054.

As our District grows we must be able to meet the changing needs of our community including:

  • where we need to build our houses, shops, and industry over the next 30 years
  • identifying suitable areas for housing intensification to support more affordable housing and address long term housing shortages
  • providing safe and accessible ways to get from home to work, education, employment and activities
  • invest in solutions that support emissions reduction
  • ensuring infrastructure decisions are well planned to support our changing communities and a changing environment.

A Future Development Strategy for Whangārei

We are developing a Future Development Strategy for Whangārei with the Northland Regional Council, in partnership with tangata whenua. We will also be engaging with key stakeholders including central government, infrastructure providers, commercial developers and our wider community.

The Future Development Strategy will direct future land use in Whangārei over next 30 years and is a requirement of the Government’s National Policy Statement on Urban Development.

What is the purpose of a Future Development Strategy?

The Future Development Strategy will guide decision making and inform our planning including our resource management plans (like the District Plan), infrastructure and transport plans and Council’s Long Term Plan.

The Strategy will expand on the work on 2021 Growth Strategy, Whangārei Housing and Business Land Capacity Assessment 2021 and other plans and reports.

Whangārei District Growth Strategy

Whangārei Housing and Business Land Capacity Assessment 2021(PDF, 425KB)

It aims to promote long term strategic planning by setting out how we will:

  1. Achieve ‘well-functioning urban environments’ in our existing and future urban areas, and
  2. Provide enough housing and business land capacity
  3. Achieve better integration between infrastructure planning and funding decisions. 

The strategy is an opportunity reassess where we are heading as a district. It presents an opportunity to have informed conversations about how Whangārei will grow in the future, map out the opportunities and constraints that currently exist and to build a long term pathway to collectively achieve the environmental, economic, social and cultural outcomes we all want to see. 

We will be carrying out engagement on these outcomes as part of preparing the Future Development Strategy.

What is a “well-functioning urban environment”?

The National Policy Statement on Urban Development says that, at a minimum, ‘well-functioning urban environments’ are ones that:

  • have or enable a variety of homes that meet people’s needs in terms of type, price, and location
  • meets the needs of businesses (including by way of having a variety of sites suitable to different sectors)
  • enables Māori to express their cultural traditions and norms
  • supports market competition
  • have good accessibility for all people between housing, jobs, community services, natural spaces, and open spaces, including by way of public or active transport; and
  • supports reductions in greenhouse gas emissions; and
  • are resilient to the likely current and future effects of climate change.

What must be included in a Future Development Strategy?

A Future Development Strategy must be able to show:

  • the broad growth locations in existing and new urban areas over the next 30 years
  • strategic infrastructure needed to support and service that growth
  • development constraints
  • include a clear statement of hapū and iwi values and aspirations for urban development.

How much new housing and business land will we need?

As our population increases, we need to ensure we are enabling new housing to be built. It is anticipated approximately an additional 20,000 homes will be required over the next 30 years.

Housing supply is only one part of the equation. We also need to ensure that new homes built in our District meet our community’s needs in terms of affordability, housing types, location and quality.

How can I get involved in the Future Development Strategy?

Community engagement in the Future Development Strategy is happening in two stages.

Stage One: Draft strategy development

A series of workshops and meetings will be held with tangata whenua, central government agencies, businesses and key infrastructure providers. We want to ensure that we will be enabling the type of investment that tangata whenua, government, business, and infrastructure stakeholders want to see in our district. 

Stage two: call for formal submissions

As required by the National Policy Statement on Urban Development, we must follow a Special Consultative Procedure (SCP) under the Local Government Act for the adoption of this strategy. 

We will be carrying out formal consultation on the Future Development Strategy in mid-2024.

Want to find out more?

If you would like to find out more about the Future Development Strategy contact us at: fdsconsult@wdc.govt.nz