Further submissions have now closed.

Read the summary of submissions and all original submissions here

We will be announcing hearing dates soon and contacting all submitters and 'further submitters' who wish to be heard.

All hearings are open to the public and will be conducted by a panel of accredited commissioners. If you have indicated you wish to speak at the hearing you will be given a chance to explain your submission and may be questioned about it.

After the hearing, the commissioners will make their decisions. As a submitter, you will be sent a copy of the decision and the reasons for it. Decisions will also be publicly notified. As a submitter, you will have right of appeal to the Environment Court.


When is this happening?

June 2021

Introduce the Plan Change to potentially impacted landowners and gather information for evaluation and draft plan writing.

July 2022

Share the draft plan provisions with impacted Hamiltonians and stakeholders.

September 2022

Formal submission period open from 22 July 2022 and closed on 2 September 2022.

October 2022

Summary of submissions released and opportunity for additional submissions to be received on points raised in initial submissions.

March 2023

We’re planning to hold the hearing by March 2023 and will confirm the hearing date in late 2022. This is an opportunity for submitters to speak to their submission in person.

Mid - late 2023

Notification of the Plan Change decision, an appeal period and resolution of any appeals. Plan Change made operative.

What is Plan Change 9?

As the demand for land and housing increases, it's crucial we strike the right balance between supporting development and protecting and enhancing those things that have helped shape our city. This is exactly what Plan Change 9 is all about. It's about making sure our District Plan, and the rules in it, enable growth while protecting Hamilton's unique historic heritage and natural environment. It's building a city that reflects our identity where future generations of Hamiltonians can grow within the types of communities they want.

What we're doing?

Under the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA), all councils are required to have policies and rules in their District Plans that help protect their heritage and natural environment.

In our current District Plan, 122 built structures, five special character areas, approximately 500 notable trees, 59 Significant Natural Areas and 52 archaeological sites are listed. Through Plan Change 9 we're taking the opportunity to assess each of these and look at any new elements that may need to be added to ensure we're doing all we can to protect Hamilton's unique heritage and natural environment.

What does this Plan Change cover?

Proposed plan change





What is heritage and why is it important?

Heritage is a term used to describe items, areas and sites we've inherited from the past that we want to protect as they help tell our story. It speaks to our identity and reflects our values. It tells people where we've come from and what we cherish. Be it our heritage buildings, heritage areas or archaeological and cultural sites, they all contribute to our unique identity and provide a sense of belonging.

In Hamilton, this includes physical elements (buildings, structures and areas) and cultural (archaeological sites).

But heritage doesn't just mean things that are old. We've got some elements from our more recent history that we want to protect so we're looking to include those in our District Plan too.

What is nature and why is it important?

Nature is all living things on Planet Earth. It's the plants and trees, animals, birds, freshwater fish, insects that exist together. Plan Change 9 looks to provide further protection for important aspects of our natural environment by identifying and protecting our river and gully network, notable trees and areas of significant indigenous vegetation. These areas are home to native plants and/or native animals including the long-tailed bat.

Over time we've seen these environments change and this has put a number of these plants and animals at risk. We want to protect our unique biodiversity for future generations to enjoy and because of the value these spaces bring to individuals and communities.

Why is Council reviewing it now?

Hamilton is one of the fastest growing cities in the country and we want to make sure that while we embrace this growth, we're protecting those elements that are important to us. It's been over a decade since we last assessed our heritage and natural environment elements. This Plan Change is about making sure we're protecting all of Hamilton's heritage and natural environments.

How does the District Plan protect heritage and our natural environment?

The District Plan identifies items, areas and sites of historic and natural significance that are important to the city, Waikato and in some instances New Zealand's past that we want to protect. It includes rules that must be followed when working on these items, areas and sites to make sure they're not damaged through inappropriate development.

Will having these elements on my property impact its value?

Property values reflect sales evidence up to the valuation date and are impacted by a variety of factors including supply and demand, interest rates, regional and national economic conditions etc. This means it's very hard to determine what, if any, impact to a property's value is a result of District Plan planning provisions.

In accordance with the RMA, we're not required to financially compensate landowners for identifying and protecting values such as SNA or heritage. You may raise your concerns relating to the reasonable use and development of your property through formal submissions on Plan Change 9. However, the ability to consider impacts on property values are limited under the RMA.

What if I don’t want anything listed against my property in the District Plan?

Property owners and the public can challenge the proposed scheduling of buildings, sites or areas, trees or significant natural areas, as well as any proposed rule changes in the District Plan through the formal Resource Manage Act change process. This involves lodging a submission on the Plan Change once it has been publicly notified in July 2022 and including any evidence that supports the submission.

When do these changes come into effect?

Proposed changes to built heritage, historic heritage areas, archaeological sites and SNAs will have 'immediate legal effect' as soon as the Plan Change is notified. This ensures that the identified structures/items, sites and areas are protected throughout the formal hearing process. Proposed changes to notable trees will come into effect at the end of the formal hearing process.

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Last updated 8 August 2022