Frequently asked questions

What is the District Plan?

The Waitaki District Plan is the community’s rulebook, setting out the framework for governing the use and development of land within our district. The District Plan sets out the guidance and rules on how you can use and develop your land and whether a Resource Consent is required. EVERYONE is affected by the District Plan because it helps shape how we live, work and play in the Waitaki district. Its policies are designed to ensure the environment, and the things people love about living in the Waitaki are protected.

What issues does the District Plan deal with?

The District Plan says how Council will manage significant resource management issues. This might include: • Building development and earthworks • Land use activities such as residential, visitor accommodation, retail and industrial activities • Subdivision of land and associated earthworks • Protecting historic heritage, landscapes and biodiversity • Managing natural hazards • Activities on the surface of water in rivers and lakes It also manages more minor matters such as the minimum distance a garage should be located from a property boundary.​

At what stage is the review at?

The Council has been investigating the range of issues facing the District and looking into options to address these issues. We've now completed Stage 2 where we looked at the big issues and asked for your thoughts. We had over 200 pieces of feedback to the District Plan Review engagement. We are now beginning the next phase of engagement with the aim of ensuring affected landowners are aware of any changes to the status of their land and to encourage awareness and understanding of the District Plan Review in the wider community. Broader engagement will follow.

How does the District Plan affect me?

The District Plan affects the way you and your neighbours can use and develop your properties. It identifies a range of activities that are anticipated in the district, where they should occur and regulates these activities through the objectives, policies, rules, explanations and definitions. The positive outcomes achieved through the District Plan generally go unnoticed for most people and it is often not until someone wants to start a new activity or redevelop their property that they become aware of the District Plan regulations and the intended outcomes. Some common ways the District Plan can affect property owners are: • How close to the boundary you can build or extend your house, garage or other buildings. • How many dwellings you can have on your property. • Whether you can subdivide your property. • Whether there are any ‘special values’ relating to your property. • Whether you can operate a business from your home.

Why should I get involved?

This preliminary engagement phase is about shaping the draft District Plan. It is an opportunity for you to influence what we focus on and what aspects we change in the plan. It is about identifying what issues are important to you and telling us whether you think we are on the right track with the issues and options that we’ve identified so far. Based on feedback during this preliminary engagement process we will develop a draft District Plan for community consideration. The aim of the draft District Plan is to ‘check in’ with the community to ensure that we are on the right track before we refine the objectives and policies and develop rules before we formally notify the Proposed District Plan. ​

Who makes the final decisions?

The District Plan decision making process is ultimately determined by the elected Council, however the draft and proposed District Plan will have been shaped and developed by the feedback we receive from the community. Submissions on the Proposed District Plan will have the opportunity to be heard by a hearings panel. Any appeals will be heard at the Environment Court where the final decision is made by the court.​

Why is the District Plan being reviewed?

We are required by law to review our District Plan every 10 years. We’re living in changing times, a changing world, and our district faces new challenges when it comes to how land is used: climate change, coastal erosion and natural hazards like flooding and fire. The full review of the District Plan allows communities to reassess environmental outcomes and priorities, and redefine their vision for the future of the district. The District Plan should help to sustainably manage the natural and physical resources of the district to meet the needs of current and future generations and to provide for their social, economic and cultural well-being and for their health and safety.