Nelson Urban Growth Strategy

The finalised Nelson Urban Growth Strategy (NUGS) sets out a vision and objectives for managing Nelson’s growth, and the Council’s preferred growth options. It also identifies the further work that is needed to implement NUGS. The Council’s preferred growth options are summarised below:

  • Provide for residential intensification in the key residential areas of Stoke, Tahunanui and Central Nelson, and investigate other potential areas for intensification
  • Work with developers in the Stoke foothills (Ngawhatu and Marsden Valleys) to provide for integrated residential developments through private plan changes and resource consent applications
  • Allow private residential development proposals to be processed for South Nelson (the area immediately north of Champion road)
  • Provide for further residential development in Atawhai through private plan changes or resource consent applications, and prepare a structure plan to help integrate these developments
  • Provide for Hira to be a long term residential growth option, estimated as being needed in approximately 20 years – 2026.

In response to submissions the Council has decided not to pursue residential rezoning in the Maitai Valley and Brook areas.


Download the Nelson Urban Growth Strategy (NUGS) .

What happens next

The final NUGS 2006 strategy recognises there is a lot more work to be done. The Council is addressing the concern raised in the NUGS submission process that NUGS needed a broader scope than just residential growth.

The Council is developing a strategy for the future development of Nelson’s city entre. The central city strategy will identify the future form and function of the city centre in the context of the wider region. It will integrate the many planning initiatives underway for the city centre into a single development plan. Find out more about the central city strategy, called the Heart of Nelson Strategy.

Managing business and employment activities will also be addressed in the central city strategy. It is estimated an extra 60 hectares of land in Nelson and Richmond will be required for these activities by 2026.

Nelson City Council and Tasman District Council have listened to submitters and are now working together to manage growth. They have established the Nelson Richmond Futures Working Group to coordinate the work the two councils are doing to manage growth.  This is likely to include working together to provide for residential intensification, amongst other projects. 

A number of submissions on NUGS raised detailed issues for specific locations.  Where relevant these will be taken into account when implementing NUGS over the coming years.  As a high level strategy, NUGS does not get into specific implementation details such as zone boundaries, densities or structure plans.  An implementation programme is being developed in coordination with TDC. NUGS does not have legal effect itself.  NUGS will be implemented through plan changes and alterations to asset management plans and other planning instruments. These changes require public consultation so there will be further opportunities for public input before NUGS is given effect to.

Submission analysis

Strong support for a planned, strategic approach to growth, and a preference for low-rise intensification rather than greenfields development, are key results of the NUGS Analysis of Submissions released June, 2005. NUGS Submission Results Summary (93KB PDF).

NUGS history

In 2003 Nelson City Council embarked on a strategic planning exercise to plan for future growth in Nelson by engaging highly regarded urban and ecological specialists Boffa Miskell to work on a draft policy for public consultation.

Stage 1 of the project was completed in June 2004. This was a comprehensive report on current growth issues, looking in particular at what is causing growth in Nelson.

Stage 2 commenced in August 2004. This stage involved developing potential responses to what is driving growth.

Consultation 2005

The Nelson Urban Growth Strategy 2004 (NUGS 04) was open for public consultation from Saturday 5 March through Friday 13 May 2005, with the release of the NUGS 2004 Growth Options Consultation Document (1.4MB PDF).

The consultation process included various public meetings, stalls at the market, displays in the library, radio interviews. Public interest was intense, and by closing date more than 900 submissions were received.

During July 2005, Council heard presentations on NUGS from submitters. Three clear issues arose from the NUGS submission process. Residents that submitted to NUGS wanted to see a greater coordination of the strategy with the Long Term Council Community Plan (LTCCP), and for Nelson City Council and Tasman District Council to be working together to manage growth. Submitters also requested NUGS have a scope broader than just residential growth.

Council then held a series of workshops with Councillors, to consider the major issues raised by people who have submitted on the strategy. Subject matter for these workshops included the vision for the central city, infrastructure, industrial areas, and a joint workshop with Tasman District Councillors considered cross-boundary issues relating to growth. The comprehensive range of matters covered focused on the timing of both Councils' respective proposals. Councillors present agreed on the need for joint consideration of most issues at regular meetings, at staff and Council levels.


For further information on NUGS and to obtain hard copies of the NUGS strategy, contact Planning Assistant, +64 3 546 0388.



NUGS Strategy Document-00.pdf (pdf, 326 KB)