Operative District Plan

​​​​​​​July 2012

The status of the Operative District Plan

At its meeting of 29 June 2012 the Hamilton City Council resolved to declare the Hamilton City District Plan 'Operative.'

In accordance with clause 20 (1) of Schedule 1 of the Resource Management Act 1991, the Hamilton City District Plan became operative on 28 July 2012, as publicly notified on 21 July 2012.

Operative District Plan (Waikato Section)

The Waikato Section of the Operative Hamilton District Plan is administered for land that was transferred from the Waikato District to the Hamilton City boundary on 1 July 2011. This land covers an area north of Te Kowhai Road, Ruffell Road and Old Ruffell Road which is bounded by State Highway 1 and the Waikato River. A small section of land between Borman Road and the Designation for the Hamilton Bypass is also included as well as the Ruakura area to the east of Hamilton City. 

The following documents are the relevant sections of the Waikato District Plan as at 1 July 2011. Please note, the Ruakura Plan Change (see Updates table below) amends these provisions for parts of the Ruakura area.

CONTENTS  Relevant sections​(75 KB)
​​Chapters 1-17 ​Issues, Objectives and Policies​​(11.4 MB)
​​Chapters 18-20​Introduction to Rules (708 KB)
Chapter 24​Industrial Zone Rules​​(13.3 MB)
Chapter 25 Rural Zone Rules​(14 MB)
​Chapter 27​Country Living Zone Rules​​(4.6 MB)
Chapter 29Explanation and Reasons​(1.5 MB)
Chapter 30​Designations​​(890 KB)
​Appendices A - O​(9.8 MB)
Appendix P​Meaning of Words​(1 MB)
Maps​Relevant Maps​(10.7 MB)


The District Plan is updated as Plan Changes and Designations are progressed through the RMA process.

Updates to the Operative District Plan (Waikato Section):

​Reason​Plan Updated​Updates to be printed for Hard-Copy Plans​
  • ​Council has approved the Board of Inquiry Decision for the Ruakura Plan Change in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Resource Management Act (1991)
  • For further information on the Ruakura Board of Inquiry, see the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) website
​December 2014

Ruakura Plan Change to the Operative Hamilton District Plan (Waikato Section) December 2014 (8.1 MB)

Full Decision Report for Ruakura Board of Inquiry Decision (8 MB)

Updates to the Operative District Plan 2012:

​Reason Plan Updated​ Updates to be printed for Hard-Copy Plans​
  • ​Designations 111 and 112: Southern Links
​March 2016March 2016 (PDF, 3.29MB)
  • Part removal Designation 97: Eastern Arterial
  • Alteration to Designation 19
  • New WEL Networks Designations 113 and 114
  • Clause 20A errors
​May 2014​​May 2014 (PDF, 12.3MB)
  • ​Environment Court Consent Order in relation to references ENV-2012-AKL-000095, ENV-2012-AKL-000098, ENV-2012-AKL-000099, ENV-2012-AKL-000100
  • Part removal Designation 91: Avalon Drive Bypass
  • Clause 20A errors
​February 2014​​February 2014 (PDF, 6.8MB)
  • ​Incorporation of Designation 109 (Bryce Street Substation) and Designation 110 (Chartwell Substation);
  • Environment Court Order related to Transpower appeal (ENV-2012-AKL-000102) to Plan Change 1/Variation 12;
  • Withdrawal of appeals ENV-2012-AKL-000101 and ENV-2012-AKL-000105;
  • Clause 20A errors. 
​February 2013February 2013 (PDF, 9.99MB)
  • Incorporation of Designation 108 (Sandwich Road Substation);
  • Alteration to Designation 81;
  • Clause 20A errors​.
​November 2012 November 2012 (PDF, 3.4MB)

Operative District Plan Updates Alert email

If you would like to be added or removed from the Operative District Plan updates alert email list please email us to request this service.  An annual $5.20 fee will apply to this service.

Please note: if you were an existing subscriber to the email alert for the operative in part District Plan, this service ceased when the District Plan became Operative on 28th July 2012. If you wish to continue receiving email alerts, please re-subscribe to the Operative District Plan updates.

Get a copy of the plan

Hard copies of the Operative District Plan are available for viewing at the Council Offices in Garden Place, as well as at all Hamilton City Community Libraries. 

Hard copies of the District Plan are available for purchase from the Council Offices in Garden Place. View a full list of fees and charges  for City Planning.


On 31 October 1999, Hamilton City Council publicly notified its Proposed District Plan. A wide range of submissions were received regarding the Plan. Council completed hearing these submission and publicly notified its decisions on the submissions on 27 October 2001. Fifty-seven appeals regarding Council's decisions on submissions were lodged with the Environment Court. All of the appeals have now been resolved. The Proposed District Plan was made Operative in Part on 8 August 2011.

Changing over time

The Operative District Plan will continually be amended as a result of plan changes, designations, and the resolution of appeals on plan changes.

Council has a statutory obligation to monitor the efficiency and effectiveness of its Operative District Plan and must take action to address any issues as they arise. This is achieved through a Plan Change which can be anything from a tidy up of miscellaneous issues, to a Plan Change incorporating a Structure Plan for a major growth area into the District Plan. 

A Structure Plan is a plan that sets out the development concept for long term growth in an area. Structure Plans are developed for all areas within the City zoned future urban (predominately rural land), before they are made available for urban development. Structure Plans also illustrate the likely extent of future infrastructure provision within a growth area. The three main growth areas within Hamilton are Rototuna, Rotokauri and Peacocke. 

The RMA requires that Plan Changes be publicly notified. Any person may make a submission to a Proposed Plan Change. 


The Resource Management Act 1991 provides the ability to designate land for public works.
A designation is a provision made in a district plan to give effect to a requirement made by a requiring authority under section 168, 168A or clause 4 of the First Schedule.
A requiring authority could be a Minister of the Crown, a local authority or a network utility operator that has been approved under section 167.

Planning for growth in Hamilton

The Hamilton Urban Growth Strategy document will guide how the city manages growth into the future. Find out more about the Hamilton Urban Growth Strategy

The Strategic Agreement on Future Urban Boundaries between Waikato District and Hamilton City identifies the areas for long term expansion of the City, provides a basis for future planning by the City and District, and informs communities and the wider market of the agreed intentions of both Councils. Download the Strategic Agreement document (PDF, 1.73MB).

Page reviewed: 20 Jul 2016 1:52pm