District Plan Subcommittee



5 July 2019




Order Paper for the meeting to be held in the

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







Wednesday 10 July 2019 commencing at 5.30pm









Deputy Mayor Bassett (Chair)


Cr MJ Cousins (Deputy Chair)

Cr S Edwards

Cr T Lewis

Cr C Milne









For the dates and times of Council Meetings please visit




5 elected members

Certification under the Making Good Decisions Training, Assessment and Certification Programme for RMA Decision-Makers is encouraged.



Meeting Cycle:

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

Reports to:

City Development Committee


To prepare, monitor and review the City of Lower Hutt District Plan.


The District Plan Subcommittee sets the District Plan Work Programme and monitors its implementation.


The District Plan Subcommittee recommends to the City Development Committee (for Council approval):


·           District Plan changes and District Plan variations prior to notification.


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


Council makes decisions to notify District Plan changes (and variations).


District Plan Hearing Panels (see below) are appointed by the Chair, in conjunction with the Chief Executive. Hearing Panels comprise elected members and/or independent commissioners. All Hearing Panel members must be certified under the Making Good Decisions programme.


District Plan Hearing Panels make recommendations to the City Development Committee (for Council approval) on the Proposed District Plan provisions and matters raised in submissions.


Council makes its decision on the provisions and matters raised in submissions. The Council decision may be appealed to the Environment Court.


Council gives final approval to make District Plan changes operative, in accordance with clause 17 of Schedule 1 of the Resource Management Act 1991.






















Members are appointed for specific projects by the Chair in conjunction with the Chief Executive.

All members must hold current certification under the Making Good Decisions Training, Assessment and Certification Programme for RMA Decision-Makers. 

The Chair must in addition hold Chair certification.


34A Delegation of powers and functions to employees and other persons

(1A) If a local authority is considering appointing 1 or more hearings commissioners to exercise a delegated power to conduct a hearing under Part 1 or 5 of Schedule 1,—

(a)   the local authority must consult tangata whenua through relevant iwi authorities on whether it is appropriate to appoint a commissioner with an understanding of tikanga Māori and of the perspectives of local iwi or hapū; and

(b)   if the local authority considers it appropriate, it must appoint at least 1 commissioner with an understanding of tikanga Māori and of the perspectives of local iwi or hapū, in consultation with relevant iwi authorities.




As required

Reports to:

City Development Committee


To make recommendations (with reasons) to the City Development Committee (for Council approval) on Proposed District Plan provisions and matters raised in submissions. 

The District Plan Hearing Panel has all the powers necessary to conduct a hearing for this purpose.

When a District Plan Hearing Panel has an even number of members, the Chair has a casting vote.



·           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 Subcommittee


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

 Wednesday 10 July 2019 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 City Development Committee

Private Plan Change Request 47 Major Gardens (19/758)

Report No. DPS2019/3/132 by the Environmental Policy Analyst                     7

Chair’s Recommendation:

“That recommendations (i) and (ii)(b) contained within the report be endorsed.”


5.       Central City Transformation Plan and the District Plan (19/817)

Report No. DPS2019/3/68 by the Urban Design Manager                              279

Chair’s Recommendation:

“That the recommendations contained within the report be endorsed.”


6.       Activity Report: District Plan (Environmental Policy) (19/417)

Report No. DPS2019/3/133 by the Divisional Manager District Plan            281

Chair’s Recommendation:

“That the recommendations contained within the report be endorsed.”


7.       District Plan Update (19/757)

Report No. DPS2019/3/69 by the Environmental Policy Analyst                   290

Chair’s Recommendation:

“That the recommendation contained within the report be endorsed.”


8.       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.   





Donna Male



                                                                                       7                                                              10 July 2019

District Plan Subcommittee

10 June 2019




File: (19/758)





Report no: DPS2019/3/132


Private Plan Change Request 47 Major Gardens


Purpose of Report

1.    To present a private plan change request received from Urban Edge Planning Ltd on behalf of F.L.Y Building Ltd for the Subcommittee’s consideration.


