After an eight-year process, independent commissioners have today released their decision on the Proposed Waikato District Plan, marking a momentous day for the Waikato District.
As part of the review process, Council received over 1000 submissions from residents, community groups, hapū and iwi, commercial businesses and stakeholders.
Following a robust 120 days of hearings with the community and stakeholders, the Proposed District Plan decision has been developed with a focus on our communities having opportunities to thrive and be connected, whilst meeting the growth needs that the district continues to have.
Some of the significant decisions include:
- Extra land being zoned for urban growth in our towns (Tūākau, Pōkeno, Te Kauwhata, Huntly, Ngāruawāhia and Raglan) and a future urban zone to indicate suitable areas for predicted growth.
- A decision on commercial activities which will focus on three different business zones designed to be more responsive to the needs of the communities they serve.
- Industrial zones will be better protected for industrial-focused activities.
- Farming operations will receive more support, through protection from reverse sensitivity and the facilitation of seasonal workers' accommodation.
- High-quality soils will be better protected for food production by stringent subdivision rules and the restricting of urban sprawl.
Following an earlier release of the commissioners’ decision on the proposed Ohinewai Sleepyhead development, the Council has reached agreement with appellants and is awaiting Environment Court approval. The Sleepyhead development is expected to create 2600 new jobs and 1100 new and affordable homes.
Waikato District Council Mayor Allan Sanson is grateful to the community for their involvement in the development of the Proposed District Plan and is excited for the many benefits the plan will bring.
“Not only will the rezoning support the growth we are currently facing, but the future urban zone also provides reassurance for those looking to make the move to the Waikato District in the coming years.”
“The decisions now give us the framework needed to begin acting on the commitments we have made to the district. Council looks forward to continuing to work alongside the community to continue supporting a more liveable, thriving and connected district,” says Mayor Sanson.
Waikato District Council would like to acknowledge the significant contribution of its staff and the independent decision panel including Dr. Phil Mitchell (Chair), Paul Cooney, Dynes Fulton, Cllr Jan Sedgwick, Cllr Janet Gibb, Linda Te Aho and Weo Maag, for their ongoing commitment to achieving a great outcome for our district.
To read the full detail of all the decisions, visit our website.
For more information, contact:
- Council is required to review the district plan once every ten years to keep up with emerging issues in the district and the rules and practices provided by the Resource Management Act (RMA).
- The district plan provides important guidance for those who live and work in our district and is critical for supporting our ongoing economic growth and prosperity. It protects our cultural heritage and environment by identifying Māori sites of significance, heritage buildings and significant natural areas.
- Any appeals can be lodged with the Environment Court and served on Waikato District Council within 30 working days from service of the notice of decision (appeals close on 2 March 2022).
- Once any appeals have been resolved, the Proposed Waikato District Plan will become the next Operative Waikato District Plan and will shape the growth of our district for all who call it home now and into the future.
- For the first time this one plan will replace the currently separated Franklin and Waikato sections.