Housing and Business Development Capacity Assessment

2022 Update

As required by the National Policy Statement on Urban Development (NPS-UD), Upper Hutt City Council has undertaken a review of its 2019 housing capacity assessment with the 2022 Housing Update for the Wellington Region. Upper Hutt continues to experience the pressures of housing demand through a high take-up of available housing stock, alongside continued increases in dwelling sale prices and rent prices. This trend is not just being felt in Upper Hutt, but across the wider Wellington Region. This refresh of the 2019 HBA was an opportunity to evaluate changes to Upper Hutt’s housing capacity now, and through until 2051, prior to the preparation of a new, full HBA which will start later in 2022.

The updated population projections which have informed the required housing delivery numbers for Upper Hutt show that from 2021 to 2051, Upper Hutt’s population is forecast to increase by 24,268 people. This is higher than the 2019 HBA predicted. To accommodate this population increase, we need to provide for 10,458 new dwellings. This is higher than the original number of houses that the 2019 HBA predicted we needed to supply due to the increased difference in our population forecasting. The 2022 HBA update has considered housing demand against feasibly developable land and infrastructure capacity to determine an overall development sufficiency in accordance with the NPS-UD.

This assessment, identifies the current District Plan provisions, enable a feasible capacity for infill housing delivery to be 6,858 dwellings, with the realisable capacity being slightly lower at 5,928 dwellings. Therefore, with these realisable infill numbers, we can expect that our medium term (2023-2030) housing requirement of 2,749 dwellings can be met, but the infill realisable figure falls short of our long term (2030-2051) requirement of 6,530 dwellings. Further housing is proposed to be delivered by the Intensification Planning Instrument (IPI) to be publicly notified in August 2022.

As part of this 2022 HBA update we have also assessed the capacity of identified greenfield sites in Upper Hutt to deliver housing. Overall Upper Hutt’s identified greenfield sites have the capacity for 5,433 new dwellings, all of which are feasible to develop. This figure, combined with the feasible infill capacity, means Upper Hutt has a feasible development capacity of 12,291 dwellings, which is sufficient capacity to meet the long-term housing requirement for the City.


The 2019 Wellington Housing and Business Development Capacity Assessment (HBA) was completed regionally by the councils of Wellington’s major urban areas. This included Upper Hutt City, Hutt City, Wellington City, Porirua City, and Kapiti Coast District Councils. The HBA is a requirement of the National Policy Statement for Urban Development Capacity (NPS-UDC).

The report was released in November 2019. The HBA evaluates housing and business demand over a 30-year period from 2017 - 2047.  This demand is compared against land that is currently available or identified as a future growth area, in order to test whether each city can meet projected demand. The assessment also looks at the capacity of three waters (drinking water, wastewater and stormwater), roading and other infrastructure required to service development.

The 2019 HBA shows that just over 5,600 dwellings should be anticipated in urban Upper Hutt by 2047. The assessment estimates that the city can currently provide for about 3,500 homes (700 within existing urban areas and just over 2,800 in greenfield sites, including those identified in the Upper Hutt Land Use Strategy). This means that without change to existing policies that control housing development, the city could be faced with a shortfall of up to 2,100 homes by 2047. Upper Hutt City Council is responding to the results of the HBA through the Intensification Planning Instrument (IPI) to enable housing and commercial activities in the city.

Employment and business growth is expected to continue - a reflection of the growing economy, which is anticipated to reach $1 billion by 2035. Demand for industrial land is likely to increase in the short term but over time, demand is expected to shift to commercial land. Upper Hutt will have ample land and floor space available to accommodate the expected business growth.

The results will impact Council’s considerations for resource consenting under the NPS-UDC and should be considered for future housing or business proposals.

Links to the Wellington HBA document,  the Upper Hutt Chapter and supporting documentation is provided below:

Chapter 1 - Regional Summary(PDF, 2MB)

Chapter 2 - Wellington City Council(PDF, 4MB)

Chapter 3 - Hutt City Council(PDF, 4MB)

Chapter 4 - Porirua City Council(PDF, 8MB)

Chapter 5 - Kapiti Coast District Council(PDF, 3MB)

Chapter 6 - Upper Hutt City Council(PDF, 4MB)

Chapter 7 - Appendices(PDF, 50MB)

Housing Assessment Summary

The 2019 HBA assessed the limit to which current and future growth areas can provide for housing under current development patterns and controls.

Upper Hutt’s population is expected to reach between 51,449 to 56,640 in 2047. Between 4,900 and 5,600 dwellings in the urban area would be needed to accommodate this growth.

The report found that the existing urban area can accommodate almost 700 dwellings with infill or redevelopment - made up of 681 standalone dwellings and 10 terraced houses. Future growth areas identified in the 2016 Land Use Strategy and larger zoned ‘greenfield’ sites are estimated to accommodate just over 2,800 dwellings, when using established development patterns.

This means that without a change to existing policies that control development, the city could be faced with a shortfall of up to 2,100 homes by 2047.

Upper Hutt City Council will respond to the results of the report through Plan Change 50. Plan Change 50 is a comprehensive review of the development controls in all residential and rural zones of the city.

The housing assessment is provided in Sections 1.5 to 1.7 of the Upper Hutt HBA Chapter.

Business Assessment Summary

The 2019 HBA assessed the limit to which currently zoned business land can provide for forecasted business demand.

The report found that demand for industrial land is anticipated to spike in the short term. Over time, demand is expected to transition from industrial to commercial land, in response to forecasted growth in service sectors across the region.

The assessment found that existing zoned business land can provide for business growth between 2017 and 2047.

80% of commercial land capacity will likely be in the CBD. The CBD is considered the most commercially viable location to establish and operate a business in Upper Hutt. There are opportunities under current controls for development to build higher, and it’s expected that future business growth will take advantage of this opportunity.

Results were also positive for industrial capacity, with a good supply of both infill and vacant land opportunities available throughout the city.

The business assessment is provided in Sections 1.8 to 1.10 of the Upper Hutt HBA Chapter.

Infrastructure Assessment Summary

The 2019 HBA assessed the adequacy of three waters (drinking water, wastewater and stormwater), roading and other infrastructure needed to facilitate development. Other infrastructure includes open space, public transport and education.

Reporting concluded that three waters infrastructure is one of the main obstacles to enabling growth. Key issues include wastewater and drinking water storage over the 30 year period.

Roading and transport options will also need to be considered for any future growth areas because the State Highway network is at capacity and the viability of public transport depends on future urban form.

The infrastructure assessment is provided in Sections 1.11 of the Upper Hutt HBA Chapter.