That the Subcommittee recommends that the City Development Committee recommends that Council:

(i)    notes that Urban Edge Planning Ltd on behalf of F.L.Y Building Ltd has lodged a private plan change request, attached as Appendix 1 to the report, seeking amendments to the zoning of adjoining properties adjacent to Major Drive and Kaitangata Crescent, Kelson; and

(ii)   selects one of the four options available under the Resource Management Act in response to the private plan change request:

(a)   adopt the private plan change request in whole or in part; or

(b)   accept the private plan change request in whole or in part; or

(c)   convert the private plan change request into a resource consent application; or

(d)   reject the private plan change request.



2.    Urban Edge Planning Ltd on behalf of F.L.Y Building Ltd has lodged a private plan change request, attached as Appendix 1, seeking amendments to the zoning of a site comprising adjoining properties adjacent to Major Drive and Kaitangata Crescent, Kelson.

3.    The site is currently zoned Rural Residential Activity Area and Hill Residential Activity Area. The proposal is to rezone part of the site to General Residential Activity Area to enable residential development and protect part of the site through rezoning to General Recreation Activity Area. The area to be rezoned to General Recreation Activity Area would likely be vested with Council as reserve as part of a future subdivision of the site.


4.    Any person may request a change to the District Plan and Council must consider that request. The process for a private plan change is set out in the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA). Council’s options for dealing with a request for a private plan change are as follows.

5.    Council may adopt a private plan change request in whole or in part and advance it as a Council proposal, at Council expense. This option may be appropriate in cases where the proposal has clear public benefits and aligns with Council’s strategic goals.

6.    Council may accept a private plan change request in whole or in part and take the proposal through the plan change process, at the requestor’s expense.

7.    Council may convert the private plan change request into a resource consent application.

8.    Council may reject the private plan change request on specific, limited grounds.

9.    For the F.L.Y Building Ltd proposal, there are no grounds to reject the request. The proposal cannot realistically be advanced under the existing District Plan provisions. Therefore, conversion to a resource consent application would be inappropriate.

10.  In terms of potential adoption, the proposal aligns well with Council’s Urban Growth Strategy, which specifically identifies the upper Kelson area for potential residential development. Since the initial Urban Growth Strategy analysis, more detailed investigations have identified significant development constraints including waterways, challenging topography, significant ecological areas and strong opposition from some landowners. The constraints mean that extent and yield of development envisaged by the Urban Growth Strategy are unlikely to be realised.

11.  Staff have met with the previous and current owners of the site and their advisors on several occasions over a period of several years. Staff have advocated for a design-led master-planning approach to developing the site, with development guided by its attributes and constraints, and provided the owners with a development concept and ecological advice. Staff advised that they would recommend Council adoption of a plan change proposal if the suggested approach was followed, leading to the likelihood of high quality outcomes.

12.  However, F.L.Y Building Ltd has decided not to follow the recommended design-led approach, preferring instead to provide a specific proposal at a future resource consent stage, assuming a successful zone change.

13.  If Council adopts the plan change request, the proposal would be presented to the community as a Council proposal. Therefore, the proposal would need to meet Council’s standards in terms of the quantity and quality of information provided and the rigour of the proposal’s evaluation relative to the scale and significance of the proposal. The proposal would also proceed at Council expense, including through any Environment Court proceedings.

14.  The final option of acceptance of the plan change request would simply allow the proposal to go through due process, allowing the proposal’s merits to be tested through the formal plan change process. Acceptance would not indicate Council support or opposition to the proposal. 


15.  The requestor has initiated consultation with Iwi, Council’s Parks and Recreation Division and other key stakeholders. 

16.  The plan change would proceed through the statutory consultation process (submissions, further submissions, hearing and appeals).

Legal Considerations

17.  The legal considerations are outlined in the options above.

Financial Considerations

18.  An adopted proposal would proceed at Council expense. This would include the cost of bringing the proposal up to Council standard and the costs of the statutory process including a hearing, commissioners and potentially Environment Court proceedings.

