Our District

The District Plan Review is a collaboration between Council and Community. By providing us with your feedback, you can help shape the future of the reviewed District Plan.

It's important that you read about each topic and the key issues we're considering before you submit the survey. This will ensure you're well prepared to answer the questions.

We want to make this as easy as possible and recommend you use the yes or no option provided before each section. This will enable you to skip the questions you're not interested in answering.

Please provide your feedback no later than
5pm, Monday 6 May 2019.

Strategic Direction

What’s the Big Picture for Waimakariri District?

The role of this chapter is to set out key objectives for the overall patterns of land use across the District, such as where our
commercial and rural residential areas are located. It will direct the objectives and policies in the rest of the District Plan.

A Number of Plans and Strategies Inform the Strategic Directions Chapter Including:

  • National Policy Statements - these are issued by the Government to provide direction to local Councils about matters of national significance. They help to meet the purposes of the RMA
  • The Canterbury Regional Policy Statement (CRPS) - this provides an overview of the resource management issues in the Canterbury region, as well as the objectives, policies and methods. The purpose is to achieve integrated management of natural and physical resources
  • The Waimakariri District Development Strategy - this strategy guides the ongoing process of ensuring that growth management, within the Waimakariri and Greater Christchurch context, is current and forward-looking

We are Considering Strategic Objectives for the Following Topics and Issues:

  • Managing urban growth by providing enough land, or other opportunities - including providing for higher-density development areas - to meet growth demands for housing and business
  • Planned infrastructure provision, integrated with urban growth, and with its ongoing use and function protected
  • Recognising and providing for Ngāi Tūāhuriri’s historic and contemporary connection to the land as well as cultural and spiritual values
  • Helping to achieve a prosperous economy by enabling a wide range of business activities
  • Maintaining and enhancing existing town centres as the primary focus for retail, office and other commercial activity
  • Providing for the highest density of business and residential development in and around town centres
  • Providing for attractive and accessible recreational, social and cultural facilities and spaces
  • Recognising and protecting important natural areas, landscape values, and indigenous biodiversity areas
  • Managing rural areas and small settlements to maintain their character and productive potential
  • Addressing natural hazards to protect life and property, and addressing effects of climate change

Relevant Information:

waimakariri.govt.nz/districtdevelopment

Community Values

This section will cover two subtopics: Heritage Sites & Areas and Protected Trees

Heritage Sites and Areas

As the District changes over time, identifying significant and clear links with the past contributes to and adds a sense of identity. Historic heritage resources are valued for their quality and ability to create a sense of place and community. These values are directly related to the Significance Criteria set out in the Canterbury Regional Policy Statement 2013 (CRPS).

Key Issues:

  • Recognising and correctly identifying Historic Heritage so it can be protected
  • Heritage buildings, in particular, need economic uses which may require adaptation. There is an ongoing need to achieve a balance between protection and development
  • Maintenance of Historic Heritage features must be encouraged and enabled
  • In the wider approach to Historic Heritage, considering private property rights is a must
  • Introducing rules that are overly restrictive is counter-productive to the sustainable management of Historic Heritage
  • Finite resources need to be durable; heritage buildings and sites are often fragile and irreplaceable. The value of heritage features in their original place is far higher than when they are relocated, and the setting of these features provides context
  • A current Inventory of Historic Heritage is important. This list of features is not fixed, in that it can be increased or decreased. It may also accommodate changes to the level of an item’s significance.

What We’re Thinking:

  • The List of Historic Heritage – heritage buildings and sites - is being updated using the criteria specified in the Regional Policy Statement (CRPS). The Canterbury Earthquakes destroyed a number of heritage buildings meaning those remaining are even more important
  • Adding “heritage settings” (i.e., the surroundings of a building) into the List of Historic Heritage as they are often inseparable.

Protected Trees

Trees have environmental qualities, including amenity value and character. In addition to any specific historical or broader community importance they have, Protected Trees provide colour, form and focal points to most urban environments.

In this way, Protected Trees are often important elements in enhancing streetscapes as they provide relief in areas where buildings are dominant. They contribute to the setting of Historic Heritage and new areas of development or land use.

