4.2 Objectives and Policies: Residential Zones


A range of housing types and densities is available to meet the needs of all communities. ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​
A variety​ of housing densities and types should be developed, consistent with the:​
i.​Capacity of the existing infrastructure.​
ii.​Target densities promoted by Fut​ure Proof​ and the Regional Policy Statement. Specifically this means achieving, as a minimum, the following average gross density targets (excluding transport corridors) over time in the Residential zones.
1.​16 dwellings per hectare for development (excluding the identified Large Lot Residential Areas).​
2.​30 dwellings per hectare for identified intensification areas.​
Higher-density residential development should be located within and close to the Central City, suburban and neighbourhood centres, tertiary education facilities and hospital, and in areas serviced by passenger transport.​
New residential development shall be able to be adequately serviced in terms of Three Waters infrastructure, with the exception of the Ruakura Structure Plan area Large Lot Residential Zone.​


This objective and policies recognise the need for a range of dwelling types and densities to meet the needs of all aspects of the community. These could range from a large family dwelling with plenty of outdoor space to an inner city apartment. Current projections indicate an aging population, as well as an increasing population. Different portions of the community have different housing preferences reflecting income, age, family size, number of children, and cultural factors.

The Regional Policy Statement sets out dwelling density targets, derived from Future Proof. These will be achieved by managing lot sizes in existing developed areas and subdivision yields in Structure Plan areas.

Different density targets are set for greenfield areas and existing urban areas. Greenfield development can be designed to meet a higher-density target from the outset, whereas intensification is harder to achieve in existing urban areas with an established land-use pattern. The Large Lot Residential Zone identifies areas where topography and existing land uses do not lend themselves to full urbanisation.

The policies require residential development to occur only in those areas identified. This approach ensures stability for established parts of the City and that higher density will not occur where it is not identified and provided for.

​Objective Policies​
Efficient use of land and infrastructure. ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​
Residential development shall use land and infrastructure efficiently by:​
i.​ Deliverin​g target yields from housing development in both greenfield growth areas and intensification areas, as indicated by rules or Structure Plans.​
ii.​ Staging and sequencing the development as indicated by rules or Structure Plans.​
iii. Otherwise complying with relevant Structure Plans.​
New buildings and activities shall mitigate effects on and from regionally significant infrastructure.​
Residential land uses should be managed to avoid potential effects, such as noise, from arterial transport corridors and state highways.​


The use of land can be affected by the presence of infrastructure. Not only does residential development need to have an adequate level of servicing available, but it needs to respond to regionally significant infrastructure, such as telecommunication infrastructure or the national electricity grid, either existing or planned.

Complying with staging ensures that infrastructure can be planned in advance of development and the effects of increased densities can be better managed. Infrastructure includes Three Waters and transport networks, as well as social infrastructure like libraries and community halls.

The policies recognise the need to manage residential land uses around regionally significant infrastructure, both existing and proposed – both to manage the effects that residential activities and structures can have on the infrastructure, as well as the adverse effects that the infrastructure can have on residential uses.

​Objective Policies​
Residential development produces good on-site amenity. ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​
Residential design shall achieve quality on-site amenity by providin​​g:​
i.​ Private, useable outdoor living areas.​
ii.​ Access to sunlight and daylight throughout the year.​
iii.​ Adequate service areas to accommodate typical residential living requirements.​
iv.​ Insulation to minimise adverse noise effects.​
v.​ Parking and manoeuvring areas on-site to meet the needs, safety and convenience of residents.​
vi.​ Energy-efficient and sustainable design technologies where compatible with the scale and form of residential development.​
Residential sites adjacent to public space shall achieve visual and physical connectivity to these areas. ​
Building design and location shall protect the privacy of adjoining dwellings. ​
Buildings should be designed to conform to natural topography.​
Development in areas identified for medium and high-density residential activities should be in general accordance with the appropriate Design Assessment Criteria.​


Good design of housing is critically important to on-site and off-site amenity, especially where there is higher-density housing. The policies identify the features important for residential development, regardless of what form the dwelling may take, e.g. single, duplex or apartment.

Important design features include access to sunlight, outdoor living space, storage space, space for waste and recycling, visual connectivity to public spaces such as the street, privacy and off-road parking. Incorporation of these features will ensure functional and high-quality living environments for the occupants.

