New Zealand

Categorized as Country Information, News from Asia & Australasia

IURC Asia & Australasia Partner Country: New Zealand

Country Description

The New Zealand population has become increasingly urban, like the rest of the world. The size of New Zealand cities has grown in both population count and land area. In fact, most New Zealanders live in the urban areas. In 2018, 51.2% of the population lived in the major urban areas of Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington, Hamilton, Tauranga, Dunedin and Lower Hutt. New Zealand’s capital city is Wellington, and its most populous city is Auckland – one of the two main metropolitan areas along with Christchurch.

In July 2020, New Zealand published a National Policy Statement on Urban Development 2020 (NPS-UD). The NPS-UD aims to ensure that New Zealand’s towns and cities are well-functioning urban environments that meet the changing needs of their diverse communities. The statement directs local authorities to enable greater supply and ensure that planning is responsive to changes in demand, while seeking to ensure that new development capacity enabled by councils is of a form and in locations that meet the diverse needs of communities and encourages well-functioning, liveable urban environments. It also requires councils to remove overly restrictive rules that affect urban development outcomes in New Zealand cities.

Previous EU-New Zealand City Cooperation

Since 2018, Nelson City Council and the local Maori community Whakatu cooperated with the central region of Lemvig in Denmark on coastal climate adaptation issues. This was supported by a quadruple-helix programme funded by the EU programme LIFE. More information here: