District Plan Committee



15 February 2017




Order Paper for the meeting to be held in the

Council Chambers, 2nd Floor, 30 Laings Road, Lower Hutt,







Monday 20 February 2017 commencing at 5.30pm









Cr Bridson (Chair)


Cr Barry

Cr Briggs

Cr Cousins (Deputy Chair)

Cr Lewis

Cr Milne










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6 elected members

Chair:  RMA Certified (RMA hearing commissioner under Making Good Decisions programme)

Minimum of either 3 or 4 elected members (including the Chair) and alternates who have current certification under the Making Good Decisions Training, Assessment and Certification Programme for RMA Decision-Makers. 

The inclusion of independent Commissioners in hearing subcommittees or hearing panels as appropriate



Meeting Cycle:

Meets on a six weekly basis, as required or at the requisition of the Chair

Reports to:



To monitor the effectiveness of the City of Lower Hutt District Plan as a strategic policy and operational document for the district and facilitate consideration of Plan Changes.


To consider matters relating to quasi-judicial responsibilities of the Council under legislation.  This includes matters under the RMA including district plan hearings.




·           Recommend to Council District Plan changes and District Plan variations for Council approval prior to notification.


·           Recommend to Council private District Plan Change requests for Council to Accept, Adopt or Reject.


·           Recommend to the relevant Requiring Authority decisions on all matters concerning Designations and Notices of Requirements in accordance with Part 8 of the Resource Management Act 1991.


·           Recommend to Council for final approval, to make operative, District Plan and District Plan Changes (in accordance with clause 17, Part 1, Schedule 1 of the Resource Management Act 1991).




·           Determine all other matters (including decisions requested by submitters) concerning the District Plan and District Plan changes (in accordance with Schedule 1 of the Resource Management Act 1991).¨


·           Exercise the power of waiver of the requirement to provide parties with copies of written reports prior to hearings (under Section 42A (4) of the Resource Management Act 1991).


·           Appoint a subcommittee or hearing panel of suitably qualified person(s) to conduct statutory hearings on behalf of the Committee.  The Chair of the District Plan Committee is also delegated this function.






·                Set the District Plan Work Programme and monitor its implementation.

·                Develop and review appropriate strategies and policies in relation to the District Plan.

·                Approve and forward submissions to other authorities on matters relevant to the Committee’s area of responsibility.

·                Monitor the effectiveness of the District Plan and consider issues raised with the committee.




The Ministry for the Environment advocates that Councils offer specialist RMA training in areas of law which are difficult to grasp or where mistakes are commonly made.  This is to complement the Making Good Decisions RMA training that MfE runs (which is an overview and basic summary of decision making, rather than an in-depth training in specific areas of the RMA).  Therefore in order to facilitate this, the RMA training run for councillors that wish to be hearings commissioners is mandatory.

Reasons for the importance of the training:


1              Hearings commissioners are kept abreast of developments in the legislation.

2              Legal and technical errors that have been made previously are avoided (many of which have resulted in Environment Court action which is costly, time consuming and often creates unrealistic expectations for the community).

3              The reputation of Council as good and fair decision makers or judges (rather than legislators) is upheld.





District Plan Committee


Meeting to be held in the Council Chambers, 2nd Floor, 30 Laings Road, Lower Hutt on

 Monday 20 February 2017 commencing at 5.30pm.




Public Business


1.       APOLOGIES 



Generally up to 30 minutes is set aside for public comment (three minutes per speaker on items appearing on the agenda). Speakers may be asked questions on the matters they raise.      



4.       Recommendation to Council - 14 March 2017

Ecosites, Landscapes and Coastal Natural Character (16/1442)

Report No. DPC2017/1/20 by the Divisional Manager Environmental Policy  3

Chair’s Recommendation:

“That the recommendations contained in the report be endorsed”


5.       District Plan Work Programme (16/1441)

Report No. DPC2017/1/21 by the Divisional Manager Environmental Policy 15

Chair’s Recommendation:

“That the recommendations contained in the report be endorsed”



6.       Information Item

District Plan Update (16/1440)

Report No. DPC2017/1/28 by the Divisional Manager Environmental Policy 37

Chair’s Recommendation:

“That the recommendation contained in the report be endorsed and that the membership of the Councillor Urban Growth Working Group for the 2016-2019 triennium be Councillors Sutton, Barry, Cousins, Bassett, Lewis and Bridson.”


7.       QUESTIONS

With reference to section 32 of Standing Orders, before putting a question a member shall endeavour to obtain the information. Questions shall be concise and in writing and handed to the Chair prior to the commencement of the meeting.   











Susan Haniel