News & Events

Value of building consents in Palmerston North is highest on record

Thursday May 7 2020

With the construction industry now picking up their tools under alert level 3, Palmerston North is expecting a flurry of activity due to a record value of building consents lodged in March.

The value of the applications received in March was $95 million, which we believe to be the highest value we have received in one month. Applications lodged during April had a value of a further $41 million.

"The value of the consents lodged in the last couple of months adds to the confidence that Palmerston North is in a good place for economic recovery following the Covid-19 lockdown," says Palmerston North Mayor Grant Smith.

"They reflect businesses and individuals making a considerable investment in our city. These will sit alongside the city's shovel-ready projects that align with regional development, and government-funded key projects such as the regional freight ring road and KiwiRail's central North Island freight hub.

The new consent applications followed a record month in February when the Council approved consents with a value of $46.7 million, the highest amount we have approved in one month.

"We knew the city was on a positive economic trajectory before Covid-19, as building and construction projects create and support employment and economic activity. The value of these multi-million-dollar projects seeking consent and ready to get underway reassures us that the city's recovery should be fast and able to support the region's recovery.

"As well as these significant projects, it is encouraging to see three other smaller multi-unit housing consents amongst the applicants. This type of development is well-needed in the city and will hopefully encourage other developers to develop housing models that meet the market's demand."

The most significant contributor to the consents is the new Countdown distribution centre. Other larger consents include the second stage of Council’s social housing development at Papaioea Place, two blocks of apartments in the Wallace development between Pioneer Highway and Church Street, and 14 duplex villas at the BUPA retirement village on Napier Road.

Some of the larger projects are already underway, with site preparation started – such as the Wallace Corp apartment development. These are more advanced than the shovel-ready projects put forward by Council.

Council's building consents team has been working throughout the Covid-19 lockdown to approve the consents.

"It's great to know Council staff quickly responded to working remotely and were able to keep working during the level-4 lockdown period, which has kept the momentum going in the construction sector. Now we are in alert level 3, our building inspection team is carrying out site visits while meeting health and safety requirements."


Value of consents lodged 2020

Value of consents approved 2020

Value of consents approved 2019

January $14m $15m $14.9m
February $23m $46.7m $17.1m
March $95m $23.7m $11.8m
April $41m $17m $21m
  1. The March report doesn't include Kāinga Ora/Housing New Zealand consents for new houses because it is now processing its consents, so they are not recorded in our system. We have asked Statistics New Zealand to include them in the consent statistics it publishes for the city.
  2. The current highest value of building consents lodged in one year was $299m in the year ending December 2018.