Frequently Asked Questions

See frequently asked questions on the Proposed District Plan Below.

Also, check out our videos we've created to help you understand the High Density Residential rules being proposed in the District Plan.


Frequently Asked Questions

Hi, once a hearing stream is over, when do we hear what the decision or recommendations are for that stream?

All Commissioner Recommendations will be released at the conclusion of the Stream 1 hearings. At this stage all Stream 1 hearings will finish in September 2017 with recommendations to be released in the first quarter of 2018.


I live in Arrowtown and I hear a lot of alarming talk about intensified development and houses being shaded by buildings that would be bigger or closer than they're allowed to be now. Is that true?

It is true that the Proposed District Plan introduces a new Medium Density Zone for some parts of Arrowtown that provides for higher density development. This zone would allow two storey townhouses on smaller sections.

However, rules are proposed which will provide some protection for amenity. For example there are rules to help protect against overlooking. Shading controls are also proposed. Although these are not as restrictive as the current rules, so as to enable denser development, in most cases they will still provide for good protection of winter sunlight access from late morning to mid afternoon in winter.

In addition, all multi unit developments will need resource consent, and assessments will consider the Arrowtown Design Guidelines.


Why cant we just say no to growth? We don't want more people overcrowding the town and our district. So why are we letting them come in?

While concerns with the negative effects of growth are very understandable, we think it's very difficult to say “No to Growth”. Many people want to live in the district and enjoy all the wonderful things on offer, as we do. Attempting to stop growth could have a number of adverse consequences.

If we don’t provide for anticipated growth in our Proposed District Plan, then we think it's very likely that private plan change applications will be made in the future, as the demand to live here won’t go away. These are likely to be new housing areas in the countryside, putting more pressure on our roads, services, environment and landscape. Then we'll be on the backfoot. We think it's better to acknowledge anticipated growth and plan for it, and make the most of the benefits that growth can bring.

Further, our District is an engine room of the Otago and South Island economy. Attempting to stop growth could severely curtail economic growth and employment opportunities, both for people in our district and beyond.

The RMA also requires us to consider the social and economic effects of policies and rules as well as environmental ones. Changes made to the RMA in 2013 require us to explicitly consider the impact of policies and rules on economic growth and employment.

Further, trying to stop growth in the District Plan will also not necessarily stop people coming here. We may then see worsening prevalence of the overcrowding and unaffordable housing that already exists in the district.

However, we like to hear all perspectives so please make a submission on the Proposed District Plan to formally express your opinion.


With regards to the Medium Density Residential zone below the scenic walkway by Scurr hight (by Mataraki place) will there be any rules on height restrictions to preserve the view from this walk way?

Thank you for your question. There are no rules in the Proposed District Plan that specifically address this matter. However, it is a good point and we welcome you making a submission on the Plan.


The district plan makes reference to "Aircraft". Aircraft vary significantly in the impact they have on the environment and the community. A drone, helicopter, hot air balloon, plane and paraglider are all quite unique, but the district plan applies the same rules in relation to "Airports". How is this justified?

Thank you for your question.   You're right, The definition of aircraft in the proposed district plan is broad.  It’s important to note that aircraft operating over 500ft from ground level are outside the scope of the RMA and therefore can’t be controlled by the Council.  

The Council can however control the use of land where aircraft land and take off.  This is considered to be the most appropriate way to control the potential effects of aircraft activity.    All applications to use land as an informal airport (not in remote areas) would be considered on a case-by-case basis.  If you feel the definition is too broad or you have some good ideas on how to manage informal airports, we'd love to receive a submission from you about it.   


On Map 22 the ONL line for the Lake Wanaka ONL is not shown along the Roys Bay foreshore. Is it correct to interpret the ONL Line to be the same as the Urban Griowth Boundary Line throughout Roys Bay?

Yes the ONL line is obscured by the urban growth boundary at this location, Map 18 gives a larger, better overview of the landscape line.


I live in Deans Bank subdivision Albert Town (Hikuwai Dr) and the new proposed zoning would allow a building height of 8m. The existing height restriction is 6m on a covenant. Would this still exist? or will new builds be able to go to 8m?

Thanks for your question.  This subdivision is currently zoned Rural and is proposed to be rezoned low density residential to truly reflect what exists. The building height for Wanaka is 7 metres. Any restrictions registered on the title associated with the Council (usually imposed at the time of subdivision and referred to as Consent notices) would still apply. In this case going beyond a 6m height restriction would require a resource consent.


The Objectives and Assessment Matters for Landscape protection of Rural landscapes do not adress the matter of 'industrial' farming practices. Large pivot irrigators have the potential to degrade, and are degrading, the 'pastoral' character, and scenic and open space values of the Districts Rural landscapes. Will clauses be added so that the location, operation and orientation/parking of pivot irrigators does not compromise and degrade the values and character of Rural landscapes. This is of utmost importance for ONL and ONL but also relevant to all Rural Landscapes.