19.  An accepted proposal would proceed at the requestor’s expense, including the cost of Council staff time.






Section 32 Major Drive Plan Change FINAL






Author: Nathan Geard

Environmental Policy Analyst





Approved By: Helen Oram

Acting General Manager, City Transformation


Attachment 1

Section 32 Major Drive Plan Change FINAL















































































































































































































































                                                                                     270                                                            10 July 2019

District Plan Subcommittee

19 June 2019




File: (19/817)





Report no: DPS2019/3/68


Central City Transformation Plan and the District Plan





1.    Upon approving the Central City Transformation Plan (CCTP) on 26 March 2019 Councillors requested further information on how the Lower Hutt District Plan may be affected.



That the Subcommittee:

(i)    notes and receives the report;

(ii)   agrees that everything that the Central City Transformation Plan (CCTP) suggests for the District Plan can be deferred to the work done under the ‘One Strategy’; and

(iii)  approves scoping work on the possibility of a District Plan solution to minimise poor development as a risk to the CCTP and Council’s $51M investment in RiverLink.


2.    The CCTP was partly commissioned to inform Plan Change 43 but delays eventually saw Plan Change 43 progress ahead of and independently of the CCTP. The completed CCTP identifies several opportunities for the District Plan and it appears these may now be best considered through the work of the ‘One Strategy’ and subsequent comprehensive review of the District Plan. None of the opportunities are considered urgent.

3.    However Council may wish to urgently address risk of some observed development behaviours to the CCTP and RiverLink, which may result in poor community and development outcomes. Council is prepared to spend $7M in order to purchase certain properties on Daly Street and negotiations have escalated with Council using the Public Works Act. Council is seeking control of the Daly Street properties to give certainty to the Promenade and the city’s $51.7M investment in RiverLink.  However Council cannot continue to buy every property that could pose a threat to RiverLink or the CCTP.




There are no appendices for this report.   






Author: Paki Maaka

Urban Design Manager





Approved By: Helen Oram

Acting General Manager, City Transformation

                                                                                     276                                                            10 July 2019

District Plan Subcommittee

06 June 2019




File: (19/417)





Report no: DPS2019/3/133


Activity Report: District Plan (Environmental Policy)


Purpose of Report

1.    The purpose of this report is to outline the results of a review of the District Plan activity.


That the Subcommittee:

(i)    notes the information contained in this report;

(ii)   notes that this review also meets the intent of section 17A of the Local Government Act 2002; and

(iii)  agrees that a full section 17A review should not be undertaken at present because the review presented here is sufficient.



2.    Activity Reports provide regular information about Council activities, so that activities can be analysed and their future direction considered. They also address the requirements of section 17A of the Local Government Act 2002 (LGA) that regular reviews be undertaken of the cost-effectiveness of current arrangements for meeting the needs of communities for good-quality local infrastructure, local public services, and performance of regulatory functions.

High-level description of Activity

3.    The District Plan Division sits within the City Transformation Group. The role of the Division is to ensure that Council’s statutory functions in regard to district plan policy are met while taking into account Council’s aspirations as stated in strategic planning documents. According to its business plan the Division will achieve its roles through the following:

·     reviewing the district plan in line with the Council work programme and Resource Management Act requirements;

·     providing Council with high quality district plan policy advice;

·     taking into account Council’s strategic planning documents;

·     engaging with the community;

·     processing private plan change and notice of requirement applications in line with RMA requirements; and

·     complying with central government requirements stemming from RMA changes, new National Environmental Standards, new National Policy Statements, the new National Planning Standards or the national monitoring system.

4.    The Division also provides advocacy advice to Council, preparing submissions on proposed changes to legislation and national and regional resource management policy.

Reason for the review

5.    This review is required because three years have passed since this Activity was last reviewed.

Rationale for service provision

6.    Council is required by the RMA (s73) to have a district plan and begin a review of district plan provisions at least every 10 years (s79).

