District Plan review - Introduction

What is a District Plan? 

The District Plan tells us what we can and can’t do with our land. It makes rules about where we can subdivide, what activities we can do and where we can do them. It also controls things like nuisance – so that the places we live in are comfortable and safe. Every 10 years, we have the opportunity to shape the future of our communities and our rural environment by reviewing the District Plan.

Our new District Plan will manage the use of land in Waitomo District by setting out a policy framework and rules to achieve the sustainable management of natural and physical resources. 

Why review the District Plan?

The Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) requires Council to have a District Plan in place at all times and to review it every 10 years. Our District Plan was made operative in 2009 but many of its provisions are already outdated.

The government requires us to address a lot of things to keep our communities safe, like natural hazards and contaminated land. Our current District Plan does a reasonable job of this, but there is always room for improvement. The government also asks us to look after our environment - our beautiful coastline, stunning indigenous forest areas, outstanding landscapes and sites of cultural heritage. In this District Plan review, Council has a lot of work to do to properly address both the legal requirements and the community aspirations in these areas.

The review will take several years to complete – we hope to notify a new District Plan for submissions in late 2019.   

How long will the review take?

Reviewing a District Plan is a major undertaking and investment. A comprehensive review involves a lot of research and can be a complicated and time consuming process. We will be seeking substantial input from stakeholders, iwi and our communities throughout this process.  The timeframe for achieving a fully operative District Plan depends a lot on the number of submissions we receive and the subsequent appeals. Our best guess is that the new District Plan will be fully in place by 2021. 

The District Plan has a major role in shaping the future of our communities and greatly affects what you can and cannot do with your land. During the review process there will be opportunities for you to provide input into the process. For example:

  • A number of our towns will have specific structure planning and concept planning processes undertaken. These communities will be invited to open days and workshops to help shape their future.
  • Many of our landowners may find that their properties are subject to new rules where a landscape overlay, hazard line, heritage item or area of significant indigenous biodiversity is applied. These landowners will be invited to discuss with us the potential impacts of the new rules.
  • We will be working with the Regional Marae Committees, Customary Marine Title Groups and Iwi Authorities to ensure that the voice of mana whenua is appropriately heard and accounted for. 

In the meantime if you want to let us know about something that affects your land, your community or the wider district then please do get in ​touc​h​​​. 

Have your say

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​How do I get involved in the District Plan review?

During the review process there will be different opportunities for input but in the meantime if you want to let us know about something that affects your land, your community or the wider district then please call us on 0800 932 4357 or use the feedback form​.

District Plan review - Introduction