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RURAL DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY Technical Report June 2012

Whangarei District Council Rural Development Strategy

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Contents Background . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Actions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 1. Rural Development Strategic Direction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 2. Environments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 2.1. Rural Production Environment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 2.2. Rural Living Environment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 2.3. Rural Village Environments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 2.4. Rural Industry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

3. Scheduled Activities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 4. Policy Areas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 5. Rural Environment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 5.1. Catchments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31

6. District Wide . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 6.1. Resource Areas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

7. Non Regulatory Actions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 APPENDIX A: Action Plan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 APPENDIX B - District Catchment Outcomes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 APPENDIX C: Definitions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51

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Background In 2010 Whangarei District Council (WDC) began developing a Rural Development Strategy (RDS) to implement the policy direction established in the Growth Strategy: Sustainable Futures 30/50. It was intended that the RDS would examine rural issues that are relevant to the District Plan and present options aligned with the priorities identified in the Growth Strategy primarily through policy and decision making under the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA). The RDS aims to examine the rural issues that are relevant to this District. The RDS applies in those areas outside of Whangarei City and its five urban villages and the growth nodes of Hikurangi, Waipu and Parua Bay as defined by the Growth Strategy. The Urban Transition Environment (UTE) has been created to provide living choices in the District. The UTE is not covered in the RDS scope. In addition to the rural and coastal villages and hamlets identified in the Growth Strategy, a number of rural living clusters are also proposed.

Scope of Rural Development Strategy

Figure 1: Scope of Rural Development Strategy

Hikurangi

Whangarei Urban Area Parua Bay

Coastal Area of Influence

Marsden Point Ruakaka

Waipu

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Two phases of consultation were undertaken for the RDS. Phase 1 of the consultation process commenced with key industry and stakeholders to assist in identifying issues and information gathering. Following completion of the phase 1 consultation, staff prepared 14 issues and options papers informed by best practice guidance notes, case law and the background papers prepared during the development of Sustainable Futures 30/50. The following topics were covered in the issues and options papers: 1. Rural economy/commerce and industry 2. Rural settlements, urban design and sense of place 3. Open space and recreation 4. Subdivision and land use 5. Landscapes 6. Indigenous vegetation and biodiversity 7. Heritage 8. Reverse sensitivity 9. Transport 10. Minerals and aggregates 11. Network utilities 12. Contaminated sites 13. Hazards 14. Energy To direct and provide scope for phase 2 of the consultation process, staff compiled an issues and options summary booklet. Feedback forms were prepared so that the community could have a say on where priorities should lie, and what options should be further developed through the progression of the RDS. Phase 2 of the consultation process was approached differently to traditional consultation methods undertaken by Council. Over 200 rural community groups or ‘networkers’ were informed directly about the RDS, sent the consultation information and encouraged to participate. 23 meetings were attended with 230 people in attendance. Meeting attendees were encouraged to participate in voting exercises to identify the key topics of interest, and to discuss issues and options for those key topics. Individuals were also able to participate in the project through a feedback form provided in the brochure, or via the Council’s website. The top three topics of interest raised in the phase 2 consultation period were subdivision and land use, rural economy, and industry and transport. The following themes reoccurred in the feedback: • “It’s really hard” to address all issues and options for the rural area. • Participants were unhappy with the Countryside Environment subdivision provision with 20ha minimum allotment size, and would like more flexibility. • Protect productive areas for productive uses. • On-going maintenance and safety of rural roads, conflicts between logging trucks and other users. • General complaints about lifestylers, their expectations and impact on normal rural activities. • Genuine concern expressed about the rural economy, acknowledgement that industry needs protection or special treatment in the rural areas. • Conflicts between rural activities such as spraying and sensitive activities. Following the consultation phase an additional issues and options paper was prepared on water resources.