​Objective Policies​
The development contributes to good neighbourhood amenity as the area matures.
The size and scale​​ of buildings and structures shall be compatible with the locality.​
Buildings should be designed so they do not physically dominate or adversely affect the residential character of the neighbourhood.​
Significant vegetation and trees should be preserved wherever possible.​
Garages, carports and vehicle access points shall be sited to ensure the safety of all road users and the safe and efficient function of the transport corridor.​
Development in the General Residential and Large Lot Residential Zones should not detract from or degrade the existing ​​​character of the surrounding area.


How buildings relate to a street can have a major bearing on people’s perception of the safety of an area. Cumulative effects of development should contribute positively to the streetscape and amenity. The urban amenity expected by residents can be positively or negatively altered by development. It is important that any new development is sympathetic to an area’s existing character and amenity.

​Objective Policies​
Protect and enhance the character values of the Hamilton East portion of the Residential Intensification Zone.​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​
Development shall:​
i.​ Enable redevelopment opportunities.​
ii.​ Ensure that the siting and design of development recognises the strong ​​visual relationship with the streetscape.​
iii.​ Be provided with landscaping and planting that enhances on-site and local residential amenity.​
iv.​ Ensure that extensive areas of hard-surfacing are avoided, wherever practicable.​
v.​ Be consistent with the local context, scale and character.​
vi.​ Avoid significant adverse effects on the character of the Hamilton East Area.​


The Hamilton East Residential Intensification Zone includes 2-storey and multi-unit accommodation in the “sausage block” format typical of the 1970s. As a result of this type of development, setbacks and separation distances are less pronounced than in other Hamilton East developments. Setbacks and separation distances are an important feature because front yard planting contributes to the amenity values the strong green backdrop of this area provides. The focus of the District Plan in this area is on the protection of these amenity values rather than the character of the existing buildings. This zone provides for higher levels of development than elsewhere in Hamilton East. The Hamilton East portion of the Residential Intensification Zone is identified in the Planning Maps.

​Objective Policies​
Residential activities remain the dominant activity in Residential Zones. ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​
Non-residential activit​​ies should not establish in residential areas, unless the adverse effects on all zones are avoided, remedied or mitigated.​
Visitor facilities such as accommodation and conference facilities should be located primarily in the Visitor Facilities Area​.
Home-based businesses shall:​
i.​ Be ancillary to the residential activity of the site.​
ii.​ Avoid adverse effects on the neighbourhood, character, amenity and the transport network.​
iii.​ Take place within dwellings or ancillary buildings.​
iv.​ Involve no outdoor storage of vehicles, equipment or goods visible from a public place.​
v.​ Be compatible with the character and amenity of the locality, in terms of location, type and scale of activity, number of visitors to the site, and hours of operation.​
Community facilities and community support activities (including managed care facilities and residential centres) shall:​
i.​ Serve a local social or cultural need.​
ii.​ Be compatible with existing and anticipated residential amenity.​
Non-residential activities shall be of an appropriate size to maintain character of the site​.


Non-residential activities have the potential to generate significant adverse effects in residential areas. Provided home-based businesses – where residential uses still occupy the majority of the dwelling – do not generate off-site effects, they are an acceptable form of non-residential activity. Home-based businesses often perform an incubator role that allows small businesses to become established. Once the home- based business has become established and grown to a certain size, it is more appropriate for it to relocate in either a Business or Industrial Zone. The policy seeks to prevent conversion of sites or buildings into purely business use.

Some other non-residential activities may be appropriate in the Residential Zones. These include community facilities that perform a social or cultural function, such as schools, churches and community halls, as well as emergency service facilities.

​Objective Policies​
Activities in Residential Zones are compatible with residential amenity. ​ ​ ​
Adverse effects of activities on the amenity values of the locality shall be minimised including:​
i.​ Effects of noise, glare, odour, dust, smoke, fumes and other nuisances.​
ii.​ Effects on ​traffic, parking, and transport networks.​


This objective ensures that all activities in Residential Zones must be compatible with the amenity reasonably expected by residents. This covers hours of operation, as well as the by-products of the operation itself.

​Objective Policies​
Residential buildings make efficient use of water and energy resources. ​ ​ ​
Development should encourage the efficient use of energy and water, by:​
i.​ Incorporating water-sensitive techniques.​
ii.​ Reducing ​​the use of reticulated electricity.