7.    The District Plan “must give effect to” (s75) National Policy Statements, the NZ Coastal Policy Statement and the Wellington Regional Policy Statement. New or amended Statements may lead to District Plan change requirements.

8.    The District Plan must also give effect to the National Planning Standards, which were gazetted on 5 April 2019. They require a specific district plan structure and format, provide mandatory definitions of terms and restrict the types of zones allowable. The National Planning Standards must be given effect to within five years of being gazetted. The Planning Standards have major implications for the City of Lower Hutt District Plan. Many of the existing zones will need to be restructured to fit the requirements. Implementing the National Planning Standards is unlikely to be achievable through a rolling review approach due to the extent and reach of amendments required.

9.    The results of work by Wellington’s urban councils on implementing the National Policy Statement on Urban Development Capacity will come to hand in the next two months. The results are likely to require Council action to make additional provision for residential development.

10.  The District Plan “must not be inconsistent with” (s75) the provisions of regional plans including the Wellington Natural Resources Plan (which is currently a proposed plan).

11.  The District Plan “shall have regard to”:

·      management plans and strategies prepared under other Acts;

·      relevant entries on the New Zealand Heritage List/Rārangi Kōrero required by the Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Act 2014;

·      fisheries regulations; and

·      relevant planning documents recognised by an iwi authority and lodged with Council.

12.  The District Plan may also need to be changed as a result of Notices of Requirement from designating authorities including NZ Transport Agency, Kiwirail, Ministry of Education and Greater Wellington Regional Council.

13.  The District Plan may also need to be changed as a result of private plan change requests that are adopted or accepted by Council. 

14.  Council management plans and strategies prepared under other Acts may provide direction to the District Plan, subject to of RMA obligations. Such plans and strategies include:

·      Urban Growth Strategy;

·      Environmental Sustainability Strategy;

·      Infrastructure Strategy;

·      Leisure and Wellbeing Strategy;

·      Long Term Plan; and

·      Reserve management plans.

15.  As well as the above high level strategies and plans, other Council documents may be relevant to the District Plan, including:

·     Petone 2040;

·     Wainuiomata North Development Framework; and

·     Lower Hutt City Transformation Plan.

16.  The Revenue and Financing Policy 2015 notes the Environmental Policy (now District Plan) activity contributes primarily to the following Community Outcomes:

·      A safe community;

·      A strong and diverse economy;

·      An accessible and connected city;

·      Healthy people;

·      A healthy natural environment; and

·      A healthy and attractive built environment.

Present arrangements for governance, funding and service delivery

17.  Only Council can give final approval to a district plan or plan change (RMA s34A). That authority cannot be delegated.

18.  Council is able to appoint certified hearing commissioners to consider provisions of proposed plan changes and matters raised in submissions, hear submissions, consider recommendations and either make decisions on behalf of Council or recommend decisions to Council, depending on the authority delegated.

19.  Service delivery is by the District Plan Division, which currently comprises the Divisional Manager District Plan, two senior environmental policy analysts and one intermediate environmental policy analyst. Extensive use is made of consultants for additional resources and specialist expertise not available in house.

20.  The Revenue and Financing Policy 2015 states the following:

Who benefits: Environmental Policy: District planning has a mix of private and public benefits, as well as encouraging optimal resource use over time. The District Plan is determined by the community in terms of the Resource Management Act. It therefore applies to, and represents, the environmental aspirations of the community as a whole.

Who pays: These activities protect the public interests of both residents and business. After maximising user charges (which are minimal and in some years non-existent), the public good portion of this activity cost is allocated in proportion to each sector’s share of the total capital value of the city.

21.  In other words, all residents and ratepayers benefit from the activity, there are limited opportunities for user charges and funding is via rates.

