District Plan Review

About the 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.

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.

How does the Review affect me?

The District Plan controls what people can do on their land and how it can be developed. Its main goal is to sustainably manage the district’s natural and physical resources to meet the needs of current and future generations.

What stage is the District Plan Review at now?


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. Stages One and Two above are now completed, and stage three has commenced.  Feedback from the Issues and Options Consultation have been summarised and are available for viewing.

HowDoWeDoTheReviewDistrict 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 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:

Summary of Comments