Access to food essential to better urban planning

04 Oct 2016

 Urban Sprawl

We need to be able to feed our families and put a roof over their heads.  So there has to be a balance between urban planning and making sure the 5% of New Zealand land that is good for horticulture is protected. Having access to staples of the New Zealand food basket, such as carrots, potatoes, onions and leafy greens, must be a consideration on the table in urban planning.  This is why Horticulture New Zealand made a submission on the Productivity Commission’s draft report Better Urban Planning.

This draft report suggests different ways of delivering urban planning in New Zealand to meet changing demands.

Areas where Horticulture New Zealand has concerns in the draft report include: regulating the built environment to consider effects on rural zoned land; the ability for industry groups, such as Horticulture New Zealand, to participate in the planning process; and the ability for each council in New Zealand to approach planning issues on the same basis. There is a balance that needs to be found in streamlining and cutting red tape for urban development and ensuring that councils meet community needs, such as the ability to eat domestically grown fruit and vegetables.

Overall, Horticulture New Zealand agrees with approach of the Productivity Commission, but having land to grow fruit and vegetables is critical to horticulture’s ongoing growth and our ability to feed New Zealand, so the submission process is a valuable one.

Mike Chapman, CEO