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Feedback Sought On Subdivision Rule Changes


Friday 24 May 2019

Feedback from the Central Hawke’s Bay Community is sought on new subdivision rules, proposed in the Central Hawke’s Bay District Council’s draft District Plan - now open for consultation.

A District Plan is essentially the planning rule book for the District - from where you can subdivide, to ways we protect our biodiversity. Councils current District Plan is nearly 20 years old, no longer reflecting a Central Hawke’s Bay of today or our communities aspirations for the future.

As part of the District Plan review, a major body of work has been the detailed analysis of the Districts rural soils.  This work has identified that Central Hawke’s Bay’s soils are of regional and national significance and that the draft District Plan should seek to protect the District’s unique versatile and productive soils. 

Central Hawke’s Bay’s economy is growing, with some 22% of all exports from the Napier Port originating in Central Hawke’s Bay predominantly from primary industry.  During Project Thrive – ‘smart growth’ and planning to ‘future proof Central Hawke’s Bay’ were also key areas of focus raised by the Community.

The current District Plan operative since 2003, has a single rural zone where the District’s most productive soils can be subdivided down to 4,000 square metre lots.  This current rule framework has resulted in unplanned subdivision and the loss of some of the Districts most versatile and productive soils for primary production.

The draft District Plan proposes to introduce three new rural zones - a Plains Production Zone, a Rural Production Zone and a Rural Living Zone.  These three new zones limit the size of subdivision on our productive soils and restrict lifestyle subdivision to certain areas of the District, ensuring that smart growth is delivered in the District. “While we welcome and appreciate new development and new people, it shouldn’t be at a cost to our small-town values and it should utilise our existing town infrastructure as much as possible – to lessen the ongoing costs across the whole community”, say Mayor Alex Walker. “Protecting our Districts most versatile and productive soils as part of the draft District Plan, seeks to safeguard the agricultural foundations that makes up our District”, says Mayor Alex Walker. “We acknowledge the significance of these proposed changes in particular to our rural landowners and we really encourage our community to get to understand the proposed changes and have their say”.

In the Plains Production Zone, the minimum subdivision area is proposed to be 12 hectares and 20 hectares in the Rural Production Zone. The rural living zone will remain at 4,000 square metres, however will be limited to specific areas of the District in Waipawa and Waipukurau to allow for  rural lifestyle living.  Some concessions to subdivide below these minimum areas are proposed for those in the proposed Plains Production and Rural Productions zones, with either a significant natural area or if the existing rural property is smaller than 12 hectares.

Minor changes to subdivision rules in the urban areas are also proposed, with areas for future industrial growth and developing existing land and infrastructure within urban areas, a focus of the draft District Plan.  In coastal areas, restrictions are proposed to limit the growth of coastal villages through subdivision beyond the current boundaries.    

The Central Hawke’s Bay community are encouraged to get to understand the opportunities and challenges the draft District Plan presents, including proposed changes to the Districts subdivision rules. 

You can find out more and have your say by visiting Councils Draft District Plan page or by attending a community meeting planned through June or visiting one of Councils libraries or service centres.

Submissions close on 15 July 2019.


Authorised by Chief Executive: Monique Davidson

Media contact

Monique Davidson, Chief Executive |P 06 857 8060 M 027 601 1711


Kim Parker, Communications and Engagement Manager |M 027 297 0542

24 May 2019

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