Questions and answers

We know you might have questions about the draft heritage areas in the draft District Plan. If your questions aren't answered below, email us at or you can phone 0800 920 029 and ask to speak to the District Plan team.

What does this mean for communities and landowners?

If a property is located within a heritage area, it is likely the owner will require a resource consent for development.

Does this mean property owners will not be able to build a house, deck or extension or have a home garden?

The purpose is not to stop development, but to make sure that it is done in a way that protects existing heritage values. You wouldn’t need a consent to have a garden or do maintenance on your house, including repainting. However, a resource consent might be required to do a certain amount of earthworks, and build a new house or extension.

What are the triggers for a resource consent under the draft District Plan?

A resource consent for earthworks will seek to avoid damage to known archaeological sites, or destruction of unknown sites. The purpose of a resource consent for building works in a heritage area is to make sure the building is consistent with the heritage values of the area or its surrounds. Each development and heritage area is treated on its merits.

What does this mean in terms of process?

Property owners may need to allow additional time and costs to prepare and apply for a resource consent (standard 20 working days to process). Consultation may be required with Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga or the relevant iwi/hapū prior to lodging an application. Their written approval may also be requested. The deposit to lodge a non-notified land use consent with Council is $1,933 (as at August 2021).

Why are the precincts/areas changing?

The new areas reflect clusters of different aspects of heritage in one place and better represent Māori and early European settlement. We are also required to use the term heritage ‘area’ (instead of precinct) in accordance with the National Planning Standards.

What benefit is there to protecting these areas?

Apart from the inherent value in protecting our heritage, protection of these areas creates desirable places to live and visit.

Why do we need rules? Why can't people self-regulate?

The rules guide people to develop in a way that maintains the area’s heritage values. Removing rules opens communities to development that could destroy the heritage values that underpin that area. For example, people may be unaware of heritage associated with Māori settlement and early European settlement because it is not obviously visible.

How are you working with tangata whenua?

We are engaging with iwi/hapū alongside this community engagement. This engagement will help to determine what areas and rules should be in the Proposed District Plan.

What will you do with my feedback?

We will review all feedback on each heritage area. If the feedback asks that we revise the approach, we will consider options. This is still a draft plan, so there is opportunity for refinement. We are already considering changes based on the earlier feedback.

Why are we hearing about this again?

The draft District Plan was part of the Navigating Our Course roadshow in March and talked to people across the district. We received feedback from about 450 people or organisations on the draft District Plan. Many people requested that we do further engagement on heritage areas and contact all property owners affected by the changes.