New timeline for Proposed District Plan

Published on 01 December 2021

Far North landscape

The Far North District Council has revised the timeline for notifying its Proposed District Plan to allow elected members to make informed decisions on the direction of the proposed plan.

The Council has been consulting on a Draft District Plan for most of 2021 and recently extended the deadline for feedback on draft heritage areas until 27 October. Last week management informed the Strategy and Policy Committee that they will seek committee approval to notify the Proposed District Plan on 3 May 2022.   

General Manager – Strategic Planning and Policy, Darren Edwards, says the Council had planned to seek formal submissions on the Proposed Plan before the end of 2021. However, this notification timeline is no longer realistic.

Mr Edwards says COVID-19 lockdowns impacted targeted engagement on heritage areas in the draft plan and staff still need to complete engagement with iwi authorities. They also need to evaluate feedback on draft heritage areas and work with Elected Members on next steps. In addition to this, new flood hazard maps the Northland Regional Council published this week need to be integrated into the plan along with new coastal hazard maps published earlier in the year. Plan content also needs to be integrated in the new e-plan format.

“We now aim to bring a final version of the proposed plan to the Strategy and Policy Committee for notification approval on 3 May 2022. We also plan to hold Elected Member briefing sessions in December and present information and options for Elected Members to consider at workshops in the first quarter of 2022. This revised approach will allow Elected Members to make informed decisions on the direction of the proposed plan.”

Strategy and Policy Committee Chair, Councillor Rachel Smith, says the committee recognises that the delay is not ideal. However, it is important that the Council is fully responsive to changing legislation and that it allows time for communities to provide meaningful feedback on how the draft plan affects them on the ground. “This will be the last District Plan that is developed by the Far North District, before Resource Management Act changes take land use planning to a regional level in 2023. The District Plan is the most effective tool we have in our toolbox to both mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change. It is important that we get it right.”


Last updated 26 July 2022