District Plans

The Kaipara District Plan

What does our District Plan do?

The District Plan outlines how land can be used or subdivided in the District. It also covers things like development and site usage. It does this mainly in two linked ways.  It splits the district into ‘zones’ (residential, commercial, rural and others) and then it sets objectives and policies for each zone.  In most cases the District Plan then provides rules designed to ensure the objectives and policies are met.

The objectives are designed to describe the outcome the District Plan is trying to achieve.  The policies explain how the outcome can be achieved.  The rules then reflect the policy.  Generally, rules state what activities are permitted (i.e. you don’t need a resource consent), what activities require a resource consent and in a few instances, activities that are prohibited.  The rules cover things like:

  • residential or commercial development
  • lot sizes and subdivision
  • the height and location of new buildings
  • what type of commercial activity can happen in certain areas
  • what you are allowed to do on a heritage protection site

Here are two examples of how the objectives, policies and rules work together:

Topic: Outstanding Natural Landscapes

Why is this a topic in the District Plan? Because these are important to the Districts identity and need to be protected.

Objective (outcome sought)
Policy (guidance on how to meet the objective)
Rule (how to apply the policy)
Outstanding Natural Landscapes are protected. Identify and confirm the extent, values and characteristics of outstanding natural landscapes. Limits are placed on earthworks which may impact on outstanding natural landscapes.

Topic: Activities affecting outstanding landscapes

Why is this a topic in the District Plan? Potential effects on landscape values.

Objective (outcome sought)
Policy (guidance on how to meet the objective)
Rule (how to apply the policy)
Building heights are not dominant in an outstanding landscape. Building heights will not diminish the amenity values of an area through vegetation clearance and earthworks. Different height, area, and volume limits for buildings in an outstanding landscape.

Note: It is important to remember that even if you do not need a resource consent, you might still need a different type of permission from Council.  For example you might need a building consent for your new shed or you might need a health license if you are opening a coffee shop.

What is a District Plan?

The Resource Management Act requires all district and city councils to have a District Plan, which has to be reviewed every ten years.  District Plans are very important council docume­nts, designed to promote the sustainable management of the natural and physical resources in our districts and cities.

Councils are required to ensure a District Plan meets the requirements of a range of local, regional and national plans, policies and strategies. View the legal framework for District Plans

When reviewing or changing a District Plan, councils work closely with their communities to ensure the District Plan meets present and future community needs.

What is a Resource Consent?

If what you want to do is not permitted or prohibited in the District Plan, you can apply for a Resource Consent. 

A Resource Consent provides permission for you to undertake an activity; such as subdivide your land, or operate a small business in a residential area.  Usually a Resource Consent will have attached conditions to make sure that your activity will not have a negative environmental effect.  Examples include building your shed in a way that won’t impact on your neighbours’ sunlight or making sure your activity doesn’t pollute the local stream, requiring you to install a storm water detention tank.