skip to main content

I want to...

Current filter:

Proposed District Plan

What is a Proposed District Plan?

A Proposed District Plan is a draft planning document that has legal status once notifiedThe purpose of the Proposed District Plan is to provide a comprehensive framework for guiding land use, development, and resource management decisions within the district. It sets out the rules and policies to achieve sustainable management of natural and physical resources, protect the environment, and address the social and economic needs of our community. As required under the RMA, the Proposed District Plan is another step in the District Plan Review process.

What’s happened so far? 

In 2021, we released the Draft District Plan to the public for feedback. The Draft District Plan is not a requirement under the Resource Management Act, however, Council made the decision to release a Draft District Plan to ensure members of the public had an opportunity to provide informal feedback on the new direction being set, before the formal submission process began.

The community’s valuable feedback on the Draft District Plan helped us develop the Proposed District Plan. The Proposed District Plan was notified for submissions on the 21st of September until 15th of December. A Proposed District Plan is a legal document and an important part of the District Plan review process.

Where are we now? 

You can now make a further submission here.

A further submission is your chance to talk about specific things people brought up in their first submissions, not just general ideas about the proposal.

Not everyone can make a further submission. If you care more about the proposal than most people do, or if you represent something important to the public, you can make a further submission about a proposal, even if you didn't make an original submission.

For example, if people are talking about changing rules for building houses in the countryside, but you don't live in the countryside, you might not be able to make a further submission. But if someone wants to change the rules right next to where you live, it impacts you more than most people, so you can make a further submission.

Your further submission has to either agree or disagree with what someone else said in their original submission. And you have to send it in within 10 working days after we tell everyone what decisions people have asked for in their submissions.

If you're not sure if you can make a further submission, you can contact our team at or call our Customer Service Centre at 06 835 7579.

Note: While council officer’s have summarised these submissions, we recommend that you also refer to the full original submission.

Where are we headed? 


The next stage is the hearings process. This process gives submitters the opportunity to voice their submission to a hearings panelwho will take these matters into account before making their decision. These hearings will be split into streams and have certain topics. If you make a submission and wish to be heard, Council will contact you to arrange a time to speak during the relevant hearing stream/s. 

Making the Proposed District Plan Operative 

Following the hearing, the Hearings Panel will issue its decisions, including the reasons for decisionsAt this point, where parts of the Proposed District Plan are not subject to an appeal to the Environment Court, these provisions are deemed operative. Those parts of the plan subject to an Appeal will begin an Appeals process, often involving mediation, before the Environment Court issues its final decision. The approved district plan is then notified as an operative district plan and has full legal effect. Napier City Council implements and monitors the New Operative District Plan which you helped create.

Frequently Asked Questions

About the District Plan

The rules in the District Plan set out what activities you can do as of right (permitted activities) and what activities we need to look at more carefully through a resource consent application.  

Some of the provisions may affect you if you are wanting to build, subdivide or change the use of your land. The rules are intended to support and deliver the vision of our community adopted strategies. 

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 

  • Whether or not you can subdivide your property 

  • The activities that can occur in an industrial zone 

  • What we want our buildings in the city centre to look like and how high they should be 

  • Whether there are any ‘special values’ relating to your property (e.g. heritage buildings, landscapes) 

  • Whether you can operate a business from your home 

  • Rules relating to festivals and events 

An e-plan provides users with a searchable and electronic version of the District Plan. 

The key features include: 

  • a map-based interface 

  • allows users to view the parts of the plan that are specific to a particular property 

  • provides information on any variations or appeals that apply to a site 

  • links that allow users to jump between references in the plan 

  • allows users to click on highlighted words to see their legal meaning. 

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. 

The District Plan is a large and technical document. To help you understand what changes and additions we’re proposing, we have created topic summaries. These outline the key points across a range of chapters and topics. They also highlight the biggest impacts to property owners, property developers and stakeholders. We recommend you read these first before delving into the full plan.

topic summaries 

About the Proposed Plan and the Review Process

Immediate legal effect means that some of our proposed provisions relating to matters of national significance such as the protection of areas of significant indigenous vegetation or habitats of indigenous fauna, and historic heritage will be deemed operative once we notify. This means some new rules will apply to any new consents from notification onwards. You can find which rules have legal effect in the E-plan 

Because some rules have immediate legal effect, after notification of the Proposed Plan,.applications for resource consent will need to be made under, and assessed against, both the Operative District Plan and the Proposed District Plan. This can be quite complex, and we suggest that you consult a professional to assist with any applications for consent during this time.  

Check the Operative and Proposed District Plan to see how your activity is classified: 

  • Permitted - allowed if you follow the standards outlining how the activity must be done 

  • Controlled - requires resource consent but will be approved if meets standards 

  • Restricted discretionary - requires resource consent and Council has discretion over certain matters when deciding whether to grant a resource consent 

  • Discretionary - requires resource consent and effects will be assessed and resource consent granted or declined on a case by case basis 

  • Non-complying - resource consent granted only under exceptional circumstances 

  • Prohibited - not allowed at all;no resource consent can be applied for 

Once you have approval you need to ensure your activity is undertaken within the plan’s rules and standards. 

When making a submission on a District Plan, you can either support or oppose the rules we have proposed. You will be able to do this online, or get assistance from our Napier Libraries and Customer Services Teams.  

A further submission is a written statement that allows a person to support or oppose other people’s submissions. It also gives people the opportunity to comment on how a submission may impact them, and to have their views considered by a hearings panel, along with the original submission. 

You are entitled to make a further submission if you can demonstrate a special interest in the Proposed District Plan. So please take care to show either that your interest is greater than that of the public in general, or that you are representing a relevant aspect of the public interestIf in doubt, please make a further submission and the hearing panel will decide whether it can be considered. 

Once the further submission period closes, council staff analyse the further submissions and make sure that they’re linked to the original submissions and the appropriate plan provisions. 

The original submissions, as well as the further submissions, inform reports that council staff prepare ahead of the hearings. 

If someone disagrees with the decision, they can appeal to the Environment Court. The appeal can be about a specific rule or a broader topic. The Environment Court manages the appeal process, seeking input from all parties involved. Anyone who made a submission on the Proposed District Plan can appeal. The appeals can take time to resolve, but the Court sets deadlines to ensure progress. Parties are encouraged to explore negotiation and mediation before a Court hearing. The appeals may lead to changes in the decision, depending on their nature. 

Council considers technical advice and community feedback when formulating a policy approach. To find out how we reached a decision, you can view Section 32 reports for each chapter which discusses each topic in appropriate level of detailSee our District Plan Document Hub 

As part of good practice in a District Plan Review, we commissioned a variety of reports on key issues like noise or landscapes and natural features. You can find these reports in our District Plan Document Hub. 


Napier City Council - Copyright © 2024 Napier City Council

Disclaimers and Copyright
While every endeavour has been taken by the Napier City Council to ensure that the information on this website is accurate and up to date, Napier City Council shall not be liable for any loss suffered through the use, directly or indirectly, of information on this website. Information contained has been assembled in good faith. Some of the information available in this site is from the New Zealand Public domain and supplied by relevant government agencies. Napier City Council cannot accept any liability for its accuracy or content. Portions of the information and material on this site, including data, pages, documents, online graphics and images are protected by copyright, unless specifically notified to the contrary. Externally sourced information or material is copyright to the respective provider.

© Napier City Council - / +64 6 835 7579 /