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Introduction The RDS creates a vision for the role we want our rural environments to play in the future. It aims to take the District Growth Strategy – Sustainable Futures 30/50 and apply its principles as they impact on how we should manage rural growth and development, primarily through policy and decision making under the RMA. Sustainable Futures 30/50 has the central theme of consolidation of development. Consultation undertaken during the preparation of the RDS raised issues such as the cumulative impact of development on heritage resources, constraints on the viability of some farming and horticultural operations and impacts on indigenous biodiversity. These issues and others could at least in part be considered ‘symptoms’ of the largely uncontrolled subdivision patterns of the past. Working towards consolidation will assist in addressing many of these rural issues from a District Planning perspective. This means residential-type subdivision and development in the future should largely occur where it is expected and has been planned for, rather than the scattered pattern of development that has occurred throughout the District in the past. The RDS will form the basis for the District Plan rolling review, in particular the review of the objectives, policies and rules that relate to the Countryside Environment, and the Living and Business Environments (zones) that apply in rural villages. The RDS will also consider the overlap between the rural areas and villages within the coastal environment. National and regional policy has determined that this area requires special consideration from a District Plan perspective. The RDS does not seek to address issues which are unique to coastal settings but rather acknowledges that additional issues will need to be considered and a different management regime will need to be adopted in the coastal environment.

Objectives The objectives of the Strategy are summarised as follows. • Define the Whangarei District rural environment and its communities of interest • Identify key resource management issues for the rural environment and its communities • Define outcomes and actions to address key issues • Provide an action plan including how the rural strategy is to be incorporated into the District Plan

Vision From the background research and public consultation the following vision has been created:

Our diverse and productive rural environment - supporting communities and a thriving economy. In this vision ‘productive’ is defined as primary and secondary industries including farming, forestry, quarrying, dairy processing, cement manufacturing, recreation and tourism. It also includes our biodiversity and productive ecosystems as these are equally important to the health and wellbeing of communities and the economy.

Themes From public feedback and background research, six themes have emerged. These themes fed into the Strategy vision and link into implementation actions:

Choice means: coastal and rural living options, diverse views/activities, life stages, variety, options, alternative lifestyle, flexibility, freedom. The Strategy is providing living choices in the rural environment through the creation of new zones.

Diversity means: social structure, landforms, cultural, ecology, a range of productive land uses, distance from

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urban area, accessibility, community values, changes seasonal/time. The Strategy recognises the diverse and changing rural environment through catchments and policy areas.

Production means: utilising productive areas, value for money, economy, balanced, system efficiency, appropriate lot sizes, access to natural features/markets/labour. The Strategy protects the productive functions of the rural environment through the middle tier of the plan and the Rural Production Environment (zone).

Consolidation means: avoiding reverse sensitivity, efficient servicing, promotes sense of community, social interaction, security, protection, relationships, certainty, strong focus, choices, avoiding conflicts, compatibility of land uses. The Strategy promotes consolidation of living and industrial activities to avoid conflicts through the creation of new zones.

Confidence means: certainty of investment, reverse sensitivity, unchanging, planned, efficiency, resilience, ability to adapt to change, preparedness, avoidance, self-sufficiency, servicing, future proofing, maintenance, what you need and when, contained, practicality, having control, perseverance, longevity. The Strategy plans strategically through district wide issue identification and the creation of new zones, to encourage resilient communities.

Identity means: community values, sense of place, traditions, cultural ties, heritage, location, aspect, pride, parochialism, celebrations, events, language, settlements, ties, connections, stewardship. The Strategy recognises the value of sense of place of different communities through policy areas.

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Actions The actions required to achieve the vision of the RDS are outlined in this section. Actions are grouped according to the new structure of the District Plan, followed by an action plan and non-regulatory actions. The regulatory actions outlined in this section of the Strategy have been arranged to fit the new District Plan structure from the bottom up with locality and neighbourhood priorities addressed first, followed by geographical context matters being the rural environment, then district wide context matters. The following figure summarises how the regulatory actions of the RDS are intended to fit into the new District Plan structure. Regulatory matters requiring further detailed analysis have been grouped into Section 32 areas for further investigation beyond this Strategy. This refers to the statutory obligation of Council to assess the appropriateness of objectives and costs, benefits and risks of policies and methods under Section 32 of the RMA.

Figure 2: The Rural Development Strategy within the New Structure of the District Plan

District Plan Layers District-wide District-wide context

Resource areas District-wide context e.g. vegetation, esplanade priority areas

Rural Geographical context e.g. catchments

Policy areas Local context e.g. coastal policy areas

Environments (zones) Neighbourhood context e.g. rural production environment, rural village environment

Rural environment

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1. Rural Development Strategic Direction The strategic direction of the Rural Development Strategy is summarised in the following map titled ‘Rural Development Strategic Direction’, with the Rural Production Environment being the area outside of Whangarei City and its suburbs, the UTE and identified growth nodes (Hikurangi, Waipu and Parua Bay).