Beyond their aesthetic benefits, they have ecological qualities outside of forested areas, such as providing bird habitats, enabling soil stabilisation and offering wind protection and shade.

The loss of Protected Trees is irreversible, particularly those that have rarity, historical or community value.

Key Issues:

  • The removal or modification of Protected Trees impacts on the character, amenity and environmental qualities of urban and rural areas and the District’s natural and cultural heritage
  • Damage caused by inappropriate pruning, maintenance, and works within the driplines of Protected Trees can adversely affect their health and structural integrity. This damage can result in the loss of environmental and amenity values to the immediate neighbourhood and the District.

What We’re Thinking:

  • Reviewing and updating the Inventory of Protected Trees because trees have been removed or modified since the last inventory
  • Considering new tree entries on the inventory
  • Reviewing and refreshing rules controlling removing and pruning Protected Trees
  • We are also looking closely at land uses within the dripline of the trees which could affect their health.

Relevant Information:

waimakariri.govt.nz/districtdevelopment
waimakariri.govt.nz/dpr-heritage-and-open-space

Open Space and Recreation Zones

This topic looks at new zones for open space that recognise nature and the community value of recreational activities occurring within different areas. These areas can be conservation land, larger reserves or parks for active sports located with towns and settlements.

Key Issues:

  • Existing open space and recreation land are currently zoned residential or rural. Presently, these zones do not suitably provide for activities and facilities usually occurring on open space and recreation land
  • Draft new National Planning Standards (at the time of writing) prescribe the use of ‘Open Space and Recreation Zones’, and these need to be reflected in new District Plans regarding
    open space and recreation land
  • General support for Open Space and Recreation Zones was evident in comments from the community via Issues and Options papers in 2017/18
  • Open space and recreation land should be managed through zoning fit for purpose, to provide for the activities and facilities that usually occur there.

What We’re Thinking:

Three Open Space and Recreation Zones are proposed:

  • Natural Open Space Zone: this will seek to ensure the zone’s Natural Environment is retained, providing for compatible activities, buildings and structures. Large areas of the zone will lie in the Puketeraki Range in the west of the District, and in the Coastal Environment in the east of the District based around Tūhaitara Coastal Park, with many smaller areas of the zone in-between
  • Open Space Zone: this will primarily provide for a range of passive and active recreation activities along with limited associated facilities and structures. The zone will include parks, playgrounds and informal recreation spaces in a variety of sizes, locations, settings, and communities. It will also include existing cemeteries, which function as memorial gardens and have a park-like setting
  • Sport and Active Recreation Zone: this will primarily provide for a range of indoor and outdoor sport and active recreation activities and associated facilities, in specified locations.
    This includes sports fields, artificial and/or hard playing surfaces, aquatic centres, sports stadiums, and multi-sport facilities

It is proposed that the zones generally include public land only.

Relevant Information:

waimakariri.govt.nz/districtdevelopment
waimakariri.govt.nz/dpr-heritage-and-open-space

Noise

This topic looks at noise management. Noise can affect people’s health and perception of their environment. Community acceptance of sound, and whether it is perceived as noise, will depend on the type, level and duration of the sound and whether it is reasonable for it to occur on a particular day or at a certain time in that location.

Key Issues:

  • Rules need to be updated to reflect up-to-date best practice and acoustical standards
  • Depending on the zone, various hours apply to noise rules. This creates complication and uncertainty and in some situations leads to conflict. This needs clarification in the reviewed District Plan
  • Better management of intermittent noise and ‘reverse sensitivity’ effects arising from activities such as gun clubs and bird scarer gas guns is needed. Reverse sensitivity can occur when  newly permitted activities impact existing activities
  • There are no rules to specifically address certain activities capable of generating lots of noise such as quarry blasting, commercial firewood processing, dog boarding kennels, shooting ranges, motor vehicle racing, function venues, and military training
  • The current exemption for agricultural activities is worded in such a way that activities like frost fans do not have to comply with any noise rules
  • Noise rules for roads require clarification and updating
  • There are no noise rules for new house development close to rail lines. This needs consideration
  • Simplification or clarification is required, e.g., presently, there are two rules for aircraft noise, and there are also two rules applicable to the Business 2 Zone
  • There are rules for earthquake rebuilding activities similar to the general noise rules.

