||Historically New Zealand’s urban housing market has been dominated by owner occupied, detached dwellings built on relatively large sites. This form of housing development has however, become highly problematic in Auckland, New Zealand’s major city. Over the last few decades Auckland’s population growth, fuelled by both immigration and natural increase, has risen dramatically to more than 1 million people. Housing this population growth has been met largely by outward expansion. The new suburbs thus formed have been generally serviced by motorway construction, with only meagre new public transport services set in place. However, as Auckland’s population grew, and urban sprawl came to be perceived as a major traffic and environmental problem, so too concerns became increasingly evident over environmental sustainability, inadequate or failing infrastructural provision, and the need to provide a wider mix of housing options. In 1998 a regional growth strategy was drafted, advocating regional urban containment, to be matched by urban intensification policies at the local council level. The strategy contains several key elements: the consolidation of the existing metropolitan area (called Auckland but actually made up of four independent cities, Auckland City, North Shore City, Manukau City and Waitakere City) within which 70 percent of new housing construction would take place; location of new housing developments around proposed or already existing town centres and major public transport routes; and a significant increase in multi-unit, medium density housing. The growth strategy envisages that in time between 25-30 percent of Auckland’s population would live in this type of housing. Given that medium density housing is a decidedly new way of living for the vast majority of New Zealanders, and one quite outside the common New Zealand experience, it is not surprising that medium density housing has become a recent hot topic for public debate. This paper reports on case study research into medium density housing and discusses the effectiveness of current local strategies in addressing issues of intensification and sustainability.