May 29 2024

As part of the Nelson Tasman Climate Action Festival 2024, Timo Neubauer’s webinar gave a brief overview of international research that relates GHG emissions to urban form and what that means for our region.

Timo looked into how our Councils’ town planning activities are currently disconnected from their carbon targets and finished with some recommendations for a better way forward.

May 08 2024

Timo Neubauer advocated for long-term investment efficiency, linking fiscal health with settlement patterns and TDC’s planning decisions.
He explained the inefficiencies of urban sprawl and urged an investment focus on existing urban areas.
He suggested higher development contributions and targeted rates for new greenfield developments to reflect their real cost to the community.

Apr 08 2024

We were busy supporting Make/Shift Space’s “What If Whakatu Nelson…?” project.

William Samuels presented recommendations for the most promising revitalisation ideas at the City Revitalisation Summit:

– a market hall
– fish market
– public arts initiatives
– a youth hub
– public realm enhancements (pocket parks, street trees, green walls)

Dec 12 2023

We arranged for Kainga Ora’s Principal Urban Designer Geroge Weeks to speak to Nelson City and Tasman District Councils as well as presenting at “What If Whakatu Nelson…?

George “Unpicked Mythical Europe“: We are told that “Kiwis love their cars; public transport is in European DNA” and that transport preferences are somehow genetically determined.

The reality is different; people are people.


Nov 20 2023

William Samuels discusses what we value when we think about ‘home,’ and the design opportunities available when we recalibrate our expectations. 

Exploring projects undertaken in Melbourne and New Zealand, as well as a broader reflection on the role of advocacy in the architectural profession, this talk reflects on ways that we can contribute towards more liveable, sustainable, and vibrant homes and cities.

Nov 16 2023

Magdalena Garbarczyk and Timo Neubauer talked to a full house of interested Nelsonians about transforming Nelson’s ‘unhealthy doughnut’ with a hollow centre into a ‘nice bun’.

We elaborated on the work we do as a think tank of built environment professionals and our vision for a vibrant and liveable Nelson Tasman region with a minimal environmental footprint.

Download our presentation slideshow (10MB) HERE.

Oct 30 2023

NelsonTasman2050 supports the intention of PC29 to encourage housing intensification in Nelson. However, we are not in favour of the blanket planning rules that are proposed to implement medium and higher density intensification.

The current liberal approach of PC29 leaves the resulting built environment outcomes too much to chance. It is highly likely that the uncoordinated urban form will be (…)

Aug 16 2023

Magdalena Garbarczyk, William Samuels, and Jan Heijs from NelsonTasman2050 presented at an event in Māpua organised by the group ‘Local Matters’.
We presented initiatives and innovative design approaches that better respond to the region’s environmental and social needs. We also discussed the pressures placed on the overburdened housing sector and explored ways that build more sustainably, affordably and for our local communities.

Jun 02 2023

Magdalena Garbarczyk, together with Damaris Kingdon, Katie Pascoe, Annie Pokel and Lucy-Mary Mulholland, presented a webinar in a Climate Action Week event that was co-created with the Nelson Tasman Climate Forum.

“Urban Regeneration: Creating Thriving Urban Communities” explained how the transformative power of urban regeneration can shape the future of the Nelson Tasman region.

May 18/19 2023

Under the conference theme ‘Growing Pains’, William Samuels spoke as a panellist together with Alan Gray and Richard Brudvik Linder on the topic of ‘How do we retain the identity of place’ – a timely topic and an issue not just for our region but for towns and cities throughout the country.

Hopefully this is the beginning of more conversations about how we can collectively work towards positive changes to our urban environments.

March 09 2023

Our presentation to TDC’s Strategy and Policy Committee introduces NelsonTasman2050 to the committee and highlights our aims and suggested actions.

This presentation focusses on the importance of enabling well-designed intensification to ensure the enduring enjoyment of our region.

Download our presentation slideshow (4.5MB) HERE.

Nelson Tasman Future Development Strategy

Letter to the Parliamentary Commissioner for the ENvironment

March 07 2023

Dear Mr. Upton,

1. We request that you urgently investigate the adequacy of Aotearoa New Zealand’s planning framework in relation to the climate crisis, and that you report your results to the House of Representatives (…)


Nelson Tasman Future Development Strategy

Letter to the Minister for the Environment

February 28 2023

Dear Minister,

1. We consider that the adoption by a Joint Committee of the Nelson City Council (NCC) and Tasman District Council (TDC) on 29 August 2022 of the Nelson Tasman Future Development Strategy 2022-2052 (FDS) fails to meet climate and energy future obligations, including (…)

December 19 2022

Thank you very much for inviting our feedback in relation to the draft Tasman
Environment Plan (TEP).