What We’re Thinking:

  • Update rules to reflect the most recent acoustical standards
  • Make the daytime and night-time hours the same for all zones
  • Introduce controls to manage effects of new activities on existing activities (also known as reverse sensitivity), such as gun clubs/shooting ranges and bird scarers
  • Treat certain activities differently to other activities in relevant zones - e.g., frost fans, dog boarding kennels, motorised vehicles, heat pumps, function venues, and emergency generators
  • Add a rule to best manage the effects of quarry blasting
  • Include specific noise rules for military training activities
  • Review the management of noise from agricultural activities to make it clear what activities are not required to meet noise rules
  • Add rules to best manage noise from small airfields
  • Exempt public roads from noise rules
  • Include a rule for activities near high traffic volume roads to mitigate the effects
  • Consider noise rules for housing developments close to rail lines
  • Contain all noise limit rules in one concise table which focuses on the zone affected by the noise, not the zone creating it
  • Combine the two rules for aircraft noise into one for simplicity. Simplify the rules applying to current Business 2 Zoned land
  • Remove the noise rules for earthquake recovery activity.

Relevant Information:

Open Space and Recreation Zones, pg 8 (What's the Plan?)
Earthworks, pg 11 (What's the Plan?)
Quarrying, pg 12 (What's the Plan?)
Temporary Activities, pg 17 (What's the Plan?)
Business Activities in Rural and Residential Zones, pg 29 (What's the Plan?)

Earthworks

This topic looks at the disturbance of land by excavating, replacing or placing soil or other materials. Adverse effects may arise from earthworks such as dust, erosion, and slope instability. Quarrying is covered as a separate topic (see pg 12).

Key Issues:

  • The current District Plan has broad standards for earthworks. These are not specific to activities that involve earthworks and could be more precise concerning sensitive environments or particular areas
  • Application of earthwork rules is complex, especially looking at how to calculate the amount of earthworks permissible on sites using the ratio approach instead of the volume approach
  • Stormwater channels for surface water are not always protected from earthworks
  • The District Plan has no rules, such as height, to control the visual effects of stockpiling of materials like soils and rock. Resource consents often manage this
  • Duplications exist between the District Plan and regional plans such as the Land and Water Regional Plan
  • The new National Environmental Standard for Plantation Forestry also sets standards for earthworks needing recognition in the reviewed District Plan
  • Earthworks can also be subject to building consent under the Building Act, and there is no exemption for this under the District Plan.

What We’re Thinking:

  • Include controls specific to earthwork activities
  • Have more restrictive earthwork thresholds for sensitive environments such as Significant Natural Areas (SNAs), and Outstanding Natural Landscapes (ONLs)
  • Change provisions to manage the amount of earthworks permissible in a year, such as volume-per-site
  • Require consent where earthworks are likely to affect stormwater channels. This can be through controls such as setbacks, maintaining the same entry and exit point of stormwater channels, or requiring consents for earthworks that could affect stormwater channels in floodprone areas
  • Introduce controls for stockpiling such as height and setbacks
  • Remove any duplication with the Regional Plan, and recognise the National Environmental Standard for Plantation Forestry
  • Enable any earthworks, subject to an approved building consent, where they occur 1.8m from the exterior wall, but not where they affect a sensitive environment or feature such as a waterway.

Relevant Information:

waimakariri.govt.nz/dpr-natural-environments
Quarrying, pg 12 (What's the Plan?)
Significant Natural Areas (in the Natural Environment Section), pg 13 (What's the Plan?)
Outstanding Natural Features and Landscapes, pg 15 (What's the Plan?)
Coastal Environment, pg 16 (What's the Plan?)

Quarrying

This topic looks at how to manage quarrying and its associated activities, such as screening and processing. Developments such as roads and concrete for buildings require the use of aggregate, but the activity can have adverse effects on people and the environment.

Key Issues:

  • Quarrying is subject to standards relating to things like noise and dust, but the overall effects are not managed as a specific activity making it difficult to assess the combined effects of each quarry
  • Finding appropriate locations for a quarry can be difficult – they need to be located where there is quality aggregate supply, close to demand and transport networks, and where there are no significant adverse effects on neighbouring activities
  • Pressure for aggregate is expected to continue.

