A plan change involves changes to an Operative District Plan. The District Plan is reviewed and updated on an ongoing basis for a number of reasons such as to re-zone land or to make amendments to rules. This is because communities might identify a need for changes to how their towns are developing and so, for example, land-use restrictions might change.
District Plan changes can be initiated by the Council or members of the public (a Private Plan Change). Plan changes involve a process requiring research, evaluation, and consultation with the community. For many reasons, some topics for a plan change may never move beyond the research phase.
Once a decision has been made to notify a plan change it must follow the statutory process under the First Schedule of the Resource Management Act 1991 (unless it is withdrawn). It must be accompanied by an evaluation report (Section 32 RMA) setting out such matters as costs/benefits, alternatives considered and whether it would conflict with other documents, such as National Policy Statements and the Regional Policy Statement.
If a plan change has been notified, and a decision is made later to withdraw the plan change, the Council must publish a Public Notice stating that a plan change has been withdrawn, and give reasons as to why it has been withdrawn.
A Council has two years from the date of the proposed plan change being notified to publicly notify and release a decision.
Current District Plan Changes
All the current District Plan Changes are listed below.
(Private) Plan Change 1
Li Liangren Family Trust
Decision released 1 July 2017, declining application. No appeals to the Environment Court, matter closed.
(Private) Plan Change 3
Decision released 26 May 2017, no appeals to the Environment Court, Council resolved to adopt plan change at 14 August 2017 Council meeting, Plan Change made operative 01 October 2017.
Plan Change 2
Proposed Plan Change 2: Fire Safety
Withdrawn. Council resolved to withdraw Plan Change 2 on 26 September 2016.
Plan Change 4 Fire Safety Rules
The appeal by Fire and Emergency New Zealand has been resolved by way of a Court Order. Council confirmed to make Plan Change Four operative on Wednesday 18 December 2018.
For further understanding how these changes may affect you please refer to the Fire Rule Plan Q&A on this page.
Plan Change (National Environment Standard) - Plantation Forestry
Council confirmed at the 25 October 2018 meeting to approve amendments to the Operative District Plan in accordance with the requirements of the National Environmental Standards for Plantation Forestry Regulations 2017, in accordance with sections 44A(4), (5) and (6) of the Resource Management Act.