Figure 3: Rural Development Strategic Direction

Kauri Dairy Factory Portland Cement Works

Rural Living Whangaruru

Clusters

Rural and Coastal Villages and Hamlets Oakura

Rural Villages

Helena Bay

Rural Hamlets Coastal Villages

Mouresses

Coastal Hamlets

Whananaki

Matapouri

Bay of Islands

Pacific Coast Pipiwai

Tutukaka

Wa i ro a R i v e r Mangakahia River

Ngunguru

Ruatangata West

Pataua Taiharuru

Titoki Maungatapere

Whangarei Harbour Coastal Area of Influence

Maungakaramea

McLeod Bay Taurikura Mangapai

Ocean Beach

Coastal Policy Areas Bland Bay - Mimiwhangata Bream Bay Horohora-Awahoa

Manganui River Waiotira

Ngunguru Ocean Beach - Whangarei Heads Parua Bay - Waikaraka Portland - Takahiwai Sandy Bay - Tutukaka Coast Urban Fringe

Bream Bay Manganui River Waipu Cove

Whananaki

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2. Environments To achieve the vision of the RDS it is proposed that the approach to zoning for the rural environment be changed from that in the current Operative Plan. The proposed new Environments are: • Rural Production (currently zoned Countryside and Coastal Countryside) • Rural Living (specific areas identified within Countryside or Coastal Countryside Environments) • Rural Villages (currently zoned Living 1 & 3 and Business) »» Mixed Use »» Living »» Industry • Strategic Rural Industry (currently zoned Business 4)

2.1. Rural Production Environment Overview of the Rural Production Environment The rural environment, outside of Whangarei City, identified growth nodes, rural and coastal villages, hamlets and rural living clusters, will be zoned as the Rural Production Environment. The main objective of the Rural Production Environment is to sustain, protect and promote rural production in the District. Renaming the ‘Countryside’ and ‘Coastal Countryside’ Environments as ‘Rural Production’ should from the outset make it clear that this area is intended to be an active, productive area rather than a passive area where little change occurs over time, as might be perceived by the Countryside label.

Figure 4: Productive Rural Scenes

Rural productivity is a broad term and includes many uses. This Strategy defines production as per the RMA (refer to the Definitions section of this Strategy). Typical to Whangarei are dairy and pastoral farming, forestry (native and exotic), cropping, horticulture and viticulture. These uses are not necessarily complementary to each other so tend to be located in areas with complementary attributes for example areas with high class soils generally contain more horticulture uses while flat pastoral areas generally suit dairy farming. The Rural Production Environment also encompasses areas on the coast. These areas contain similar rural productive uses, but have the added influence of the coast. The Rural Production Environment will not support lifestyle development. Lifestyle development should be contained in identified rural or coastal villages, hamlets or rural living clusters to protect the productivity of the Rural Production Environment. This type of development can erode the viability of rural production and can create reverse sensitivity impacts on productive uses.

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New activities should not impact on the viability of established productive uses in the Rural Production Environment. Some reverse sensitivity impacts will be avoided by preventing further lifestyle development in the Rural Production Environment. For new productive uses that are not complementary to existing uses in the Rural Production Environment reverse sensitivity impacts will in the first instance be avoided by containing the effects of the new activity within individual sites.

Productive Land Uses

Figure 5: Productive Land Uses in the Rural Area

Productive Land Uses Rural Production Vacant Rural Forestry Mineral Extraction Lifestyle Vacant Lifestyle Residential

