Facts & Figures

  • $1mFor upgrades to each suburb

Wellington’s suburban housing stock is dominated by detached family homes. As the city’s population ages and smaller households become more prevalent, we need to facilitate the development of a wider range of housing types.

Medium-density residential areas support the development of houses on smaller lots, terraced housing, and low-rise apartments close to town centres, in areas of high accessibility to public transport, shops and facilities. Medium-density housing provides opportunities for residents to age in their communities without the burden of maintaining a family house, and may provide a more affordable alternative to a traditional house.

The Council has already created medium-density residential zones in Johnsonville and Kilbirnie. We now plan to consult with residents in Karori and Tawa, in the first instance, to determine the extent to which medium-density housing may be suitable for those communities.

We will also work with the local communities to identify aspects of the town centres that could be improved to better accommodate an increased population.


  • Increases housing supply, choice and affordability.
  • Supports the use of public transport, walking and cycling.
  • Helps keep our city compact by reducing the need for greenfield development.
  • Optimises the use of existing infrastructure and facilities.


  • The Council proposes to set aside $1 million for each of the two suburbs to support upgrades to town centres.
  • Investigations will occur in 2015 and will be followed by community consultation. Any District Plan change arising from this work will follow the normal regulatory process and timeline.
  • Other suburbs likely to be studied include Newlands, Crofton Downs, and Miramar.

What you think

69% Feedback received that supports our overall plan

39 Number of times people have told us what they think about this idea

46% Feedback received that supports this idea

#17 Out of 28 ideas based on amount of feedback received.

Who would benefit most?

35% Local businesses
29% Future generations
27% Local residents
6% Visitors to Wellington
2% NZ as a whole
  • Local residents
  • Local businesses
  • Visitors to Wellington
  • NZ as a whole
  • Future generations
  • Other

How should we prioritise it?

59% Quite low
21% Neutral
10% Quite high
8% Low
3% High
  • Quite low
  • Low
  • Neutral
  • Quite high
  • High
  • Peter, Karori

    Medium-density housing should be considered only for areas that are currently providing sub-standard housing and where transport and infrastructure have sufficient capacity to absorb the extra residents. This is not true for some of the areas proposed, particularly Karori. Do not neglect the value of the housing that would be removed to make way for the increased density.

  • Viv, Wilton

    I don't know about housing needs in Karori, but what I do know is that the business district is in dire need of some support. I was shocked to move to this side of town and see the dreary shops, the lack of foot traffic. Karori has a large and wealthy population, the main street should be heaving with cafes, restaurants, decent owner-operated clothing shops (like Kelburn or Newtown). Given the population, its dead zone. No wonder they have traffic issues as everyone has to leave the suburb in the weekend because there is nothing to do and no where to spend your money.

  • Glen, Karori

    The infrastructure in this plan isn't coordinated with the proposed intensification- where is the money for providing extra capacity for bus lanes to Karori?

  • Naomi, Karori

    I think that with the removal of the 18 bus through Kelburn and the currently overburdened transport links through the tunnel and viaduct/glen more street this idea has been poorly thought out. How is council going to be able to better cater for buses cycling on these routes to support intensification? We haven't seen the solutions and it doesn't look like the infrastructure and land use is being coordinated.

  • Patrick, Karori

    What sounds an attractive idea will only detract from the reason these suburbs are popular (green, family friendly) and stress the existing infrastructure (have you seen peak traffic on Karori Road!) If people living in these suburbs wanted medium density housing they would not have brought there. This proposal has the real potential to destroy the character of these suburbs for a quick developer dollar.

  • Anonymous, Karori

    Creating medium density housing is a very good idea if an increase of the population is inevitable - it is better than ever-expanding into our valuable open spaces, bush and reserves and might be a great option for people who prefer a smaller, more manageable home. Seems like a very good solution for some of our elderly residents, as you point out. However, if asked if I support creating a more densely populated centre and increasing population in Karori, versus not doing so, I'd much prefer not to squeeze more people onto our already very busy main road, buses, pool, medical centre, mall, library, and schools, to name a few. Karori is a great place to live. Putting pressure on these resources would deteriorate quality of life here for all of us. It is hard to see how a noticeable increase of population could be absorbed in the short to medium term (think transport, pool, library, schools, mall, medical centre). Also, medium density (ie more dense) housing means more people and more cars squeezed into a smaller space - the drawn up pics at the library do not paint a realistic picture: barely any cars but instead people standing around chatting on open space that'll in fact be tight to even fit residents cars. Can you please clarify if we WILL need to squeeze more people into our suburb, the question being how and where, or if we have a choice of rejecting a plan of increasing the population here?

  • Mark, Karori

    It appears to be "the way of the future", in an area that is limited by its topography.
    Without better road access and associated infrastructure - and I'm not talking about priority bus lanes/cycle lanes - Karori is about at the limit of it's population, now.
    Prioritise better roading to/from Karori as part of this project, please, else overall, the quality of life will deteriorate. I'm already thinking about moving suburbs because of congestion.

  • Harold, Karori

    Tawa is fine but Karori is ill conceived - There have been access problems to the suburb for decades and there is no works programmed to relieve the already congested buslanes, roads and tunnel. The impacts of increased runoff on the Karori Stream havn't been explained and there are better connected suburbs with better infrastructure like island bay which havn't been selected.