Heavy Rain Watch - What you need to know

Metservice NZ has issued a Heavy Rain Watch for the Waikato region, in place from 2am–3pm, Wednesday 1 February.

Given the large amount of rainfall that our district has experienced over the past few days, we are urging residents to continue to take care and stay aware of the conditions in their area. Further rainfall could quickly exacerbate existing slips, river levels and produce further flooding quite quickly.

Click here to read more and keep up to date.

Proposed District plan FAQs

What is the district plan?

A District Plan is a document which sets out the guidance and rules on how you can use and develop your land.

Every development project needs to be assessed under the Waitomo District Plan to determine if resource consent is required.

The best way to view the District Plan is online. You can also view a hard copy of the District Plan at the Waitomo District Council office in Te Kūiti or at the library.

Why is the District Plan being reviewed?

Under the Resource Management Act 1991, the District Plan has to be reviewed every ten years. The review of the Operative District Plan began in 2017 and has involved extensive iwi, community and stakeholder engagement.

The review of the District Plan allows communities to reassess environmental outcomes and priorities, and to redefine their vision for the future of the Waitomo District.

How does the district plan affect me?

The District Plan affects the way you and your neighbours can use and develop your properties. It identifies a range of activities that are anticipated in the district, where they should occur and regulates these activities through the objectives, policies, rules, explanations and definitions.

The positive outcomes achieved through the district plan generally go unnoticed for most people and it is often not until someone wants to start a new activity or redevelop their property that they become aware of the District Plan rules and the intended outcomes.

Some common ways the District Plan can affect property owners are:

  • How close to the boundary you can build or extend your house, garage or other buildings.
  • With the information we currently have, whether there is a known risk of your property being flooded or affected by land subsidence.
  • How many dwellings you can have on your property.
  • Whether you can subdivide your property.
  • Whether there are any 'special values' relating to your property.
  • Whether you can operate a business from your home.
  • The organisation of festivals and events.

What's the process for reviewing the District Plan? Can I have a say?

The process for reviewing the District Plan looks like this:

  1. Notify the Proposed District Plan for submissions
  2. Publish submissions
  3. Further submissions
  4. Hearing on submissions
  5. Decisions version of the Proposed District Plan published
  6. Appeals on the Decisions version of the Proposed District Plan
  7. Once appeals resolved the Proposed District Plan becomes Operative.

We’re now seeking submissions on the Proposed District Plan from 20 October 2022 until 12pm Friday, 23 December 2022. You can either download a submission form from the Council website and email it to [email protected] or pick up a hard copy at the Te Kuiti Council office and Waitomo District library at 28 Taupiri Street.

What is the difference between the Proposed Waitomo District Plan and the Long Term Plan?

The Long Term Plan summarises Council activities and how we expect to fund these over the next 10 years.

The District Plan sets the rules for how we manage, use and develop land.

What issues does the District Plan deal with?

The District Plan plays a big part in how the Waitomo District develops, addressing such diverse issues as character, amenity, heritage and landscape, open spaces, urban growth, subdivision and coastal management.

The District Plan sets out how Council will manage significant resource management issues. These include:

  • Building development and earthworks
  • Land use activities such as residential, retail and industrial activities
  • Subdivision of land and associated earthworks
  • Protecting historic heritage and significant natural areas and natural features and landscapes
  • Managing natural hazards
  • Hazardous substances
  • Activities on the surface of water in rivers

What issue doesn't the District Plan deal with?

Under the Resource Management Act 1991, the District Plan does not address the matters following matters:

  • Soil conservation
  • The maintenance and enhancement of the quality of water
  • The maintenance of the quantity of water
  • The maintenance and enhancement of ecosystems in water
  • The taking, using, damming and diversion of water
  • Discharges of contaminants into or onto land, air, or water and discharges of water into water
  • Activities in the coastal marine area (below the high tide mark)

These matters are addressed by the Waikato and Horizons Regional Councils in their Regional Policy Statements, Regional Coastal Policies and Regional Plans.

How do I know which rules from the District Plan apply to me?

A copy of the Proposed District Plan is available online or can be viewed at any of the Council office or library. The Proposed District Plan contains 'rules' for each of our zones (Rural, Residential etc). To find which zone your property is in, check out the District Plan planning maps online, or you can enter your details into the PDP Snapshot tool. Once you have found which zone you fit within, you can view the relevant rules in the appropriate section of the Proposed District Plan online.

What happens next?

Once the submission period closes, council staff analyse the submissions and publish the individual submissions. A summary of decisions requested by the submissions will be notified so that people can make a further submission in support or opposition of the submission points that interest them.

The original submissions inform reports that council staff prepare ahead of the hearings.