Proposed District Plan

Proposed District Plan Notified December 2012

Volume 1 - Chapters 1 to 26 (20 MB)
Volume 2 - Appendices 1 - 16 (43 MB)
Volume 2 - Appendix 17 Planning Maps (44 MB)
Section 32 Analysis (6 MB)

Decisions on Proposed District Plan – 9 July 2014

Following hearings and consideration of submissions, the Decisions on the Proposed District Plan were released on 9 July 2014.

Decisions on deferred matters – 18 February 2015

Decisions on some sections of the Proposed District Plan were deferred from the main release of decisions on 9 July 2014, including matters relating to land adjacent to Lake Waiwhakareke, water efficiency measures, Chapter 12 Te Rapa North Industrial Zone and Ruakura. The decisions on the first three matters are available here.

Council has approved the Board of Inquiry Decisions for the Ruakura Private Plan Change in accordance with the relevant provisions of the RMA. A variation to the Proposed District Plan is being prepared for notification in mid-2015.

Appeal process

The appeals period closed on 22 August 2014. Forty-five appeals were lodged with the Environment Court, and two have since been withdrawn.

An "Appeals Version" of the Proposed District Plan is available. Click here to view the Appeals Version, the appeals lodged with the Environment Court, memoranda filed with the Environment Court and consent orders.

Fact sheets

Click here to see fact sheets relating to new provisions within the Proposed District Plan.


The Proposed District Plan governs the way Hamilton looks and feels and sets the rules for future city development.

It also defines how and where the city grows and how its natural and physical resources are managed.

The Proposed District Plan was developed from the following guiding principles:

  • Importance of the central city
  • Higher density residential development
  • A hierarchy of business centres
  • High quality urban design
  • Protection of character areas
  • Restoration and protection of our natural environment and heritage

The proposed plan is designed to shape the city into a prosperous and innovative place where people love to live. To achieve this we need a city which:

  • Has a thriving centre
  • Manages growth sustainably
  • Embraces the Waikato River
  • Values, preserves and protects its natural environment
  • Is attractive, well-designed and compact with outstanding architecture and distinctive public spaces
  • Is safe and easy to get around
  • Is a fun place to live with a vibrant arts scene  


Council has consulted stakeholders and the community to develop the Proposed District Plan.  This included:
  • Identification of significant resource management issues for Hamilton – Fast Forward Discussion Document, February 2010
  • Development of issues and options  through the Big Picture Outcomes and Options Discussion Document, August 2010
  • Preparation of a Draft District Plan for feedback, April 2012
  • Notification of Proposed District Plan, December 2012 


There are notable changes (local and other) between the existing Operative District Plan and the Proposed District Plan. The local changes include:
  • Changes in zoning
  • Transport Corridor ranking
  • Arterial Transport Corridor protection areas
  • Flood hazard areas
  • Waikato Riverbank and Gully Hazard Area
  • Significant Natural Areas
  • Historical Heritage and Archaeological and Cultural sites classification
  • Electrical Transmission Corridors
  • Ruakura Structure Plan

Other changes include:

  • Proposed rule changes within zones
  • Transport Corridor Zone
  • Transportation
  • Stormwater, wastewater and water supply
  • Natural Hazards
  • Urban Design

Maps showing the locations and including full explanations of the notable changes, can be downloaded as PDFs here.

Submissions Received

Submissions on the Proposed District Plan ran from 10 December 2012 to 29 March 2013.
View the submissions alphabetically by submitter.
View  the submissions by submitter number. 

Further Submissions Received

Further submissions on the Proposed District Plan ran from 31 May 2012 to  2 July 2013.
View the further submissions alphabetically by further submitter.
View the further submissions by submission number.

Addendum to Summary of Decisions and Further Submissions

The Further Submission period for the Addendum to the Summary of Decisions has now closed. A list of the further submitters to the Addendum and copies of their submissions can be found here (PDF). (Scroll down the attached document to see the individual submissions.)

Withdrawn Submissions

Some submissions were withdrawn; a list of these can be found here (PDF). 


The hearing of submissions to the Proposed District Plan were heard at the Waikato Stadium. A link to the Staff Report for each topic was made available 5 working days before that topic was heard (see below).

The proceedings and tabled items for each hearings day are available here.

Replies by staff to questions asked by the Commissioners are available here.

