District Plan Review

The Waimakariri District Council is reviewing its District Plan through a comprehensive process that will ensure all sections of the Plan and maps are reviewed.  This process will build on the previous ‘rolling review’ of the Plan, but aims to have the plan review completed in a shorter timeframe, and enable a review of the structure of the plan as well.  Electronic forms of the current District Plan and the new Plan will be made available on the Council’s website to make it easier and quicker to use the District Plan.

The Resource Management Act 1991 requires that Councils review their District Plans at least every ten years.  Although parts of the current Plan have been reviewed, there are many sections that are now more than ten years old and need to be reviewed.   Plan reviews make sure that the Plan is up to date, provide outcomes that suit the community and meet the requirements of the Act.

The Council have confirmed that the Proposed District Plan will have an activities-based approach to provide greater certainty and will be guided by the following terms of reference:

  • Effectively and efficiently implements legislation, higher order policies, plans and strategies;
    • Including but not limited to:
      • Our District, Our Future Waimakariri 2048
      • Greater Christchurch Urban Development Strategy Review
      • Others
  • is consistent with other strategic Council policies;
  • is easy to use and understand with  clear, concise language, structure and format;
  • provides sufficient certainty for the community through clear policy direction and rules and incorporation of  activities-based provisions;
  • ensures sufficient flexibility is provided in the plan structure and provisions to enable response to emerging issues and amendments to the RMA;
  • is available in both electronic and printed formats;
  • considers consistency with other district plans, in particular those of Christchurch City, Selwyn District, and Hurunui District; and
  • provides consistency with legislation, such as National Policy Statements, proposed amendments to the RMA, higher order policies such as the Canterbury Regional Policy Statement and takes into account the Mahaanui Iwi Management Plan
  • achieves the purpose of the RMA and ‘best practice’ planning outcomes that are supported by robust technical evidence.

Does the Review Affect Me?

The District Plan controls the use of land, new development and subdivison to achieve sustainable management of the District’s resources.  If you live or work in the District or own land here, the District Plan may control activities that you want to do such as building or running a business, and the effects that activities can generate, such as noise and lighting. The Plan also controls what can happen in the area around you. 

What Stage is the District Plan Review at Now?


Stage One is nearing completion, and preparation for stage two has been commenced.  Council have reviewed the effectiveness of the current District Plan and have identified a range of issues, including some that require consultation with the community and assessment.  

Council is also developing a District Development Strategy to provide high level guidance for the management of growth over the next 30 years. This is due to be completed later in 2017, and will also inform the strategic direction of the District Plan. 


How Can I participate?

The District Plan Review will give you opportunities to let us know what you think about the land management issues that are important in Waimakariri District, to help us address these matters for the future. 

There will be opportunities to be involved at an early stage in the review, to discuss issues and possible options before the new Plan is written, with another opportunity to comment on the Proposed Plan before it is formally notified.  After the Plan is notified, more formal participation through submissions and hearings, and possibly appeals, will also be available. 

Later on, more information will be provided about the ways in which you can find information, stay up to date, and have your say.

If you have any questions on the District Plan Review, please contact the Development Planning Unit at developmentplanning@wmk.govt.nz or call 0800 965 468 (0800 WMK GOV).

District Plan Effectiveness Review

As part of the District Plan Review, the effectiveness of the current plan over its ‘life’ has been reviewed.  Review of district plans is required under sections 31 and 35 of the Resource Management Act 1991 and provides information on how the plan has been working in practice.

The current District Plan was declared Operative on 3 November 2005.  Over the time it has been operative a number of private and Council led plan changes have been made, following the requirements for consultation, reporting and decision making that are set out in the First Schedule of the Resource Management Act 1991, or as required by the Land Use Recovery Plan 2013.  There have also been substantial changes to legislation and other policies and strategies that influence district planning since 2005.

A summary of how the plan was reviewed, and the matters that were considered is shown in the following chart:


Some key findings for a range of topics have been identified in eight District Plan Effectiveness summary documents: 

  1. Strategic Framework (pdf, 1.2 MB)
  2. Business Environments (pdf, 2.9 MB)
  3. Rural Environment (pdf, 3.0 MB)
  4. Residential Environments (pdf, 1.8 MB)
  5. Social and Cultural (pdf, 1.4 MB)
  6. Natural Environments (pdf, 1.3 MB)
  7. Infrastructure, Utilities and Transport (pdf, 4.7 MB)
  8. District Wide (pdf, 2.9 MB)

More detailed information on the findings from the District Plan Effectiveness Review and the background to the process, can be found in the to the Technical Advisory Group memorandum, 30 January 2017.

What next?

The main issues identified through the District Plan Effectiveness Review will be discussed with the community before drafting of the new district plan begins.  Other more detailed or technical findings from the Review will be used to inform the drafting of the new Plan. 

Discussion documents are being prepared for public consultation which include findings from both the District Plan Effectiveness Review and the District Development Strategy. It is anticipated that District Plan Review consultation will begin in late August and will run for around 6 weeks to give time to consider and comment on the range of topics being reviewed.