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Decision-Making Process and Hearings

We are currently reviewing the District Plan which sets the rules for how the district’s land can be used, developed and subdivided. The Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) requires us to review our District Plan every 10 years.

We have drafted a new District Plan which covers all of the Waikato district, so instead of two District Plans there is one. The Proposed Waikato District Plan is being reviewed in two stages.

We publicly notified the Proposed Waikato District Plan on 18 July 2018, and during the process the Minister for the Environment granted Waikato District Council a 14-month extension of time to give a decision on the Proposed Waikato District Plan.

Once fully tested through the RMA process and free of legal challenge, the Proposed Waikato District Plan will become the next Operative Waikato District Plan that will replace the current Waikato and Franklin sections. 

Independent hearing panel

It is important that the Commissioners exercise their functions independently and objectively and that all submitters have confidence in the integrity of the hearing process. As such, this register will be updated from time to time. Parties should refer to the most recent version on this site as further Minutes will not be issued.

Hearing Panel directions, minutes and responses

The Hearings Panel will provide a range of directions to parties/submitters regarding the hearings.



Communications to the hearing panel

This section includes all correspondence to the Hearings Panel. This often includes requests to the Hearing Panel for a change to the hearing procedure or to consider material which may not have been received within the timeframes set out by the Hearings Panel. These may include requests for additional hearing time for a complex hearing matter, late filing of evidence or a corporate submitter having to seek permission for a specific matter.  The submitter needs to provide compelling reasons and the hearing panel has the discretion to accept to reject such requests.

Hearing topics and schedule

To help submitters plan ahead below is an indicative spreadsheet which allocates every primary submission point to a hearing. As we are analysing the submissions we may find that submissions are better addressed in a different hearing and we will update the spreadsheet accordingly. For this reason we will be dating the spreadsheet so that submitters have the most up to date version.


Procedural reports

There may be occasions where reports need to be provided from Council staff to the hearing panel to assist with procedural matters and an efficient hearing process. Examples include reports of late original and further submissions which the panel may either accept or reject before commencement of the hearing.  

Opening submissions

process for hearing reports
Below is a list of the upcoming hearings. Click on the hearing to view more details about it.