About Rural Residential Development

Waimakariri District is a special place to live and it is important to make provisions for its growth, including rural residential growth, in the future.

Because this growth needs to be carefully planned for and managed, Council has prepared a draft Rural Residential Development Strategy (RRDS). The shortlisted locations are Swannanoa, Oxford and Ashley/Loburn – primary areas, and Ohoka and Gressons Road (north of Woodend) – secondary areas. The primary areas represent preferred development locations due to a number of strengths, while the secondary areas generally face greater constraints.

You can let us know your thoughts on the draft Strategy by:

  • Filling in a feedback form online
  • Posting a completed hard copy feedback form, available at all service centres and libraries, or letter to:

    Rural Residential Development Strategy
    Waimakariri District Council
    Freepost 1667
    Private Bag 1005
    Rangiora 7440

  • Emailing us at: records@wmk.govt.nz
  • Dropping off a feedback form or a letter with your thoughts and ideas to any District library or Service Centre
  • Bringing your completed feedback form to one of our Rural Residential Development consultation drop-in sessions.

Drop-in sessions:

5-7pm, Monday 18 March 2019, at Loburn Domain Pavilion, 154 Loburn-Whiterock Road, Loburn

5-7pm, Tuesday 19 March 2019, at Ohoka Domain Pavilion, 493C Mill Road, Ohoka

5-7pm, Monday 25 March 2019, at the A&P Room of the Oxford Town Hall, 30 Main Street, Oxford

5-7pm, Tuesday 26 March 2019, at Room A Woodend Community Centre, 6A School Road Woodend

5-7pm, Thursday 28 March 2019, at Rangiora Town Hall, 303 High Street, Rangiora

Please provide your feedback no later than
5pm, Friday 5 April 2019.


The Rural Residential Development Strategy provides an opportunity to review the original Rural Residential Development Plan (RRDP) adopted by Council in 2010 and will direct which already established rural residential areas of the Waimakariri District should be extended for more rural residential growth.

A process of selection, evaluating the strengths and constraints of a number of locations, as well as expert advice, technical information and a recent survey of Residential 4 Zones and San Dona Olive Grove households, have resulted in a shortlist of potential locations for further development.

The growth areas, and associated growth directions within those areas, are currently only indicative.  There are no confirmed changes at this stage, and there is plenty of time for you to have your say before anything we have proposed is finalised.

A number of background documents and expert reports helped inform the draft Waimakariri Rural Residential Development Strategy, which can be found on the project webpage

Will the Rural District Development Strategy rezone land for rural residential?

The final Strategy will not rezone land. The purpose of the Rural Residential Development Strategy is to determine indicative directions for rural residential growth. While this draft Strategy proposes a number of growth directions, the final Strategy will provide a more refined number of indicative growth areas informed by the draft Strategy process, comments received during public consultation, and any further expert advice received.

The most suitable method of implementation via the Proposed Waimakariri District Plan will be determined when it is clear to what extent the landowners within the identified growth areas are interested in developing their land.

There is an option that the Proposed Waimakariri District Plan applies a ‘Rural Residential Growth Area Overlay’ (or similar) which indicates that the area is identified for rural residential development and subsequent rezoning. This would be accompanied by District Plan provisions to enable this approach. Options will be outlined as part of the notification of the Proposed Waimakariri District Plan. Upon notification of the Proposed Waimakariri District Plan, landowners interested in developing their land have the opportunity to submit on the Proposed Waimakariri District Plan, requesting that the land be rezoned rural residential.

The Rural Residential Development Strategy site selection process involved determination of constraints at a relatively high level. Therefore, landowners interested in having their land rezoned would need to provide more detailed assessments to support their submission (or as part of a separate private plan change application) that demonstrate their land is suitable for rezoning for rural residential use. These investigations typically address flood hazard; stormwater, water and wastewater servicing; transportation; geotechnical; and soil contamination. Council has a regulatory role to review such investigations with a high level of scrutiny. District Plan Review decision makers (or in the case of a private plan change application, the decision makers assigned to that private plan change) will then decide, based on the evidence provided, whether the land should be rezoned for rural residential use.

Where to from here?

The Council understands and respects how important your home and area are to you and values your opinion on the proposed areas for rural residential development, so be sure to have your say during the consultation.

Following the receipt of your comments, and taking into consideration any further expert advice, a final Rural Residential Development Strategy will be presented to Council for adoption in mid-2019. The Waimakariri District Plan Review process will then be the vehicle through which the final Strategy will be implemented.