A proposed plan change will allow housing developments of between two and six storeys without resource consent in Nelson.

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HOUSING issues

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. 


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?


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.



Council has decided to go UP not OUT. We disagree- staggered row housing should be a priority. This gives each house a small garden for kids to play, to grow your own veggies,  relax outdoors, meet neighbours and socialise. It makes for a COMMUNITY. And integrates the housing into the neighbourhood. Less worries for local residents about cutting off the sun, crime etc.  Check out what Christchurch have managed to do!


Examples of multi-unit housing in Christchurch:


a) Engages with and contributes to adjacent streets and public open spaces with regard to fencing and boundary treatments(page 8) , sightlines, building orientation and setback(page 6) , configuration of pedestrian entrances (page 7) ,windows and internal living areas within buildings (page 6)and if on a corner site is designed to emphasise the corner(page 10) .


 b) Integrates access, car parking and garaging in a way that is safe for pedestrians and cyclists and that does not dominate the development, particularly when viewed from the street or other public spaces (page 15) .

c) Retains or responds to existing character buildings or established landscape features on the site, particularly mature trees which contribute to the amenity of the area(page 4) .

d) Responds appropriately to its context with respect to subdivision patterns, scale of buildings (page 12) ,

degree of openness, building materials and design styles.

e) Is designed to incorporate Crime Prevention ThroughEnvironmental Design (CPTED) principles, including effective lighting, passive surveillance, management of common areas and clear demarcation of boundaries and legible entranceways (page 17) .

f) Has had regards to residential amenity for occupants and neighbours, in respect of outlook, privacy, noise, odour, light spill, weather protection and access to sunlight through site design (page 3) , building, outdoor living and service/storage space location and orientation (page 19 and 22) , internal layouts (page 24) , landscaping and use of screening(page 17) .

g) Creates visual quality and interest through the separation of buildings, variety in building form, distribution of walls and openings and in the use of architectural detailing, glazing, materials and colour (page 12) .

h) Incorporates environmental efficiency measures in design, including passive solar design principles that provide for adequate levels of internal natural light and ventilation(page 26) .

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