Wellingtonians will now get to have their say on a plan to enable more development across the capital in a big shake-up of planning rules.
Wellington City Council's draft district plan raises building height limits, shrinks protected character areas, and enable at least six-storey developments within 10 minutes of all train stations.
It also proposes areas where new development shouldn't be allowed due to tsunami and coastal inundation risks.
At a Planning and Environment Committee meeting today councillors agreed to put the plan out for public consultation with very little changes. Consultation will begin in early November for six weeks.
It comes just one day after Labour and National joined forces behind a radical new housing policy, the Housing Supply Bill, which they say will help address the housing crisis by allowing as many as 105,500 new homes to be built in less than a decade.
It would achieve this by allowing up to three homes of up to three storeys to be built on most sites without the need for a costly and frustrating resource consent.
Wellington City Council decided to push forward with today's meeting on its draft district plan, despite the fact the announcement would result in changes needing to be made to it.
Chief planning officer Liam Hodgetts told councillors the announcement was significant.
About 50 per cent of the city's residential zones would be impacted by the decision, he said.
Hodgetts said the proposed bill reinforced the direction the council had already set for the city through its draft district plan.
The plan already proposed to increase areas zoned for medium density development from just 42ha to 1,331ha.
Wellington Mayor Andy Foster told Newstalk ZB's Mike Hosking this morning the council received no notification the announcement was going to happen.
He said the council would have to "tear up" the residential part of the proposed district plan and change it.
He described the situation as part of a sustained "attack on localism" and he would have preferred for the Government to talk to the council first.
Foster also raised concerns the new rule would spread intensification away from the central city.
"So it will actually undermine some of the Government's other objectives around less carbon emissions and less people using private transport."
Council officials said the new changes will be incorporated into the proposed district plan mid-next year.
Labour councillor Fleur Fitzsimons said at the committee meeting today it felt "weird and uncomfortable" to be agreeing with Judith Collins.
But she said yesterday's bipartisan housing announcement showed the scale of the housing problem.
"It also goes to show how local government has failed for so many years to make basic decisions about housing residents. We are here for residents and our previous district plan has failed at its most basic task."
Fitzsimons said radical and urgent change was needed to make sure Wellingtonians could be housed well into the future.
Councillor Rebecca Mathews, a vocal advocate for more housing, said the political consensus reinforced that densification in Wellington was happening.
"It has to happen, the reason there's consensus is because we need to respond to the crisis that we have in front of us."
Several councillors signalled they were not happy with everything in the draft district plan going out for consultation, but they wanted to hear what the public thought before making amendments.
Councillor Nicola Young said she had contemplated a "whole swag of amendments" but putting the draft plan out for consultation first was the right thing to do.
She said she was "deeply concerned" about the removal of protections for character housing and she described the 15-minute walking catchment from the CBD as "erratic".
Foster said the district plan should be the community's plan.
"I just hope that the discussion that we have this time is not the divisive discussion that we had through the spatial plan and that people try and actually listen to each other as we have this conversation."
Debate over the spatial plan, the blueprint for the proposed changes to the district plan, mainly boiled down to a battle between character protection and higher-density housing.