We acknowledge the immense work that is going into the plan review and only comment on some aspects of ‘Managing Tasman’s Environment and Development’ and ‘Tasman’s towns and villages’ in line with our mission statement: “We strive to enable quality regenerative developments (…)

September 27 2022

We applaud Tasman District Council’s (TDC) decision to put individual Growth Plan Changes for Mapua on hold and instead to pursue a structure planning process to achieve coordinated, cohesive outcomes for the community and Mapua’s built environment.

We appreciate the opportunity to inject our view and professional opinion into this process (…)

Local Government Elections

Candidates Questions & Answers

September 17 2022

Want to know where your local candidates stand on issues relating to housing, urban development and
our built environment?

We have reached out to the people running in the Nelson and Tasman local body elections to get their thoughts, opinions and policy positions on these (…)


Housing Plan Change Nelson City Council

Alternative Medium Density Standards

August 16 2022

We applaud Nelson City Council’s (NCC) commitment to creating a revitalisation
framework for Nelson’s built environment. We really appreciate the work that has
gone into this.

We respond to the Memo regarding the Housing Plan Change addressed to the Environment (…)

Housing Plan Change Nelson City Council

Alternative Medium Density Standards

July 27 2022

In addition to our proposed Alternative Medium Density Standards (aMDS), circulated on 18 May 2022, Nelson City Council (NCC) requested further information around challenges regarding:

1 Multiple land ownership/fragmented land

We strongly support the objectives of this parking strategy, which aim to prioritise active transport over private vehicle transport – a change in philosophy that is urgently needed, not only because it is mandated by the GPS-LP, but also to create a more attractive and more liveable city.

The parking strategy is obviously only one strategy (…)

Mapua Action Group

Presentation to the Community of mapua

Jul 04 2022

We explain our concerns about the current development approach and its implications on Mapua. We then highlight what well managed village growth might look like and indicate what the community of Mapua can do to promote a better future.

Download our presentation slideshow HERE

Nelson Tasman Future DEvelopment Strategy

CONCERNS ABOUT Summary Report Deliberations Hearings

30 May 2022

We write to express our serious concerns about the nature of the Summary Report (the Report) regarding the Nelson Tasman Future Development Strategy 2022-52 (FDS), compiled to inform Councillors for their Deliberation Hearings starting 31 May 2022. (…)

Urban development agency

Presentation to Nelson City Council

Jun 28 2022

This submission requests that council undertake a study to explore the feasibility of establishing a joint Nelson Tasman Urban Development Agency to actively address the housing and urban regeneration needs within our region (…)

Download our submission HERE.

Housing Plan Change Nelson City Council

Alternative Medium Density Standards

May 18 2022

We propose alternative Medium Density Standards that enable quality intensification through the incremental creation of perimeter blocks instead of unplanned infill development.

The recently passed Resource Management (and other Matters) Amendment Act (the Act) aims to shore up (…)

Nelson Tasman Future DEvelopment Strategy

our Public submission to the hearing Commission

Apr 28 2022

This is the recording of our presentation to the hearing panel regarding the Future Development Strategy 2022-52.
Download our presentation slideshow HERE.

The Reimagining Richmond South project is based on a number of flawed assumptions regarding future growth predictions, future land demand for housing and business and a fundamental misunderstanding of property
economic principles when it comes to intensification.
We believe that it is preferable for TDC (and NCC) to (…)

The draft Future Development Strategy 2022-2052 (FDS) has a singular focus on growth. It pays lip service to GHG reduction, consolidation objectives and the creation of well-functioning urban environments, but the underlying development
strategy is not fit to deliver these goals. The spatial strategy is communicated as a (…)

We request that the Growth Plan Change is withdrawn for the reasons set out below

There is a known shortage of employment in Māpua. Existing commuting patterns would be exacerbated: more cars on the road, travelling long journeys.

Even the attempt to serve (…)

We are concerned about the proposed strategy and would like to help those who share our concerns make their views known to Nelson City Council and Tasman District Council.

The content of the FDS and the associated implications are quite complex, so we have put together this (…)

Dec 05 2021

It appears that staff at the highest level of TDC’s planning team are not approaching the Richmond South project and/or Future Development Strategy with an unbiased and open mind. I am concerned this does not meet the decision-making obligations on TDC. Whilst we are (…)

I write to raise my concerns regarding the recently-announced structure
planning process for Richmond South.

It appears that Tasman District Council (TDC) is rushing this project through as a
knee-jerk reaction to an (…)