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Te Mahere Whakawhanake Anamata 2024-2054

DRAFT Tairāwhiti Future Development Strategy 2024 – 2054

We have developed a Future Development Strategy (FDS)

What is the Future Development Strategy?

An FDS is a planning tool under the Resource Management Act that identifies areas that can accommodate growth of more homes and the infrastructure planning that will be required over the next 30 years.

It identifies spatial areas capable of supporting more homes in the future; and indicates the key infrastructure such as, such as roads, electric and sewer, required to support this growth.

Central Government requires councils to plan for future urban growth in a way that achieves well-functioning urban environments in both existing and future urban areas and ensures sufficient development capacity is available over the next 30 years to meet expected demand.

Why the FDS matters

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

Projections are that we will need nearly 30% more homes over the next 30 years – that’s just over 5,000. Almost half of Tairāwhiti’s population doesn’t earn enough money to buy or rent a home.  This will get worse unless we do something about it.  Planned growth can bring opportunities, prosperity, and long-term benefits to the community and our environment.

To provide for the demand, we need to identify more locations suitable for homes (known as future growth areas) and allow for housing intensification in the city centre and surrounding areas.

There will also be pressure for different types of homes, affordability issues, adaptation to climate change, and for actions to be taken to reduce impact on the natural environment. Climate change is anticipated to bring more extreme weather patterns, impacting our communities in various ways. Infrastructure will need to be maintained, replaced and upgraded to support the new homes.

It is important to plan for homes. Without an adequate supply, prices can be affected, our young people, family and workers may be driven away. If managed well, growth can benefit the entire community.

Allowing housing intensification in the right place and at the right time can reduce costs and improve the cities resilience to natural or man-made hazards. Redeveloping our existing urban areas can bring housing costs down and help create well connected communities. Sprawl can defer maintenance of infrastructure costs to the rate payer in the long term.

The FDS focuses on the existing urban area and immediate surrounds of Gisborne City. The most growth is predicted to happen in the urban areas - City Centre, Elgin, Te Hapara, Mangapapa, Whataupoko and Kaiti.

The city is where most of the future growth is predicted to happen with some growth in nearby rural are such as Manutūkē, Pātūtahi and Ormond East.

Our coastal and rural townships have been assessed and have enough zoned land in the current operative RMA plan to meet expected modest levels of growth.

The required capacity is not all needed immediately; it’s spread out over 30 years. Much can change during this period. We will monitor actual rates of home and population growth and housing demand and this will inform reviews of the FDS when needed.

What form will development take?

Medium Density Intensification
Example of modern medium density homes

To minimise urban sprawl and preserve productive land the FDS provides for building existing urban areas up, and a small amount of building outwards around the existing city.

Building up (also called “intensification”) can provide around 75% of the additional homes needed across the region.

This includes various types of homes, ranging from infill on existing sites to more comprehensive schemes along transport corridors, neighbourhood commercial centres and in and around the city centre. Townhouses, terraced housing and some multi-unit building forms will also be enabled in suitable locations. A Residential Design Guide will be developed and integrated into the new RMA plan.

Intensification Strategy

Building out (expansion or sprawl) is expected to contribute about 25% of new homes. This involves modest expansion into new greenfield expansion areas, offering the opportunity for comprehensively planned suburbs with a mix of types of home. Additionally, larger lifestyle living environments will be available on the fringes of the city.

The focus on avoiding harmful sprawl in our rural areas and focussing on compact and sustainable settlements has been identified by our community as a priority in our Spatial Plan and Urban Strategy.

Allowing modest expansion on the outskirts of our city provides choice, while maximising access to services like shops and cafes and minimising the infrastructure costs and commuting pressures. The FDS avoids expansion into rural flood prone areas, parks and reserves and productive land. Public transport is feasible when there are enough people to support it and the FDS was developed in line with our Transport Planning.

What we've heard

The FDS took two years to develop, from January 2022 to March 2024. Representatives from various sectors were involved, including government agencies, iwi, developers, infrastructure providers, service providers, industry groups, large employers in the Tairāwhiti region and council-controlled organisations.

During early engagement and formal consultation, the majority supported intensification, especially within the city centre for mixed-use, walkable, high-density developments.

However, the capacity of infrastructure was flagged as the most pressing constraint to development as it is insufficient in some areas for intensification.

Housing affordability was also raised as a key constraint in the Tairāwhiti region.

There was general agreement on protecting productive agricultural land and focusing development within existing urban areas. Natural hazards like flooding, sea-level rise, and earthquakes were recognised as constraints, with hazard-prone areas were flagged as no-go areas.

How will the FDS be implemented?

In order to put the FDS in action, a coordinated set of changes will be required to the future plans, policies, and strategies which mostly fall under the RMA. An Implementation Plan is currently being developed. The required changes to the TRMP such as zoning etc will follow the necessary RMA processes and consultation of the community.

FDS Timeline

FDS Timeline

How to be involved

  • The  FDS was produced as part of the Tairawhiti Resource Management Plan review.
  • Keep yourself updated on anything related to the Tairāwhiti Plan Review - TRMP webpage
  • If you have more questions simply email us at