What We’re Thinking:

  • Recognise quarrying as a specific activity, acknowledging the role it plays in providing development material
  • Introduce new resource consent requirements for quarries that differ by zone
  • Introduce rules for quarries to minimise effects on amenity such as noise and traffic, while ensuring aggregate supply is maintained
  • Depending on the location and nature of the quarry, include setbacks from houses and other sensitive areas and activities
  • Outline minimum requirements for assessing proposed quarries such as the provision of environmental management plans and rehabilitation plans.

Relevant Information:

waimakariri.govt.nz/districtdevelopment
waimakariri.govt.nz/dpr-natural-environments
Noise, pg 9 (What's the Plan?)
Earthworks, pg 11 (What's the Plan?)
Business Activities in Rural and Residential Zones, pg 29 (What's the Plan?)

Natural Environment

This section will cover three subtopics: Indigenous Biodiversity and Riparian Areas, Outstanding Natural Landscapes and Features, and Coastal Environment

Indigenous Biodiversity and Riparian Areas


This topic looks at protecting and maintaining biodiversity to ensure continuity of important indigenous plants, animals and ecosystems. The Natural Environment provides us with a range of necessities including food, water, materials, and flood defences.

Extensive vegetation clearing and draining of wetlands has reduced the number of natural habitats, so biodiversity management is particularly relevant where proposed development can lead to habitat loss. Reducing on-farm environmental impacts is good for the environment and a priority, however, maintaining productivity and economic benefits within agriculture should also be recognised.

Key Issues:

  • The loss of ecological values through the destruction or modification of Significant Natural Areas (SNAs - identified sites of significant biodiversity) and other indigenous vegetation fauna habitats through inappropriate land use
  • Management of riparian areas, e.g., river fringes to better protect natural character and ecological/biodiversity values
  • Supporting Environment Canterbury (ECan) initiatives to improve water quality through the active management of riparian areas.

What We’re Thinking:

  • An updated list of Significant Natural Areas (SNAs) using the criteria specified in the Canterbury Regional Policy Statement (CRPS). Ecologists are also considering whether there are areas with the potential to be Ecological Corridor Priority Areas (areas that, if enhanced, could form ecological corridors to be identified in the District Plan)
  • Clearer rules to better protect SNAs and maintain other indigenous vegetation, e.g., erecting any structure with a foundation or footprint greater than 10m2 will be a noncomplying activity
  • Investigating the possibility of incentivising protection and/or enhancement of indigenous vegetation to help improve biodiversity values in the District. This could involve development bonuses, such as allowing rural subdivisions below the minimum lot size, if they protect a SNA or enhance/plant an Ecological Corridor Priority Area
  • Considering how to improve the overall biodiversity programme in terms of regulatory and non-regulatory tools
  • Clearer, integrated provisions and rules to maintain and enhance the values of riparian margins, e.g., all earthworks over a particular volume or area will require a resource consent if within  a defined distance of a river, lake or wetland.

Relevant Information:

waimakariri.govt.nz/districtdevelopment
waimakariri.govt.nz/dpr-natural-environments

Outstanding Natural Landscapes and Features


This topic looks at managing Outstanding Natural Landscapes and Features through their protection or maintenance. In turn, this contributes to social and cultural wellbeing by providing people with a unique sense of place and identity. Landscapes continue to evolve and reflect a synergy of different land types, vegetation cover, and land use.

Key Issues:

  • Review and identify the District’s Outstanding Natural Landscapes and Features
  • Determine the activities which can adversely impact on Outstanding Natural Landscapes and Features
  • Evaluate whether a second tier of natural landscapes and features considered to be ‘significant’ is appropriate.

What We’re Thinking:

The following areas are identified as outstanding by landscape experts:

Outstanding Natural Landscapes

Incorporates the Puketeraki Range and Oxford Foothills, but excludes the Lees Valley floor and some edges of the foothills when compared to the area mapped in the current District Plan.

Outstanding Natural Features (both not in the current Waimakariri District Plan)

  • Waimakariri River
  • Ashley - Rakahuri/Saltwater Creek Estuary.

