Wellingtonians want action on the city's housing crisis, but residents are very much divided into two camps over intensification.
The city council has received almost 3000 submissions from individuals and organisations on Wellington's draft spatial plan, which outlines how up to 80,000 more people will be accommodated in the next 30 years.
The spatial plan has sparked considerable debate in the community, mainly around striking the right balance between housing densification and character protection.
An initial analysis of submissions showed 58 per cent supported proposed intensification of the central city, which includes increasing the maximum building height in Te Aro to at least 10 storeys.
Under the proposal increased building heights in areas on the edge of the central city would go up to six storeys.
The plan also incorporates the Government's National Policy Statement on Urban Development, which came into effect last year.
Slightly fewer submitters agreed with the proposed intensification of the inner suburbs, 46 per cent, and outer suburbs, 45 per cent.
The review said those in favour of intensification argued it would create more affordable housing, better proximity to amenities, higher quality housing, and a more compact city that would increase vibrancy.
Those who opposed intensification feared they would lose the character of established suburbs, which some consider to be an iconic aspect of Wellington.
At the moment there are parts of the city identified as character areas, like Thorndon and Mt Victoria.
A resource consent is required to demolish any pre-1930s buildings in these areas.
But the spatial plan proposes to re-jig the boundaries by creating "sub-areas".
Anything outside of the designated sub-areas would no longer be subject to the demolition controls because they would considered areas that don't exhibit a cohesive streetscape character, or are where character has been compromised.
Basically, protection would become smaller and more targeted to enable denser development within the broader character area.
Building heights outside of the sub-area could be between four and six storeys.
Mayor Andy Foster said the divided result showed the complexity of resolving Wellington's housing crisis.
"We heard repeatedly that increasing housing supply and affordability should be a priority, along with caring for the built and natural environments," he said.
"We also received feedback relating to the intrinsic value people placed on pre-1930s character, the priority placed on more affordable homes close to public transport and key services and the need for infrastructure upgrades."
Wellington City Councillor Rebecca Matthews said the city was going to have to change to address the housing crisis, and also to comply with government regulations.
"I would really like us to take the bull by the horns and try to address these issues as quickly as we can," she said.
"Every month things like the Wellington housing crisis are getting worse, rents are going up, we hear about more and more people living in terrible conditions, they're having to move further and further away."
She said the plan would have protections in place for older homes and heritage buildings, but some older buildings may need to be removed.
"For a lot of renters they see those homes as really poor quality, we get a lot of complaints from people who have health issues about cold, damp, mouldy homes.
"We might lose a few old houses along the way but there's so much more to be gained."
Wellington's character depended on people having access to affordable housing, she said.
"The things people have always liked about Wellington is the artiness of the city, the people that live there, the diversity of the population.
"If we don't do something about our housing situation, we're going to lose that colourful character that we really like about Wellington."
The spatial plan will be finalised by council in June, and will help inform the District Plan, detailing rules for development.