Current and future risks likely to have a significant impact on this activity

22.  The District Plan (Environmental Policy) activity is frequently exposed to and influenced by external forces often beyond the control of Council.  External forces currently on the near or far horizon include Central Government’s ambitious programme that includes consultation in 2019 on the following:

·     Resource management system review, which includes specific, relatively minor changes to the RMA to reverse some of the previous suite of changes made by the previous government and potentially a complete reframing of resource management legislation following reviews of the RMA, Local Government Act and Land Transport Management Act.

·     Draft National Policy Statement for Indigenous Biodiversity

·     Changes to the National Policy Statement on Urban Development. According to the Ministry for the Environment the changes will direct Council planning decisions to:

·   support quality urban environments  

·   recognise the benefits of urban development and the needs of all current and future communities

·   strengthen long-term, strategic (spatial) planning

·   address a number of the barriers to Māori involvement in council processes and reflect Māori values and interests in urban planning decisions

·   direct more intensive development, particularly around centres and transport networks.

·     Highly Productive Land National Policy Statement

·     National climate change risk assessment framework.

23.  Other external forces may include:

·     A revised Regional Policy Statement for the Wellington Region

·     An operative Natural Resources Plan for the Wellington Region

·     A Wellington regional spatial plan

·     Joint planning processes with neighbouring councils

·     Potential amalgamation with neighbouring councils.

24.  Since there is no way of knowing when and in what specific ways the upcoming external pressures will come to bear, the District Plan work continues in the meantime to meet known obligations and aspirations. 

Current performance against KPIs compared to historical and peer benchmarks

25.  Key Performance Indicators for the District Plan are generally in terms of meeting statutory requirements which, with good practice, are readily achievable. The quality of district plan provisions is much harder to assess and compare and often depends on the perspective of the observer or resource user. Hence Government’s introduction of National Planning Standards aimed at improving quality and consistency of approach.

26.  Essentially the current District Plan is a first generation plan that has been reviewed in part and amended in part numerous times. Its structure and content could benefit from a comprehensive review to simplify and include only provisions that more explicitly pass the test that the benefits of regulation should outweigh the costs. 

27.  All reviews of the District Plan’s provisions seek to understand and benefit from recent best practice work undertaken by other councils.

Total operating and capital cost of the service over the last 3 years and next 10 years

28.  The District Plan Division’s annual budget for the last several years and estimated for the next 10 years is shown in the table below.























































Employee costs














Support costs














Operating costs





























29.  Revenue is generally nil although the cost of processing private plan change requests can be recovered from the applicants if they are accepted (for taking through the statutory process) rather than adopted as Council proposals.

30.  The key parts of the operating costs are consultancy costs and specialist legal support.

31.  Council has resolved in principle to commence a comprehensive review of the District Plan, subject to detailed scoping and costing to enable Council to consider the appropriate level of funding. The following Minute from the City Development Committee meeting of 30 April 2019 was confirmed at the Council meeting held on 21 May 2019.

That the Committee recommends that Council:

(i)      agrees in principle to commence a comprehensive review of the City of Lower Hutt District Plan;

(ii)    asks officers to prepare a report outlining the rough terms of scope and in particular the financial resources known and required at this time for a District Plan review, to enable Council to incorporate it in its long term financial planning;

(iii)   asks officers to organise a two hour workshop to enable Councillors to become familiar and have a better understanding of the process of a District Plan review and the resources required, due to changes in legislation and the requirements on Council;

(iv)    asks the Mayor to enter into discussions with the Mayor of Upper Hutt City Council to investigate whether the District Plan review could be carried out as a joint project;

(v)     continues District Plan Changes that are underway until they are completed;

(vi)    carries over unspent funds from the District Plan budget 2018-19 into the District Plan budget 2019-20; and

(vii)  instructs officers to prepare a comprehensive report for the incoming Council on all issues and implications for the review.”

32.  The work of scoping and costing a comprehensive District Plan review is underway. Additional funding is likely to be required for the four years beginning 2020-21.

