1.1.2 Statutory Context of the District Plan and Relationships with Other Plans

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ The Resource Management Act 1991

The District Plan is prepared by Hamilton City Council in response to its obligations under the Act. The District Plan applies to the whole of Hamilton City, as it existed at notification date, and as shown in the Planning Maps. This District Plan will replace the operative Hamilton and Waikato District Plans that previously applied within the boundaries of the City.

The District Plan meets the Council’s functions under the Act, particularly Part 2, Sections 31, 72, 74 and 75 and Schedule 1. Section 31 of the Act sets out Council’s functions in terms of how it is to be put into effect. These are summarised as:

a)​ To achieve integrated management of the effects of the use, development or protection of land and associated natural and physical resources.​
b)​ Control effects of the use, development or protection of land, including for the purpose of:​
i.​ Avoiding or mitigating natural hazards​
ii.​ Matters relating to hazardous substances and the use of contaminated land.​
iii.​ The maintenance of indigenous biodiversity.​
c)​ Control the emission and effects of noise.​
d)​ Control effects of activities on the surface of lakes and rivers.​
This District Plan has been prepared in accordance with Section 32 of the Act. Integration of the Plan with Other Plans and Documents

The Act requires the integrated management of the environment. The District Plan is one tool for the sustainable management of Hamilton City and there are a range of other plans and documents, such as those outlined in Figure 1a  that are either implemented through the District Plan or taken into account when preparing it, as a means of achieving sustainable and integrated management of natural and physical resources.

a) National Policy Statements and National Environmental Standards

The Minister for the Environment prepares National Policy Statements and National Environmental Statements. The role of a National Policy Statement is to provide guidance for decision-making and the development of a district plan. At the time of preparing this District Plan the operative policy statements are the:

  • New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement 2010
  • National Policy Statement for Electricity Transmission 2008
  • National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2011
  • National Policy Statement for Renewable Energy Generation 2011

National Environmental Standards are technical standards relating to the use, development and protection of natural and physical resources, and are a form of regulation. Methods for implementing these standards can be prescribed, which promotes consistent standards, requirements or recommended practices nationally.

National standards override existing provisions in plans that require a lesser standard. However, where a district plan specifies a more stringent standard then that shall prevail over a National Environmental Standard if the National Environmental Standard expressly says that a district plan rule or consent may be more stringent than it. National Environmental Standards in force when this Plan was notified are:

  • Air-quality standards
  • Sources of human drinking water standard
  • Telecommunications facilities
  • Electricity transmission
  • Assessing and managing contaminants in soil to protect human health

The Act requires that district plans must give effect to National Policy Statements and must not be in conflict with or duplicate a National Environmental Standard.

b) Vision and Strategy for the W​​aikato River

As part of the Waikato River Settlement between the Crown and Waikato-Tainui, Te Ture Whaimana o Te Awa o Waikato – The Vision and Strategy for the Waikato River (‘Vision and Strategy’) has been developed. The Vision and Strategy was developed by the Guardians Establishment Committee (which included representatives of the Waikato River iwi and communities), recorded in the Settlement Act and will be periodically reviewed by the Waikato River Authority. It is the primary direction-setting document for the Waikato River and its catchments which include the lower reaches of the Waipa River.

The Vision and Strategy (April 2011) is set out in Volume 2, Appendix 10: Waikato River Corridor and Gully Systems.

Under Section 11 of the Settlement Act, the Vision and Strategy is deemed in its entirety to be part of the Regional Policy Statement without the need for public consultation. Section 75(3) of the Resource Management Act requires the District Plan to give effect to the Regional Policy Statement.

The Vision and Strategy is to be interpreted in a manner that best furthers the Overarching Purpose of the Waikato River Settlement; To restore and protect the health and wellbeing of the Waikato River for future generations.

The Settlement Act confirms that the Vision and Strategy prevails over any inconsistent provisions of any National Policy Statement or New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement. A rule included in the District Plan for the purposes of giving effect to the Vision and Strategy prevails over a National Environmental Standard or Water Conservation Order if the rule is more stringent.

