banner image

Te Mahere Whakawhanake Anamata

Future Development Strategy

We have produced a Future Development Strategy (FDS) that sets out where to accommodate housing growth in Tairāwhiti.

The FDS is a 30-year vision that builds off the Tairāwhiti 2050 Spatial Plan and Urban Development Strategy.

The FDS was adopted by Council on 14 March 2024.

Thank you to everyone who gave their time to help shape the city during our consultations.

Growth options

Building on many previous engagements, as well as discussions with iwi and other stakeholders, we identified several areas in Gisborne where new homes might be accommodated away from hazards.

During November 2022 we asked the community for feedback on 4 options – intensification, dispersed growth, eastern growth or western growth. The feedback received was that our region favours intensification, aiming for a vibrant city growing upwards not outwards, meeting the challenges of climate change.

Greater housing density has been identified by both central government and our own community as necessary for a well-functioning city.

Uncontrolled urban sprawl over the productive soils of the Poverty Bay Flats fragments and reduces land available for food production.

Medium Density Intensification
Example of Modern medium density homes

Redeveloping existing urban areas

The FDS proposed for the building up of aspects of city and building and a variety of types of homes in the city and settlements, while minimising use of highly productive land. Alongside the FDS will be an Residential Design Guide, to be incorporated into the new plan.

What the FDS does and doesn't provide

National Policy Statement on Urban Development (NPSUD) encouraged us to produce a Future Development Strategy to  promote long-term planning to achieve well-functioning urban environments, provide development capacity and assist with planning decisions.

Our region suffers from extreme weather events which are predicted to increase. The FDS tries to meet the challenge of providing additional housing capacity while balancing the challenges of climate change.

In a nutshell the FDS influences where growth occurs, but it doesn’t build the homes.

It looks at the general location of needed infrastructure, but it doesn’t make decisions on them.

It informs transport plans and elements of the review of the TRMP, but it doesn’t in itself rezone land.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

The Future Development Strategy (FDS) is a strategic tool to assist with the integration of planning decisions under the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) with infrastructure planning and funding decisions. It allows us to:

  • Identify broad spatial areas that can support future growth over 30 years.
  • Indicate the key infrastructure (down to sites and corridors) to support future growth.

It's developed under the National Policy Statement on Urban Development 2020 (NPSUD), which sets out the requirements for an FDS. The NPSUD states that the purpose of the FDS is to promote long term strategic planning by setting out how the Council intends to:

  • Achieve well-functioning urban environments in existing and future urban areas; and
  • Provide at least sufficient development capacity over the next 30 years to meet expected demand.

Tairāwhiti has a housing crisis and the FDS is one of the tools to help solve it.

The FDS will be informed by the Tairāwhiti Spatial Plan 2050, and a recently completed Housing Business Assessment (HBA) that projects Tairāwhiti will need nearly 30% more houses over the next 30 years – that’s around 5,000 new homes.  On the flip side, the assessment indicates there is sufficient business land available.

Almost half of Tairāwhiti’s population doesn’t earn enough money to buy or rent a house.  This will get worse unless we do something about it.  One solution is allowing housing intensification to occur in the right places and in the right way.  Redeveloping existing urban areas and building smaller but high-quality dwellings, can bring housing costs down and help create connected communities

To make up the existing shortfall and provide for the increased demand, we need to identify more land suitable for housing (known as future growth areas) and allow for housing intensification in the city centre and surrounding areas.

The FDS focuses on the existing urban area and immediate surrounds of Gisborne city.

The city is where most of the future growth is predicted to happen. There's a strong focus on the Gisborne-Tūranga urban area and nearby rural towns such as Manutūkē, Pātūtahi and Ormond East.

Our coastal and rural towns have been assessed to understand any constraints they may face for future growth. They have enough zoned land in the current operative TRMP to meet expected levels of growth outlined in the HBA.

An FDS is prepared under the National Policy Statement on Urban Development 2020. As per Section 1.5 (1), Tier 3 local authorities, such as Gisborne, are strongly encouraged to prepare an FDS, but it is not mandatory. Section 3.13 states the purpose of an FDS is to promote long term planning by setting out how the local authority intends to:

  • achieve well-functioning urban environments in its existing and future urban areas
  • provide at least sufficient development capacity over the next 30 years to meet expected demand
  • assist the integration of planning decisions under the Resource Management Act with infrastructure planning and funding decisions.

Every FDS must spatially identify:

  • broad locations in which development capacity will be provided over the long term, in both existing and future urban areas
  • the development infrastructure and additional infrastructure required to support or service that development capacity, along with the general location of the corridors of such infrastructure
  • any constraints on development and must include a clear statement on hapū and iwi values and aspirations for urban development.

Under the NPSUD states, the FDS must be:

  • reviewed every 3 years - see policy 3.16(1)
  • renewed every 6 years – see Policy 3.12(1)(a))
  • consulted on using the special consultative procedure set out in the Local Government Act – see Policy s3.15(1)

Homes in a well functioning city should take a number of forms, giving a people a range of options in both price and lifestyle.

These could be

  • Stand-alone housing on small lots.
  • Semi-detached housing units sharing a common wall.
  • Terraced or row housing, joined on both sides by other houses.
  • Maisonette, 2 homes contained in a single house-like structure with its own entrance.
  • Flats and apartments, generally built over 3-4 levels where occupants share a common entryway, stairwell and lift(s).

There's a need for different types of houses which can help with affordability issues. We need greater resilience to climate change and for actions to be taken to reduce impacts on the natural environment.  While the strategy covers all building, there is particular focus on helping communities affected by the housing shortage.

The FDS will consider what opportunities and constraints will impact where we build.

The FDS TimelineFDS Timeline Website

How to be involved

If you want to receive updates on the FDS or anything related to the Tairāwhiti Plan Review, sign up for Council News | He Pānui - using this form.

If you have more questions simply email the team at