Rural Review Project- Stage 3

As a result of the Council hearing on 15 and 18 May 2009 of all 68 comments to the discussion paper “Subdivision and land-use in the rural area” broad directions for the rural review process have been set. In summary these are:

  • Ensuring the opportunity for rural residential living is still available across the rural area, but with stronger provisions to better manage the rural character. 
  • Investigating the possibility of encouraging lifestyle living opportunities into particular areas close to existing settlements.
  • Considering whether to give greater protection for important landscape areas – including the district’s coastline, prominent river mouths and the land around the mountain and the Kaitake and Pouakai ranges.
  • Considering whether to place greater controls on reverse sensitivity, to protect some key rural industries from potential encroachment by rural residential development. Setback distances for new residences next to existing poultry and piggery operations, quarries and oil and gas sites, and possibly for cowsheds will be further discussed.

The directions will see work on four plan changes to the District Plan as part of the District Plan review programme. The Council will now begin to develop these plan changes in consultation with key stakeholders and landowners. The four plan changes are:

Purpose: To change the rural subdivision and associated land-use rules that relate directly to maintaining rural character. 

Principle: That the current flexible subdivision policy is maintained to the extent that the opportunity for rural residential living is still available across the rural area but that the provisions are strengthened so that rural character can be maintained. 

Timing: Plan Change 27 can be treated as operative.

Plan Change B: Lifestyle Areas

Purpose: To investigate the development of lifestyle areas, providing an opportunity for small lot living in appropriate parts of the rural environment. 

Principle: That an opportunity for small rural lots is provided through lifestyle areas to be located on the urban fringe of settlements. These areas will be in addition to still allowing small lifestyle lots across the rural area, although at a reduced intensity. 

Timing: A report will be put to the Policy Committee by 30 June 2013 on progress with the implementation of the Plan Change 27 provisions and whether investigations into lifestyle areas should be further progressed.

Plan Change C: Landscape Areas

Purpose:  To include additional land-use and subdivision controls in the Coastal Policy Area, Regionally Significant Landscapes and in the newly identified Outstanding Landscape Buffer. 

Principle: That through consultation with the community, additional controls are placed on sensitive landscapes and those areas adjoining these landscapes to ensure that landscape character is protected in these areas of high landscape value. 

Timing: To be progressed as priority allows.   

Plan Change D: Reverse Sensitivity

Purpose: To include further reverse sensitivity controls in the District Plan to protect some key rural resource based industries from potential encroaching rural residential development. 

Principle: That reverse sensitivity issues are more comprehensively managed by requiring a wider range of setback controls for sensitive activities locating in proximity to existing poultry and piggery operations, quarries and oil and gas sites and dairy sheds.   

Timing: To be initiated once the relevant parts of the Proposed Taranaki Regional Air Quality Plan are beyond the point of challenge to ensure consistency. 

For more detailed information on the issues that will be considered in these plan changes please refer to the Stage 3 Summary of Plan Changes document.

What's next?

As these plan changes are progressed there will be further opportunities for involvement. Each plan change process will have its own notification, submissions and hearings processes. Council officers are currently working on Plan Changes A and B. 

The current rules and provisions will remain the same until any plan changes have gone through due process.  


The Rural Review Project is a two year project, and we are currently in stage 3. The main stages of the project are:
Stage 1: Assessment of issues and preparation of a discussion paper (August 08-November 08)
Analysis of development rates, landscape monitoring and other effects monitoring, engaging with key stakeholders and identifying options for the rural environment.

Stage 2: Consultation on options (December 08-May 09)
Discussion paper for consultation with the community about the options for the rural environment. Broad directions have been established through this process so that plan changes can be drafted.

Stage 3: Plan Change process (June 09)
We are currently in this stage. Formal Plan Change process – drafting of plan change and section 32 analysis, submissions and hearings. The current rules in the District Plan will remain the same until any plan changes are notified and progressed.