c) Ruakura Development Plan: Board of Inquiry Decision 

In September 2014 a Board of Inquiry confirmed planning provisions for the Ruakura Schedule Area that forms part of the R1 Area transferred to Hamilton City during 2011. The provisions were included in the Hamilton City Operative District Plan: Waikato Section. However, a separate planning process was necessary to incorporate these provisions into the current District Plan. These provisions provide for a major new employment node at Ruakura based around an inland port to capitalise on the area’s location adjacent to the Waikato Expressway, Wairere Drive and the East Coast Main Trunk railway.​

d) Future Proof

The Future Proof Strategy is a 50-year vision and implementation plan developed by strategy partners: Waikato Regional Council, Hamilton City Council, Waipa District Council, Waikato District Council, Tainui Waka Alliance and tāngata whenua, with assistance from the NZ Transport Agency. Specifically Future Proof identifies 50-year land supply needs in the Future Proof sub-region (being the territorial authority areas of Hamilton City and Waipa and Waikato Districts) and sequences its release and development according to its ability to be serviced by appropriate infrastructure and to be funded equitably. The Future Proof Strategy includes urban limits in order to anchor the settlement pattern. The urban limits follow the Hamilton City boundary and provide enough land out to 2061. The Future Proof settlement pattern forms the basis of the City’s Hamilton Urban Growth Strategy, which the land use pattern within the District Plan is derived from.

e) Waikato Regional Policy Statement

The Act requires the Waikato Regional Council to prepare a Regional Policy Statement, which provides an overview of regionally significant resource management issues, and sets a broad strategic direction. The District Plan must give effect to the Regional Policy Statement. At the time of notifying the Proposed District Plan, there was ​an Operative Regional Policy Statement and a Proposed Regional Policy Statement that was notified in November 2010.

The Proposed Regional Policy Statement, now operative, aims to give statutory effect to the sub-regional settlement pattern contained in the Future Proof Strategy. It includes urban limits, strategic industrial nodes, growth allocations and staging and target residential densities.

f) Waikato Regional Plans

Waikato Regional Council prepares regional plans to meet its functions under the Act. Regional Plans focus on particular issues and areas and assist the Regional Council in carrying out its functions under the Act. The District Plan cannot be inconsistent with regional plans. Topics where regional and district plans may overlap include earthworks, natural hazards, hazardous substances, air quality and water quality. In these matters, the District Plan concentrates mostly on effects on human health or amenity, whereas the regional plan is more directed at effects on the natural environment.

Where there is an overlap of functions, the Waikato Regional Policy Statement provides guidance by allocating responsibilities between the district and regional councils.

g) Waikato Region Strategies and Plans

Waikato Regional Council prepares strategies and plans providing policy and actions on specific matters to help the Regional Council carry out its functions under the Act and other legislation. The District Plan must have regard to these strategies and plans. They include:

  • Regional Land Transport Strategy
  • Regional Public Transport Plan
  • Regional Road Safety Strategy
  • Regional Walking and Cycling Strategy
  • Waikato Regional Energy Strategy
  • Central Waikato River Stability Management Strategy
  • Waikato Regional Pest Management Strategy

h) Iwi Planning Documents

The Act requires that planning documents recognised by an iwi authority, such as iwi management plans, be taken into account in the preparation of the District Plan.

Hamilton City Council Plans and Documents

i) City Strategies

Hamilton City Council, in conjunction with other parties, has developed a number of City Strategies, which provide important direction for this District Plan. Those existing at the time of notifying this District Plan are:

j) The Long Term Plan

Council is required every three years to prepare a Long Term Plan under the Local Government Act 2002, a plan that covers the following 10 years. The Long Term Plan includes the vision and goals for the City. It also includes what Council is planning on doing and why, how much it will cost, and how it will be funded.

k) Annual Plan

Council is required to prepare an Annual Plan every year. The Annual Plan contains the proposed annual budget and provides opportunities for public participation in decision-making on costs and funding of Council activities. In years when a Long Term Plan is required, the Long Term Plan constitutes the Annual Plan.

l) Asset Management Plans

Asset Management Plans describe the strategies and work programmes for Council assets, such as roads, to deliver the required level of service to existing and future users cost-effectively. Asset Management Plans inform the Long Term Plan and Development Contributions Policy.

m) Development and Financial Contributions Policy

Council’s policy on development and financial contributions primarily focuses on development contributions required under the Local Government Act 2002. These are paid by developers to fund new infrastructure. The policy also refers to financial contributions which are required under the Act in specific circumstances. These requirements are detailed in the District Plan.

n) Hamilton City Infrastructure Technical Specifications

This document contains guidance on engineering practice and design solutions considered to be acceptable means of compliance for infrastructure related standards within the District Plan. In this context it is used for setting conditions of resource consent for subdivision and development. The content is amended from time to time to reflect best practice and new technologies. Public infrastructure is expected to be designed in accordance with the latest specifications in this document.

o) Vista – Hamilton City Design Guide

Council’s design guide Vista outlines the City’s expectations for better design environments.


Page reviewed: 17 Oct 2019 3:18pm