National and Labour's housing accord came under assault in select committee on Monday from a host of submitters, nearly all of whom supported the intent of the bill: to build more houses.
The combination of a vast number of submissions and a tight deadline to report back to Parliament meant the Environment Committee had to split itself in two in order to hear from everyone.
But those submitters were less keen on new housing being built in land that was significant to them, citing concerns about "urban tree corridors," views of particular mountains, the historic character of suburbs like Wellington's Newtown, and that the new rules would be unfair to farmers by giving urbanites more leeway to desecrate urban environments.
Those submitters said they were keen to have new houses built, but preferably somewhere else.
But some submitters offered a more full-throated support of the bill. Government housing agency, Kāinga Ora said proposals would allow far more housing to be brought onstream, and Wellington's pro-housing pressure group, A City for People, urged the committee to recommend allowing even more housing to be built on existing sections.
The bill as it stands will allow most sections to have three houses of three storeys built on them without resource consent. This means subdividing sections will get easier and more houses could be built in our cities - the Government has commissioned modelling which reckons the changes would mean 72,000 additional dwellings could be built by 2043.
Much of the battle is over what are known as "qualifying matters", which allow councils to exempt certain areas from implementing the new densification rules in full.
A "qualifying matter" considering an area's heritage value, for example, could see an area exempted from implementing the rules. MPs were receptive to the concerns and have said the committee is likely to recommend changes.
National housing spokeswoman Nicola Willis, who sits on the committee said, "there have been a number of issues raised as was expected".
"We expect there will be a number of constructive amendments to address a number of those issues," she said.
Expanding the qualifying matters will preserve some of these features, but a widespread expansion will also neuter the power of the bill.
Kainga Ora said the bill would help it provide "significantly more housing development capacity in growing urban areas where people want to live".
And it said that the legislation would help "enabling faster delivery of the Kāinga Ora public housing development pipeline".
New Zealand's Infrastructure Commission pushed back on one criticism of the bill: that it would put up the cost of infrastructure.
Infrastructure Commission economist Peter Nunns said it was "probably incorrect" to say the changes would put up the cost of infrastructure.
"The reason for that is the primary impact of the bill will be to give others the opportunity to build homes and give opportunities for growth in urban areas rather than increasing - significantly increasing the total population that needs to be serviced with infrastructure," Nunns said.
"You have to think about people rather than buildings," he said.
Nunns said population was the driver of infrastructure cost - more people equals more infrastructure. As this bill will not change the population, it is unlikely to have an impact, positive or negative, on the cost of infrastructure - although he added that because the bill promoted infill rather than greenfields development, it could slightly lower the cost of infill.
Pania Newton of the Makaurau Marae Māori Trust, better known as one of the leading voices of the Ihumātao protest said that while she supported the intention of the bill, she was "deeply concerned" that the Crown was "overstepping its obligations under Te Tiriti o Waitangi".
Newton said the fast-track provisions in the bill, which brings forward zoning changes currently slated for 2024 were reminiscent of those that sparked Ihumātao.
She said there was a ""Lack of consideration of wahi tapu and cultural heritage landscapes".
Fellow submitter Nicola Short said that while heritage advocates were often very effective at blocking the destruction of European heritage, Māori heritage was far less likely to be saved.
She cited data showing that from 2014 to March 2017, Heritage New Zealand granted over 97 per cent (877 of 907) of applications for the modification or destruction of archaeological sites - many or most of which relate to Māori heritage.
Hamilton Mayor Paula Southgate wrote to party leaders saying the "strong and unanimous view of our Council that the Bill as currently proposed is simply not fit for Hamilton".
Southgate said that the council would "lose the ability to control" where densification occurred.
Housing advocates A City for People said it "strongly" supported the legislation, saying councils had been "taken a conservative reading" of the Government's last set of planning changes (known as the NPS-UD).
It recommended the committee should effectively abolish front and side setbacks - the requirement to set a building back a certain distance from the boundary. The legislation has a 2.5m setback.
"By removing front setbacks, people can make the most of smaller sites by using that wasted space for more housing, or they can create bigger and better backyards by building close to the front of the site instead of closer to the rear," they wrote in a written submission.
The organisation suggested iwi could have exemptions from zoning rules on whenua Māori. A similar rule exists in Canada, which has allowed some First Nations people to build large dwellings on their land.