The land development process in New Zealand is criticised for causing delays in the delivery of adequate housing. These delays upset the demand and supply equilibrium, leading to housing shortages, expensive builds and rentals. This study investigates the challenges in land development, to ascertain the factors that are limiting its efficiency as a major catalyst to housing provision. An understanding of the complexities of the development process could enable the suggestion of feasible solutions for achieving housing goals. A two-stage process was adopted to achieve this study objective. In stage one, a critical review of relevant literature helped to identify 48 measurement items. Those items were included in a questionnaire survey in the second stage, to gather data from stakeholders involved in land development process in New Zealand. Using relative importance index (RII) method, nine significant challenges were identified, which were then categorised and discussed in accordance with the construction stakeholder groups that are responsible for creating those challenges. The nine major challenges are: delay in reviews and approval of documents; scope change; lengthy consent application processes; late response to queries by regulatory authorities; poor interaction between regulatory authorities; poor coordination within regulatory authorities; poor planning and scheduling; design errors and slow progress during design development. Findings of this study highlight the need for the development of proper workplan for consent processing, reasonable factoring of the risks associated with scope changes in the land development process, and the enhancement of project management skills of land development contractors.