District Plan Changes

What is a Plan Change?

A plan change is a formal process under the Resource Management Act 1991 to change one or more provisions of the District Plan, including the objectives, policies, rules or zoning of land.

Plan changes can be privately or Council initiated and typically follow a similar process of assessment and public notification before decisions are made.

Plan Changes Under Action

The Waimakariri District Plan became operative on 28 November 2005. See the Council plan changes and Private plan changes pages for the status of any changes to the District Plan.

How Long Does a Plan Change Take?

Private plan change requests are subject to a number of steps under the Resource Management Act 1991. These include:

  • Any further information requests
  • An assessment to accept, reject, adopt or modify the change (with the applicant's permission)
  • The public notification procedure (submissions and further submissions)
  • The hearing of submissions
  • The formal decision-making. 

Depending on the complexity of the change and the issues it addresses, the process can take up to two years.  The applicant or any other person party to the plan change can appeal the decision to the Environment Court if not satisfied with the decision made by the Council (or independent commissioner(s) appointed by the Council).

Project Advisory Group (PAG) Service

If you are thinking of lodging a private plan change, the Council offers a Project Advisory Group (PAG) service. This is where private plan change proponents can meet with Council staff at an early stage to discuss key details and requirements related to a proposed development or private plan change. To request a 'PAG' simply email duty.planner@wmk.govt.nz.

What Does a Plan Change Cost?

Please see the Resource management fees and charges page for information on the cost of a plan change.