Adjustments that could be made to user charges and service levels to increase or decrease these by 5%

33.  User charges relate to the recovery of the actual and reasonable costs of processing and considering specific private plan change requests and do not relate to percentage adjustments.

34.  Service levels have the potential to be increased or decreased by 5%. Assuming staff are paid at market rates, a 5% budget variation affects the delivery timeframes of the District Plan changes set out in Council’s District Plan work programme. Consultancy inputs can be purchased only when funds are available. Earlier delivery of District Plan changes has the potential to improve resource management earlier; later delivery delays improvements and has the potential to result in breaches of statutory plan review requirements.

Comparison of any significant fees or charges against peers

35.  Peer councils operate similar revenue and financing policies, i.e. cost recovery from applicants for private plan changes and general funding from rates in recognition that district plans benefit all residents, ratepayers and visitors.

Current highlights or issues of significance to Council

36.  The District Plan Division’s current work includes the following significant projects:

·      Plan Change 43 Residential and Suburban Mixed Use, which goes to hearing in September 2019;

·      developing the information base required by the National Policy Statement on Urban Development Capacity; and

·      participating in Environment Court proceedings to resolve appeals on Plan Change 36 Notable Trees and Vegetation Removal Provisions and legal action by Forest and Bird associated with the Ecology and Landscapes project.

37.  The progress of current District Plan projects is reported regularly to the District Plan Subcommittee.

Reasonably practical options for the governance, funding and delivery of this activity

38.  As noted above, Council has approved in principle moving to a comprehensive review of the District Plan, subject to detailed scoping and costing. That work is underway but is not yet available as an input to this activity review.

39.  From a governance perspective, a comprehensive District Plan review may benefit from having members of the District Plan Subcommittee meet regularly with staff in a less formal workshop setting to discuss issues and progress. One challenge for the District Plan Subcommittee will be to gain the support of the full Council for the District Plan proposal that would go out for formal statutory consultation.

40.  From a service delivery perspective, this report identifies three alternative service delivery models for the District Plan (Environmental Policy).

41.  Option 1 is the status quo of having an in house core group of environmental policy analysts and planners who engage additional resources and expertise as required. The Environmental Policy Division currently produces considerable outputs itself as well as acting as contract managers of consultant experts such as ecologists, landscape architects, natural hazard scientists and traffic engineers. Consultant planners are also used to assist with heavy workloads and cases where transparently independent recommendations are required, eg, certain private plan change processes.

42.  There is significant value in retaining a high degree of institutional knowledge of the District Plan in house. Sufficient expertise is required to understand Hutt City’s resource management issues and the District Plan options for managing those issues. Outputs from consultants can range considerably in terms of quality and value for money. An overview of the District Plan is essential to ensure high quality, coherency and consistency, especially if different consultancies prepare different parts of the plan. 

43.  Option 2 would be to provide the total service in house. This would mean a significant increase in the number of staff to provide the quantity of resources and the range of expertise required. However, recruiting sufficient skilled planning staff would be problematic and providing a full range of specialist skills in house would be unrealistic and unnecessary, given that some skills would be required for relatively short periods.

44.  Option 3 would be to increase the focus on consultancy provision and have staff increasingly acting in contract management roles. The extreme of Option 3 would be to have a single staff member managing all contracts. A contract with a single consultancy would be preferable to achieve an overview and consistency among provisions of the District Plan. 

45.  Such a contract would extend over several years at significant cost. The cost cannot be quantified without going to the market but is likely to encompass several fulltime consultancy staff members and their support costs plus specialist subcontractors plus a significant allowance for risk and profit. The contract could be pitched at a set level but that would stretch delivery timeframes and risk failing to achieve Council objectives. 

46.  Such a contract would have the potential to be “captured” by the provider due to the level of institutional knowledge gained and held. Generating competition from alternative providers could become difficult. Therefore maintaining high quality and cost-effectiveness over time could be challenging. A consultant provider may also be less flexible and responsive to emerging issues and less accessible in terms of engagement with elected members and communities. Relying on a single Council staff member would also be risky and problematic if the staff member exits the organisation or is unavailable due to leave.