It is intended that these areas are overlaid on District Plan maps with a range of rules to manage activities for each area, e.g., structures and earthworks.

Relevant Information:

waimakariri.govt.nz/districtdevelopment
waimakariri.govt.nz/dpr-natural-environments

Coastal Environment

This topic looks at the natural character of the Coastal Environment. Natural character has three main components: natural processes, natural elements, and natural patterns.

Natural processes include the action of waves, tides, wind, and rain, as well as the movement of animals and the natural succession of plant species.

Natural elements include water, landforms and vegetation cover.

The distribution of these natural elements over an area forms natural patterns. A fourth important component is the human experience of these natural processes, elements and patterns,
and values.

There is a need to manage activities in coastal areas to protect defining natural characteristics.

Key Issues:

  • In the current District Plan, the Coastal Environment is not well defined. This makes effective control of inappropriate activities problematic
  • Potential loss/degradation of natural character values caused by unsuitable land use and subdivision, including negative effects that build up over time
  • Effects of coastal processes including coastal erosion, more extreme storm events and seawater inundation of land
  • Providing appropriate public access to and along the coast.

What We’re Thinking:

  • The Coastal Environment is mapped and a series of rules introduced to best manage activities which could compromise the natural character such as structures.

Relevant Information:

waimakariri.govt.nz/districtdevelopment
waimakariri.govt.nz/dpr-natural-environments

Temporary Activities

This topic looks at managing temporary activities in the District. Temporary activities, such as a festival or commercial filming, are shorter in duration and have lesser and more tolerable effects on the environment than permanent activities.
However, they can still have effects that warrant management.

Key Issues:

  • A more specific management approach is needed for temporary activities. Presently, these activities often need resource consents, as though they are permanent activities, despite having lesser effects, e.g., shorter duration
  • Some temporary events can generate noise, and other effects, beyond what is expected in a particular zone or environment. As a result, events using electronic sound amplification and fireworks have resulted in noise complaints.

What We’re Thinking:

  • Provide for and manage temporary activities and enable those activities that, because of their short duration, would have more tolerable effects on the surrounding environment than a permanent activity
  • This point extends to mobile trading; temporary events; filming; military training activities; temporary buildings and structures relating to a building or construction project; disaster management accommodation; public and not-for-profit community activities; education activities, and related retailing
  • Permit temporary activities that meet standards such as hours of operation, frequency, and duration and where sites are reinstated to the form and condition they were before the event
  • Leniency for noise levels of temporary events in appropriate locations, such as parks and reserves, where temporary events often occur
  • Manage noise from temporary events through appropriate hours of operation, which is less permissive for amplified electronic sound in, or near, residential areas.

Relevant Information:

Open Space and Recreation Zones, pg 8 (What's the Plan?)
Noise, pg 9 (What's the Plan?)

Transport

This topic looks at transport provisions in the District Plan, which control matters including site access, parking, activities in the road corridor and the effects of significant land developments on the wider transport network. The District Plan does not control things like parking time limits, speed limits or the provision of public transport services.

Key Issues:

  • The District Plan currently controls things like minimum road widths, vehicle crossings, and footpaths. In some instances, such as some recent higher density greenfield subdivisions, accessibility is compromised by road and access layouts that are too ‘tight,’ resulting in insufficient space for footpaths, wheelie bins, on-street parking and manoeuvring
  • The current District Plan does not adequately manage high traffic generating activities or require Integrated Transport Assessments (ITAs) for these activities when proposed. An ITA is a detailed assessment of how new development could impact on the operation of the wider road network and what contribution the development should make to any upgrades. As such, the  congestion effects of some new large activities may not have proper consideration and management
  • The current District Plan also contains technical standards covering matters like minimum separation distances between vehicle crossings, parking space dimensions and sight lines at railway crossings. Some of these standards are no longer the best practice and need reviewing.

What We’re Thinking:

  • Introduce revised minimum road and subdivision layout requirements
  • Introduce more comprehensive provisions covering high trip generating activities, for example, entering and exiting supermarkets, and require integrated assessments to be provided when proposed
  • Update the technical standards to current best practice.

Relevant Information:

waimakariri.govt.nz/districtdevelopment
waimakariri.govt.nz/dpr-transport-and-utilities