About the District Plan Review


Every 10 years, Council has to review our District Plan for the Waimakariri – this doesn’t mean starting a new District Plan from scratch – but it provides an opportunity to reconsider the current District Plan and update this in line with any regulations and the Resource Management Act (RMA) 1991.

Essentially the planning rulebook, the District Plan is a statutory document that provides the rules for how people can build on or develop land, whether it is residential, commercial or rural. Its main goal is to sustainably manage the District’s natural and physical resources to meet the needs of current and future generations.

Our reviewed District Plan won't be the same as the old one because essential changes need to occur in order for us to meet statutory requirements such as the National Planning Standards and respond to the District Plan Effectiveness Review and feedback received through Issues and Options and District Development Strategy (DDS) consultations.

The reviewed District Plan will be ‘activity’ based and provide clarity about what can and cannot be done, in our District, and where, offering clearer guidance to the Council and community.

When the reviewed District Plan is formally notified in mid-2020, the District Plan Review submission process is your detailed and statutory opportunity to submit your view that will help our wider community grow and thrive. Before we get to 2020, we would like you to help us shape the reviewed District Plan. We are eager to hear from you now to help us respond to important matters which will feed into drafting of the reviewed District Plan.

Have your say.

Feedback should reach us by 5pm, Monday 6 May.

Approach for the proposed District Plan

The new District Plan will have an activities-based approach to provide greater certainty about a range of activities and their effects.

Two key outcomes are to ensure it meets the community’s needs and is up-to-date with current legislation. The new District Plan also needs to be:

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 chart on the right.

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.

Issues and Options

The main issues identified through the District Plan Effectiveness Review will contribute to the drafting of the new District Plan. Other more detailed or technical findings will also be used to inform drafting as part of Stage 3 of the Plan preparation process.

The following discussion documents were prepared for public consultation which include findings from both the District Plan Effectiveness Review and the District Development Strategy:

Where to from here?

Timeline of the District Plan Review pdf, 75.6 KB

The feedback you provide during this consultation will provide valuable strategic direction for the District Plan Review and the reviewed District Plan chapters.