47.  This report recommends the continuation of Option 1 Status Quo as it appears to provide a workable balance of in house and consultancy service provision. The Division’s funding should provide for a core group of staff plus a consultancy budget. The overall level of funding should respond to statutory review pressures and Council aspirations for change to foster strategic policy outcomes such as urban growth. Full scoping and costing of the comprehensive District Plan review will be available for consideration in due course.

Legal Considerations

48.  The legal considerations are set out above.

Financial Considerations

49.  The financial considerations are set out above.


There are no appendices for this report.   




Author: Andrew Cumming

Divisional Manager District Plan





Approved By: Helen Oram

Acting General Manager, City Transformation


                                                                                     280                                                            10 July 2019

District Plan Subcommittee

10 June 2019




File: (19/757)





Report no: DPS2019/3/69


District Plan Update





1.    This brief report summarises the current work being undertaken on the review of the District Plan.   



That the report be noted and received.


Proposed Plan Change 52 Alignment of the District Plan with the New Zealand Heritage List

2.    At its meeting of 19 September 2018 the District Plan Committee considered a plan change proposal to align the District Plan with the New Zealand Heritage List. This involved adding three buildings to the list of heritage buildings and structures in the District Plan, amending the listing of two buildings and deleting one building.

3.    The Committee recommended notification of proposed Plan Change 52, which was approved for notification at the Council meeting of 9 October 2018. Public notification occurred on 16 October 2018. Submissions closed on 16 November 2018.

4.    Five submissions were received, four in support and one in opposition. Four further submissions were received, both in support and in opposition to original submissions.

5.    A hearing was held on 16 April 2019 before a Hearing Panel comprising independent commissioner Lindsay Daysh and Cr Simon Edwards.

6.    The Hearing Panel’s recommended decision was adopted as the Council decision at the Council meeting held on 21 May 2019.

7.    The Council decision was notified publicly and to submitters on 28 May 2019. Appeals to the Environment Court close mid July 2019.

Natural Hazards

8.    Council has collaborated with Upper Hutt City Council, GNS Science and Urban Edge Planning to use improved information from the “It’s Our Fault” work of GNS Science to update the best known position of the Wellington Fault Line and the area affected, as well as the way the District Plan deals with land use along the Wellington Fault Line.

9.    The GNS’s initial report-back was provided in a Councillor workshop held on 23 August 2018. Following the workshop, a communications and engagement plan is being developed for consultation with affected landowners prior to a formal District Plan change that will adopt a risk-based approach to managing land use.

10.  Further analysis of the refined maps showed that 132 properties currently included in the Wellington Fault Special Study Area as included in the District Plan will no longer be affected by the new Wellington Fault Overlay. 777 properties will be affected to the same or a lesser extent and 14 properties will have an increased area affected by the new overlay. No new properties will be affected by the refined Wellington Fault Overlay.

Greenfield Development in Kelson – Major Drive

11.  The land at the northern end of Major Drive was identified as a potential greenfield development in the Urban Growth Strategy (UGS). To realise its development potential a private plan change request was lodged seeking to rezone the land from Rural Residential and Hill Residential to General Residential and General Recreation. 

12.  The consultants have now advised that the property owners wish to advance the project by way of a private plan change request. 

13.  A report presenting the private plan change request for the Subcommittee’s consideration in terms of whether to accept or adopt the proposal is presented elsewhere in this agenda.

Proposed Plan Change 43 - Residential and Suburban Mixed Use

14.  Proposed Plan Change 43 is intended to enable residential growth by providing for intensification and greater housing choice within the existing urban environment.

15.  A hearing panel has been appointed to make recommendations to Council on the Plan Change’s provisions and decisions requested by submitters. The hearing is set down for early September 2019.

Proposed Plan Change 36 - Notable Trees

16.  Proposed Plan Change 36 reviews the Notable Trees Chapter as well as blanket tree and vegetation protection provisions throughout the plan. The plan change was triggered by changes to the RMA invalidating blanket tree protection provisions.

