Porirua Growth Strategy 2053

Our growth strategy informs, guides and influences the distribution of people, activities and spaces within our growing and changing city.

Our growth strategy

The original Porirua Growth Strategy 2048 was developed in 2018 to provide a long-term vision for the future of Porirua and the principles that will guide our growth. We won’t achieve it overnight. It is a long-term strategy and we will need to review it from time to time to ensure it is fit for purpose.

A lot has changed since 2018, but Council’s long-term aspirations for the city remain the same and the growth principles that we previously agreed with our community remain relevant. The refreshed Growth Strategy 2053 isn’t about starting from scratch but preparing for the next phase of achieving our aspirations for Porirua. The purpose of this second-generation strategy is to connect the principles with meaningful action on how they can be realised.

Council can’t deliver on the Growth Strategy on its own. We will need to work with central government, Ngāti Toa, developers, and the community. The strategy recognises the work Council and our partners are currently doing to enable growth in Porirua.


Porirua City is changing quickly and we want to make sure we’re able to influence how it changes and grows so that it’s an even better place to live, work and raise a family in the future.

There’s lots to think about when it comes to planning for growth and we need to work with many different groups to deliver it. That’s why it’s important to clarify what we want the future of Porirua to be and how we plan to get there.

In looking forward and planning the kind of city we want to have in the future, it's also important for us to look back and see how Porirua developed in the first place.

Four Phases of Growth
Prior to the Growth Strategy 2048, the most recent framework for city development was adopted in 2008 and we decided that it was time to take another look at how we will change and where we will grow, to make sure the city benefits as much as possible from all that’s happening here. 

Porirua has evolved through four phases of growth.  In looking forward and planning the kind of city we want to have in the future, it's been important for us to look back and see how Porirua developed in the first place.

Phase 1: Coastal Communities - The first settlements were Papakainga, Pa and whaling settlements  such as Takapuwahia, Hongoeka, Pāuatahanui and Mana Island, that relied on water-based transport. 

Phase 2: Railway Settlements - Settlements such as Plimmerton, Mana and Pukerua Bay grew up along the Wellington to Manawatu railway line.

Phase 3: Ministry of Works Building - Areas such as Titahi Bay, Earlsdon and Eastern Porirua grew up as a result of city centre reclamation, state housing development, and large-scale land shaping and road building.

Phase 4: Traditional Suburb Development - Areas like Whitby, Papakōwhai, Camborne and Aotea sprung up through private, low density garden-suburb development.

Our City is now entering a new fifth phase: More housing choices with greater density. We need to regenerate older areas of Porirua, such as Eastern Porirua and the City Centre, while increasing density in more recently developed parts of the city, such as Keneperu Landing.

Your role in helping to shape our city

You have already played an important role in helping to shape our Growth Strategy. Through the Long Term Plan and District Plan processes you told us what your priorities are for our future, and they have helped to shape the key themes that will shape our strategy.

You said:

  • More compact 
  • Protect the harbour
  • Make it easier to bike and walk
  • Resilient
  • Children and young people matter
  • Diverse and unique communities
  • Affordable housing choices
  • We want to grow

One of the main purposes of the Growth Strategy 2048 was to inform the new District Plan by providing a picture of what the city might eventually look like and show where people might live, work and play. Since 2018, Council has made significant progress on the Proposed District Plan (PDP). The proposed plan was notified in August 2020. Following the direction of central government, a variation was made in 2022 to enable medium density (3-story) houses in all residential areas and identify areas where high density (taller than 3-story) buildings can be built.

This work has provided a foundation for addressing our city’s future housing needs by re-zoning land, creating higher density opportunities and ensuring that we have enough developable land available for decades to come. The PDP also enables and encourages the recent trend of increased acceptance of higher density housing. The plan enables the intensification of urban areas which means that more houses can be built. The plan also encourages greater environmental protection and natural hazard avoidance, building upon our growth principles around the harbour and resilience.

The original Growth Strategy 2048 was developed with input from stakeholders, community members and partners to test the spatial framework and principles in our draft strategy. We built on the feedback we’d already had through the Long-term Plan, consultations, informal feedback, as well as through our Village Planning programmes. Of particular importance to the community was the health of the harbour and the need for inclusive and diverse housing options. You can read our full engagement report here.

Since 2018 the feedback we have received from the communty through various engagements and consultations, including the 2021 Long-term Plan and Proposed District Plan, have reiterated that housing and the harbour remain priorities for the community. The refreshed Growth Strategy 2053 retains the key focus areas of the 2018 strategy, but has been updated to consider the changes since 2018 and prepare Council for the next steps in growth.

The Growth Strategy 2053 will be delivered through various pieces of work, some led by Porirua City Council and some led by others with support from Council. The Strategy identifies the work Council is currently doing, or plans on doing, that will deliver on the Strategy in the Initiatives to make it happen sections under each Principle.

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