Council ‘closes loop’ before next steps in District Plan

Published on 21 July 2022

Far North landscape

The council is contacting thousands of community members who commented on its Draft District Plan last year, part of a commitment to update all those who provided feedback on key sections of the document.

‘Closing the loop’ emails are being sent to everyone who gave feedback on proposed changes to Heritage Areas, and Ecosystems and Indigenous Biodiversity. Both proposals created significant public interest when the council publicised the draft in April 2021. Letters are also being sent to iwi authorities.

The Ecosystems and Indigenous Biodiversity chapter of the Draft Plan included maps of Significant Natural Areas (SNA), which sparked widespread objections from the community. In response, the council dropped SNA maps and agreed to explore alternative methods to protect significant species and habitats.

Proposed changes to the Heritage Areas chapter also proved controversial for some property owners in the nine areas with high heritage values.

Over 3000 emails are being sent this week to people who provided feedback on the proposals with details of the key changes made to the chapters they commented on.

The emails also confirm the date that the Proposed District Plan will be publicly notified, which will be 27 July 2022. Notifying the plan provides landowners, the community, stakeholders and tangata whenua the opportunity to make a formal submission on the plan. The submission period is open for 60 working days and closes on 21 October 2022.

All Far North ratepayers will receive a letter confirming when the Proposed District Plan will be notified, how they can view the plan and how to make a submission.