17.  The Council decision on the Plan Change was appealed to the Environment Court by the East Harbour Environmental Association (EHEA) in July 2016.

18.  Parts of the relief sought were struck out by the Environment Court because they were out of scope. That scope decision was appealed to and upheld by the High Court.

19.  The Environment Court hearing on the remaining point of appeal began on 24 May 2018. The hearing was adjourned so that the Court can deal (via section 293 of the RMA) with an issue it identified within the District Plan, ie, that the catch-all rule in residential zones gave unlisted activities non-complying activity status.

20.  The Court agreed to consider a Council proposal to resolve the issue by amending the list of permitted activities in residential zones. The Court required Council to publicly notify the matter to enable submissions on the proposal. Public notice was given in the Hutt News and as an inclusion with the rates invoice that was sent to all rate payers on 20 November 2018.

21.  Council was then required to summarise and comment on the 19 submissions received and provide the submissions and report to the Court and all parties to the appeal.

22.  Following a Judicial Conference on 27 March 2019, the Court has decided to allow the s293 submitters to join the full proceedings as s274 parties if they wish to.

23.  The matter is likely to proceed to a Court hearing in the next few months.

Seaview Marina

24.  Officers are continuing to develop draft plan provisions in consultation with the Seaview Marina Board and key stakeholders such as the Lowry Bay Yacht Club, the Seaview Marina Users Group and the oil companies.

25.  A natural hazards assessment and a visual assessment have now been received.

26.  Officers are considering how the Marina is able to be accommodated in the format and zone structure proscribed in the National Planning Standards.

27.  A plan change proposal will be presented to the Subcommittee for consideration in due course.

RiverLink - Hutt River Flood Management

28.  The project associated with upgrading the Hutt River stopbanks from Melling to Ewen Bridge is now known as RiverLink. The three major partners in the project are Hutt City Council, Greater Wellington Regional Council and the New Zealand Transport Agency. 

29.  The three partners are about to jointly appoint a consultant team to confirm the project design and apply for the approvals required, which include regional resource consents associated with river works and Notices of Requirement to designate land to provide authorisation under the District Plan. The designations may also assist with land acquisition under the Public Works Act 1981. 

30.  Council, via the District Plan Division, will coordinate the processing of all applications for approvals including regional resource consents and Notices of Requirement.

31.  Consequential changes to the District Plan may also be required to enable Council’s intentions for the riverbank promenade and associated developments.

National Policy Statement on Urban Development Capacity

32.  The National Policy Statement on Urban Development Capacity (NPSUDC) became operative on 1 December 2016. The NPSUDC requires Council to ensure the City has sufficient development capacity for residential and business development over three, 10 and 30 year timeframes.

33.  Under the NPSUDC Council must carry out a housing and business development capacity assessment estimating demand, development capacity and infrastructure capacity as well as monitor a range of indicators.

34.  Council’s obligation to monitor and report on a range of indicators commenced on 1 July 2017. Officers are preparing a web page to present the indicators and link to relevant information such as the National Policy Statement and Council implementation projects including residential intensification and greenfield development.

35.  Officers are engaging with neighbouring councils, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Enterprise and the Ministry for the Environment on how to comply with the requirements of the NPSUDC. Wellington City Council is leading a joint project to develop an appropriate model and methodology for implementation.

36.  The headline results of the work were presented to the Mayoral Forum of 21 June 2019. Councillors will be briefed at an upcoming workshop.

District Plan review

37.  Recruitment is underway to replace staff that have left the Environmental Planning Division.  Until recruitment is complete and discussions have been held at an elected member level with UHCC, the District Plan review work is on hold. 

38. An update will be provided to the incoming Council at the first appropriate meeting.



There are no appendices for this report.    


Author: Nathan Geard

Environmental Policy Analyst



Approved By: Helen Oram

Acting General Manager, City Transformation