This objective encourages new residential dwellings to use water and energy-efficient technologies and both will range in scale appropriate to the building. Single dwellings, for example, may wish to install solar panels on the roof and install a rainwater tank. Apartment buildings have the ability to incorporate more sophisticated technologies.

​Objective Policies​
Buildings and activities at the interface of Residential Zones with other zones will be compatible with the form and type of development anticipated in the adjacent zone. ​ ​
Adverse effects ​​of activities that cross zone boundaries shall be managed through setbacks, building design, and landscaping.​
Buildings and structures on the boundary between Residential Zones and public areas shall incorporate CPTED principles. ​

This objective recognises the importance of managing both structures and activities where Residential Zones adjoin other zones. In most cases this will be reducing the impact that other zones, such as commercial and industrial, have on residential amenity. This can and will be managed by both zones through setbacks, design of buildings, and landscaping.

This objective also recognises the importance of the interface between Residential Zones and public areas such as roads and reserves.

Protect the amenity values of the Percival – Ryburn Road Large Lot Residential Zone, while providing for the urbanisation for the Ruakura Structure Plan area. 


Maintain the low density living environment by limiting the subdivision of land for further residential purposes.
Maintain efficient management of water supply and the treatment and disposal of stormwater and wastewater.


This objective recognises that the area is an established rural residential enclave but that there is a need to manage its subdivision, use and development of future residen​tial land uses given the area’s central location and ultimately as part of an inland port which once completed will be of a scale that will make it a regionally significant facility.   

Further development within the Percival /Ryburn Road Large Lot Residen​tial Zone does not compromise future logistics zoning as provided for in the Regional Policy Statement.
Manage the transition to a logistics zoning by a variation or change to the District Plan when there is sufficient information and certainty about the timing and need for this zoning.



The large lot residential zoning for the Percival-Ryburn Road area is intended to change to adopt a zoning consistent with the zoning of the adjoining land that serves the operations of the inland port. This will occur as part of a publicly notified planning process.

The Ruakura Medium Density Residential Zone includes an Integrated Retail Development providing services and community facilities capable of meeting the day to day needs of the immediate neighbourhood.

An Integrated Retail Development limited in size shall be provided for in a location central to the Ruakura Medium Density Residential Development.
Activities withi​n the Integrated Retail Development shall principally serve their immediate neighbourhood. 
The scale and nature of activities within the Ruakura Integrated Retail Development shall not generate significant adverse amenity effects on surrounding residential areas and transport networks.
The Ruakura Integrated Retail Development Centre will provide a range of everyday goods and services and essentially serve a walk-in population. Being situated in a planned residential area it is essential that the range and scale of activities is compatible with neighbouring residential activity and local amenity values. ​

The Te Awa Lakes Medium Density Residential Zone enables a comprehensively designed residential development incorporating a component of affordable housing and integrated with the adjacent adventure park tourist and recreation attraction, the Waikato River, and nearby  communities, all contributing to an attractive gateway to the city.
A range of housing types, including higher densities, are enabled to provide a choice of living environments, connected to other communities through multi-modal and non-motorised transport.
The development achieves higher density in conjunction with high quality amenity through a masterplanned approach that informs the Te Awa Lakes Structure Plan and related rules​.
The development provides affordable housing through the higher density and by specifying that a minimum percentage of new homes do not exceed a maximum purchase price.
Development is sensitive to the Waikato River interface through lower density development and building setbacks.​
The development avoids or minimises potential reverse sensitivity effects from its proximity to the adventure park, regionally significant infrastructure, existing  industries and future industrial areas through setbacks, building design, open space and landscape treatments.
The development will protect and enhance the ecological and cultural values of the site through protection of an archaeological site, a comprehensive treatment train approach to stormwater treatment, indigenous wetland and landscape planting, maintenance of high water quality in the lakes and ecological restoration of the adjoining gully that conveys stormwater to the Waikato River
This objective and policies reflect the unique location of the Te Awa Lakes Medium Density Residential Zone and its integration with the adventure park, the masterplanning that underpins it and the opportunity afforded for it to integrate into its surro​unding activities and features​ and nearby communities, while achieving high levels of residential amenity and ecological protection and enhancement.  An important aspect of the policies is to ensure that, as far as practicable, residential development does not result in reverse sensitivity effects on existing and future industrial activities. ​The zone is consistent with the purpose and principles of the Te Awa Lakes Structure Plan.

Page reviewed: 01 Oct 2020 3:13pm