September 2013

1 Plan Overview and 2 Strategic Framework (3 MB)
25.15 Urban Design (454 KB)
5.8 Noise and Vibration (1.48 MB)
20 NaturalEnvironments (11 MB)
21 Waikato River & Gully Systems (649 KB)
25.2 Earthworks and Vegetation Removal (630 KB)

October 2013

25.1 Development Suitability (457 KB)
25.4 Hazardous Facilities (624 KB)
25.3 Events and Temporary Activities (622 KB)
25.5 Landscape and Screening (1.7 MB)
15 Open Space Zone (3 MB)
16 Community Facilities Zone (1.8 MB)
25.6 Lighting and Glare (353 KB)
26 Designations (s42A Report) (1.2 MB)
26 Designations (s171 Report) (9 MB)
25.11 Smoke, Fumes, Odour and Dust (286 KB)
25.12 Solid Waste (357 KB)
25.10 Signs (833 KB)
25.9 Public Art (222 KB)
14 Future Urban Zone (1.15 MB)
22 Natural Hazards (4.55 MB)
22 Natural Hazards - Appendices D and E (9.7 MB)
4 Residential Zones (2.54 MB)
4 Residential Zones - Appendices (15 MB)
6 Business Zones (9.5 MB)
Statement of Evidence of Luke O'Dwyer, Hamilton City Council re Business Zones (734 KB)
Statement of Evidence of Alasdair Gray re Business Zones (3 MB)
7 Central City Zone (10.6 MB)

November 2013

19 Historic Heritage (8.4 MB)
25.13 Three Waters (840 KB)
5 Special Character Zones (8.6 MB)
25.7 Network Utilities (1.7 MB)
17 Major Facilities Zone (1 MB)
13 Rototuna Town Centre Zone (1.5 MB)
18 Transport Corridor Zone and 25.14 Transportation (6.3 MB)
23 Subdivision (10.5 MB)
24 Financial Contributions (4 MB)

December 2013

3 Structure Plans (Rotokauri, Rototuna, Peacockes, Ruakura) (19 MB)​
Evidence of Alastair Black, Gray Matter, regarding Structure Plans (10.6 MB)
9 Industrial Zone (9 MB)
12 Te Rapa North Industrial Zone (5 MB)

February 2014

Planning Maps (5 MB)
Definitions (5 MB)
Appendix 1, Vol 2 (8 MB)
Appendix 1, Vol 2 - Addendum (212 KB)
Miscellaneous (350 KB)
Supplementary Report (580 KB)

June 2014

Business 3 and 4 Zones - Supplementary Report (5.5 MB)
Memorandum in response to "Porter Group" in respect of Business 3 and 4 zone (3 MB)
Strategic Framework - Supplementary Report (796 KB)

November 2014 (Reconvened)

25.13 Three Waters - Part of Rule a) (1.5 MB)
Zoning of site known as ‘Lot 2 DP 425316’ adjacent to Lake Waiwhakareke (8.8 MB)

December 2014 (Reconvened)

Chapter 12 Te Rapa North Industrial Zone Concept Development Plan Provisions (4.7 MB)

1. Submissions on the Assessment Criteria/DP Admin provisions were heard in February 2014. However, those submissions on Assessment Criteria/DP Admin  specific to another chapter were heard in the hearing on submissions on that chapter.

2.  Some parts of the plan have been identified for postponement of hearings due to the application to the Environmental Protection Authority for the Private Plan for Ruakura. Click here for a list of those parts that will be heard after the Board of Inquiry decision on the application to change the Operative District Plan.

More Information

A copy of the Summary of Submissions on the Proposed District Plan by chapter can be found here.

A copy of the Summary of Submissions on the Proposed District Plan by submitter can be found here.

A copy of the revised Section 32 analysis can be found here.

Find an overview of the Key Themes for the Proposed District Plan.

The new Proposed Infrastructure Technical Specifications can be found here.

To view the background documents on modified/new designations click here.

If you have any questions about the Proposed District Plan you can email

Giving Effect to the Plan 

The Resource Management Act requires that a rule in a Proposed District Plan must be treated as ‘operative’ (i.e. replaces the corresponding rule in the Operative District Plan) if:

  • No submissions in opposition have been made which could result in a change to a rule; or
  • Where submissions in opposition have been made that could result in a change to a rule, the submitter has not lodged an appeal challenging Council’s decision on that submission.

Now that all submissions have been lodged on the Proposed District Plan, Council has its first opportunity to consider whether any rules in the Proposed District Plan can be treated as operative.

Council has undertaken an analysis of all submissions and has concluded that no rules in the Proposed District Plan can be treated as operative at this point in time. Council will consider this same issue again once the appeal period has expired against Council decisions on submissions to the Proposed District Plan.

Ruakura Development Plan Change Request

Page reviewed: 27 Feb 2015 2:30pm