Wāhi Tūpuna FAQs

On this page you will find answers to some of our frequently asked questions relating to the WāhiTūpuna chapter from Stage 3 of the District Plan review.

If you would like further information which is not listed here, please either: 

  1. What are Wāhi Tūpuna?
  2. Why should I consult with iwi?
  3. When should I consult?
  4. Who are local iwi contacts?
  5. Where can I view a map showing Wāhi Tūpuna locations?
  6. Where can I find a glossary of terms used in this Chapter?
  7. How would a decision get made and how will this affect my rights?
  8. How would these new rules apply to me?
  9. Is it just the earthworks rules that I would need to check?
  10. Where can I find out additional information?

Wāhi Tūpuna

1. What are Wāhi Tūpuna?

These are landscapes and places that hold particular cultural and ancestral significance to Kāi Tahu (Ngāi Tahu) and their culture and traditions with their ancestral lands, water, sites, wāhi tapu, and other taonga.

By mapping them, it should help to appropriately manage and protect these sites.

2. Why should I consult with iwi?

When planning a proposal, and before submitting a resource consent, you may wish to consult with iwi if your land falls within a Wāhi Tūpuna area.

Situations where consultation is recommended include:

  • Proposing something in an identified wāhi tūpuna area (see Chapter 39 and planning maps)
  • Proposing an activity listed in Chapter 39
  • Activities within Statutory Acknowledgment areas including activities on lakes and rivers.

3. When should I consult?

If your activity falls within a Wāhi Tūpuna area, early consultation is considered the best way to ensure the effects of certain activities are appropriately managed early in the process. 

Where early consultation is provided, this will likely make your resource consent application more efficient in relation to this aspect of your application.

4. Who are local iwi contacts?

You can contact either Aukaha or TeAoMarama as they facilititate consultation with Kāi Tahu Rūnaka:


Level 1, 258 Stuart Street
PO Box 446

Ph: 03 4770071

Website: www.aukaha.co.nz

Te Ao Marama Inc

408 Tramway Road
P O Box 7078
Invercargill 9844

Ph: 03 931 1242

Email: office@tami.maori.nz

Where consultation is required, work is done on a cost-recovery basis and applicants may be charged a fee. Aukaha sends a summary and recommendation for each resource consent application to the rūnaka that are kaitiaki of the area the application is located in. As there are many areas of shared interest, details of the application may be sent to more than one rūnaka. A letter detailing the rūnaka position on the application (oppose, support, neither oppose nor support) is sent to the applicant.

For large applications with extensive cultural effects, a Cultural Impact Assessment (CIA) may be required as part of the Assessment of Environmental Effects (AEE).

5. Where can I view a map showing Wāhi Tūpuna locations?

To find out more about the cultural significance of your land, you can view Wāhi Tūpuna online through QLDC’s planning maps: http://qldc.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=d96dc2f7ba3a44b2b4769be6d8b1ac09

Wāhi Tūpuna locations are shown as hatched with a green outline.

Enter your property address then click on the property details box that should appear. Click over to the second tab and you will see the details relating to Wāhi Tūpuna values and the site number.

To view the details for the site number, please take a look at the Provisions listed for Chapter 39: www.qldc.govt.nz/assets/Uploads/Planning/District-Plan/Proposed-District-Plan/PDP-Stage-3/Draft-Chapters-and-Maps/3.-Chapter-39-Wahi-Tupuna.pdf 


6. Where can I find a glossary of terms used in this Chapter?

7. How would a decision get made and how will this affect my rights?

Like any regular resource consent decision, decisions on development or activities needing consent in a wāhi tūpuna area will be made by QLDC (or more commonly a delegated official) based on an assessment of the relevant information and the legal framework of the district plan and RMA.

Normal statutory timeframes will apply and Iwi won’t have a veto over your development.

These provisions would allow potential impacts on the cultural values of Iwi to be considered alongside what the rest of the district says about development and activities in that area.

People will have the same rights to appeal as any other consent decision.

8. How would these new rules apply to me?

In addition to your usual check of district plan rules, if you are intending to underake development within a wāhi tūpuna area, you will want to check whether you require a resource consent for any of the recognised threats set out in Schedule 39.6.

Where you do require a resource consent, then consulation with Iwi is encouraged and any effects of the activites on the cultural values of manawhenua will form part of the decision making process for the consent.

Most of the activites listed as recognised threats would require either a discretionary or non-complying resource consent through existing rules in the Proposed District Plan (PDP).

There are a few exceptions to this where the Stage 3 proposal includes changes to specific rules and standards.

9. Is it just the earthworks rules that I would need to check?

The main change relates to the proposed 10m³ earthworks threshold.

Any earthworks within a wāhi tūpuna which exceed this volume would require a restricted discretionary activity resource consent under the proposals. discretion is proposed to be restricted to the effects on cultural values of manawhenua.

This is a change to the permitted standards for eathworks set by the different zones in the PDP, which in many cases allow higher volumes of earthworks before consent is requred (outside of heritage sites and significant natural areas).

But the answer is no. Other activites where the status of the activity is intended to change are:

>         Farm buildings which are currently a permitted or restricted discretionary activity in the Rural Zone where standards are met is proposed to be a restricted discretionary activity within a wāhi tūpuna.

>         Subdivision which if not for these proposals would generally be a restricted discretionary activity, is proposed to be a discretionary activity within a wāhi tūpuna.

>         Cemetaries and crematoria are proposed to be prohibited within the Town Centre Zone, Local Shopping Centre zone and Business Mixed Use Zone.

>         Renewable energy activities are permitted in some areas and would be discretionary activity within a wāhi tūpuna.

>         Setbacks from waterbodies the activity status and setbacks would not change but (as with other activities affected by the mapping that could be a threat) effects on cultural values will be an additional matter to consider in decision making if a consent is requred.

In some instances there are no rules triggering the need for a consent even though the activity is listed as a recognised threat. If this is the case, you will not require resource consent and therefore no consulation will be required.

10. Where can I find out additional information?

You can find explanations of terms in Chapter 5 of the Proposed District Plan, including a glossary: www.qldc.govt.nz/assets/Uploads/Planning/District-Plan/PDP-Chapters/Chapter-5-Tangata-Whenua.pdf

‘Kā Huru Manu’ (Ngāi Tahu Cultural Mapping project) includes place names and histories of Ngāi Tahu: http://www.kahurumanu.co.nz/atlas