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Is this your idea of a future downtown Nelson?

Do you want to see multi-storeys like this dotted around the city centre? Tell councillors what you think!

Councillors agreed to this plan!

Think about…

  • huge shadows…
  • wind-tunnels— (it’s always windy around the Council offices.. any multi-storey building)
  • buildings towering over you, blocking the sun…

and read more researched information below.

We’d prefer to see friendlier row houses, and 2-storey buildings with apartments with some having retail etc in the lower storey.

You can keep up with Council’s plans at  Shape Nelson. 


Research links high-rises with crime and violence

Numerous research papers shows worrying correlation between high-rises and violence, crime, and vandalism. Studies show that “high-rise housing projects experience more crime than low-rise housing projects in a linear fashion—the higher the building, the higher the crime rate. We need research presented to council  into increased violence and vandalism with this type of housing in similar locations, 

When buildings have more than 50 apartments, residents often treat each other as strangers. This makes them more vulnerable to crime, as residents are less likely to challenge criminals when they enter the building.”

Also, research into the effects of shading and wind tunnels- negatives in many cities with downtown high-rises.


What they say about the proposed housing — types, numbers

  • Kainga Ora says any development would incorporate a mix of types, from one- through to three-bedroom homes.

  • Kāinga Ora would also seek to provide social and affordable housing, to meet the wide-ranging housing needs of Nelson residents.

  • Kāinga Ora anticipates it would build about 125 homes at the Achilles Avenue site and about 50 on Rutherford Street.


  • The sites present “a significant opportunity to create landmark buildings that could range from five to eight storeys.”
Suggested view from Bridge ST, beside old NN Mail building
(Click on image to enlarge)
Locations proposed to develop these high-rises

How many of these apartments will be for social housing?


“It is too soon to provide a specific breakdown of what could be built on the site should Council decide to sell the properties and Kāinga Ora purchase them after completing due diligence. Kāinga Ora would look to provide a mixture of both social and affordable housing options. Kāinga Ora has agreed that if any development were to go ahead, less than 50 per cent of the development would be for social housing. The remainder could be made up of one or more of a range of housing types, based on the needs of the community, and this would be determined through the planning stages.”

Preliminary planning has earmarked potentially 175 homes across both sites. However, it is important to remember that Kāinga Ora has not made any commitment to purchase either of the properties. The Nelson City Council consultation process must first take place to help Council understand community views about whether or not to sell either property.

WE ASK: OK, what do they deem to be “affordable housing”?

Kāinga Ora invests in a range of programmes to meet the housing needs of New Zealanders. Common housing types and terms they use:

Public (social) housing – Housing provided to an individual or a family who is eligible for the income-related rent subsidy (IRRS), for as long as they need it.

Affordable rental – Long-term rental accommodation, provided at discounted rents. Currently, Kāinga Ora only provides rental accommodation to people eligible for IRRS (public housing), or who were eligible for IRRS when they first rented the home.

Market rental – The provision of long-term rental accommodation. Currently, Kāinga Ora only provides rental accommodation to people who are eligible for IRRS (public housing), or were eligible for IRRS when they first rented the home.


It’s a tricky one and we’re still waiting for more information on this ourselves.

Here’s just a few of the questions we think you’ll want answered by Council:

  • What proportion of residents are planned for different income levels?
  • How many storeys?
  • What research do you have into increasing crime, vandalism around such developments?
  • Will there be an option to ‘rent to buy’ to assist people into the housing market?
  • What facilities will be available on the site – e.g. play areas for children, parking, bike storage, green space..?
  • What about flooding? The site is located within the river flood and coastal inundation area. Any design for development on the sites will need to meet Council and Government requirements for minimum ground and floor levels.

Your thoughts? Do you have any questions you’d add?

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Nelson Residents' & Ratepayers Association
Nelson Residents' & Ratepayers Association
August 16, 2021 12:38 pm

By Kerry Neal High rise in inner city… Read more »

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