Thanks for your question.   It is not intended to add clauses to manage irrigators. An Environment Court ruling from another district confirmed that pivot and travelling irrigators are not buildings. Farming is a permitted activity and irrigation structures that are not classified as buildings do not require a resource consent. The use of irrigators is accepted as an anticipated change within the ambit of permitted farming activities.  The viability and ongoing use of land for farming rather than commercial activities and residential subdivision will maintain rural character and open space. 


Are all questions raised through this forum available for public viewing and will they all be responded to?

Absolutely.  There are some that have come through that have not yet been answered/published but will be as soon as possible.  


With regard to Zone Rules and Standards if they are breached, eg building height, does this trigger the need for a RC or is QLDC able to exercise discretion? 

Thanks for submitting a question.  Under the Proposed District Plan, breaches of rules or standards trigger resource consent.  The merits of the breach are then assessed on a case-by-case basis, against the Plan provisions and the RMA.


How to make a submission

Thanks to getting in touch.  The best way to make a submission is using our online submission system.   Click here to make an online submission  Or if you prefer, you can make a submission using Form 5 and emailing or posting it to us.   Click here to download Form 5.    Submissions close on 23 October 2015. 


What is large lot residential?

Thanks for your question.   Large Lot residential is a new zone in Wanaka.  It replaces the areas currently zoned rural residential that are within the proposed Wanaka Urban Growth Boundaries.   It is proposed that a different approach is appropriate for the management of the land within the urban growth boundaries, allowing  more scope for higher density development where it doesn’t degrade the amenity values of the area.   Generally the zone allows for 1 residence per 4000m2 (as in the existing rural residential zone) but in some identified areas 1 residence per 2000m2 is allowed to make more efficient use of councils water and wastewater systems and the opportunity for a range of housing options.    


Given that QLDC CEO Adam Freely states: "In determining whether to enforce a law or rule, a public authority is required to consider a number of criteria, including; the cost of enforcement; the degree of harm occurring; and the extent of the breach." What gaurantee has the public got, if and when changes to the District Plan are made, to protect landscape and scenic values? Specifically are the revised plan Rules and Zone Standards going to be applied in a subjective manner or will quantifiable criteria be enforced by QLDC?

Thanks for your question.  A key challenge in drafting a District Plan is weighing the balance between providing certainty and allowing flexibility.

Rules and standards in the Proposed District Plan are quantifiable. For example, the building height rules: you either comply or don’t comply. Where there is a non-compliance, resource consent approval is required.

It then comes down to an assessment as to the merits of any proposal that does not comply with rules and standards.
The merits will vary depending on the extent and impact of infringements, the extent to which neighbours or the environment is impacted and so forth.

Because so many variables are at play, all we can say is applications need to be considered case by case, and provisions in the District Plan and RMA matters need to be considered in assessments.


Given that the new Medium Density Zone at Scurr Heights is largely QLDC owned is the rationale behind the change a financial one? if not what is the urban design logic for this change particularly in view of the dislocation from the CBD and existing comerical and business zones?

In the Proposed District Plan, Medium Density Zones throughout the district are located close to commercial centres, whether they are town centres, mixed use areas, or local shopping areas.

The Proposed Medium Density Zone at Scurr Heights is located within comfortable walking distance of the Proposed Mixed Use Zone at Anderson Heights.

In addition, Council wants to ensure development of large parcels of centrally located urban land throughout the district is used efficiently.


There are two unanswered questions i raised over two weeks ago will they be answered and published prior to the submission date of 23 October?c

We've just published two more answers above.  As far as we can see we are now up to date.  However, if you have submitted a question that still hasn't been answered, please let us know asap so that we can get an answer to you.  Thanks. 


Once we have made a submission, is it possible to add supporting documents to the submission after the 23rd of October?

Thanks for your question.   You can present supporting information/documents at the hearing (hearings start early next year) but it must be within the scope of your original submission.   


Is there an opportunity to submit on the proposed convention centre through this District Plan review?

Thanks for your question.  The Plan Change 50 process is separate from the District Plan review.


When the proposed district plan was first notified I downloaded the chapter 27 on Subdivision and development. It now does not appear to be available. Is it being included or not? 

Thanks for getting in touch.  Yes, chapter 27: Subdivision and Development is included.  It's available on the District Plan Chapters page.  Here's a direct link:  

Chapter 24: Subdivision and Development


What are the carparking requirements?

The District Plan review is broken into 2 stages. Transport and parking is part of stage 2 which will be addressed in late 2016 / 2017.   Until then the carparking requirements in the operative district plan apply. 


If a zone change occurs as a result of a submission, will affected neighbours have a chance to give their feedback on that zone change before it is implemented? (if they haven't already made a submission)

Further submissions on the Proposed District Plan are open until Friday 18 December.  If you are affected by a zoning request made in a submission, you are eligible to make a further submission stating whether you support or oppose the original submission.   Here's a link to the further submission form.  


If we are agree with the proposed district plan, but disagree with one of the submissions so we need to make a submissions, do we need to make a submission disagreeing with their submission?

Further submissions on the Proposed District Plan are open until Friday 18 December.  If you are affected by a request made in a submission (ie you are a neighbour), you are eligible to make a further submission stating whether you support or oppose the original submission.   Here's a link to the further submission form.