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A cumulative effect is defined in the RMA as arising over time or in conjunction with other effects. Cumulative effects relevant to the Rural Production Environment impact rural productivity, natural resources, rural character, landscapes and amenity values etc. Cumulative effects will largely be addressed in the Rural Production Environment by preventing further lifestyle development outside of planned areas. Amenity in the Rural Production Environment encompasses a wide range of values including: • Seasonal changes that create busy and slow production times of the year. • A low intensity of development in the context of dispersed larger buildings associated with rural uses such as livestock and horticulture which are generally screened in some manner or are setback from road and neighbouring boundaries. • Low levels of noise particularly at night in the context of dispersed noise typical of the rural environment for example animal noises, the operation of farm machinery and vehicle traffic noise associated with busy production periods. • A high degree of privacy. • Ample access to daylight and sunlight. • Odours typical of rural activities can be expected such as from livestock, farm machinery and the growing of vegetation. • Generally low levels of vehicle traffic in the context of expected vehicle movements associated with seasonal busy times and typical rural industries for example logging trucks at harvesting times and milk tankers in areas with dairy farms. • Land use impacts are generally contained onsite in the Rural Production Environment, however, it can be expected that some activities typical to the rural environment cannot easily contain impacts for example spray drift in horticultural areas and aerial dusting in pastoral areas. • The rural environment contains a range of landscapes including flat and hilly terrain, open pastures, horticultural areas and orchards enclosed by shelter belts, significant views and vistas, and large areas of significant indigenous vegetation, significant habitats of indigenous fauna and exotic forests that contribute to the amenity of rural environments. Rural industries are discussed in more detail in the Rural Industries section of this Strategy. However, the Rural Production Environment will support Primary Rural Industries and Small Scale Rural Industries but will not support secondary and tertiary rural industries. Services will be provided in a strategic manner that aims to benefit increased productivity in the Rural Production Environment. In the Rural Production Environment development will avoid hazards in the first instance. Where hazards are determined to be unavoidable and development is considered beneficial in regards to productivity or other aspects, remediation and mitigation will be considered. Quarrying is a prevalent rural use that will generally only occur in the Rural Production Environment. The Rural Production Environment description includes reference to quarries as prevalent activities to ensure they are catered for.

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Issues for Further Section 32 Analysis in the Rural Production Environment High Class and Versatile Soils The Growth Strategy has highlighted the importance of high class and versatile soils in the District and that unregulated sprawling development continues to erode the viability of these soils for productive uses. Further analysis is considered necessary to determine how this should be addressed in the Rural Production Environment. Provisions will however need to focus on maintaining the viability of the soils for productive uses. Updating of the mapping of these soils requires consideration.

Lot Sizes Most production uses require a large area of land to viably function, however, some more intense productive uses can operate on smaller landholdings. The average area of land holdings classed as production in the District is 82 hectares (derived from QV land use categories 1 to 19). Consultation feedback suggests that 20 hectares, the operative controlled activity lot size in the Countryside and Coastal Countryside, is generally too small for most production purposes. Currently in the District 30% of lots classed as production are less than 20 ha in size, 42% are between 20 and 80 ha in size and 28% are greater than 80 ha in size hectares (derived from QV land use categories 1 to 19). This does not take into account production uses carried out on multiple lots, which would be common. Although this Strategy does not set rural lot sizes it is anticipated that: • In the Rural Production Environment any individual allotment or combination of titles 80 hectares or greater in size would be acceptable for rural production purposes. • In the Rural Production Environment any individual allotment or combination of titles greater than 20 hectares and less than 80 hectares in size could be acceptable for rural production purposes based on the characteristics of the land in question, evaluation of the existing and anticipated activities in the area, the use proposed and the environmental impacts on the catchment. • In the Rural Production Environment any individual allotment or combination of titles less than 20 hectares in size is presumed to be too small to support rural productive uses and will only be acceptable in special circumstances such as: »» Have special characteristics such as access to suitable natural resources like high class soils and water »» Demonstrate that they are viable as a productive rural use »» Demonstrate that they are complementary to surrounding uses or will contain effects on site as it is assumed that surrounding uses require a larger land area to operate or support different land uses »» Demonstrate that the proposal will benefit the environment based on impacts on the catchment

Retiring Farmer Lots Retiring farmer lots were available under the Transitional District Plan 1987, which was applied in the District until the Proposed Plan became operative. These lots were allowable in some rural zones. The criteria included that the farmer had to have lived on the site for at least 10 years, the allotment to be created had to be intended to be occupied by the farmer who had lived on the site for at least 10 years, the proposed lot could not affect the practical utilisation of the remainder of the farm and the size of the proposed lot could be a maximum of 4,000sqm and a minimum of 1,000 to 2,000sqm depending on the zone. The Proposed District Plan removed the retiring farmer lot provisions and introduced at first a minimum lot size of 1 ha and later an array of lot size options in the rural environment. The smaller lot subdivisions that resulted from the relaxed provisions lead to what the Growth Strategy recommends should be halted to ensure that the rural environment remains a productive environment.

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It has been suggested that in exchange for essentially restricting lifestyle or smaller lot subdivision except in identified areas in the rural environment that the retiring farmer lot provisions be reintroduced to support retired farmers without impacting the productivity of rural environments Presently the District Plan provides for a minor residential unit which was designed to take care of retiring parents. The minor residential unit criteria could be used for a retired farmer provisions. The Plan also provides a rural household unit area which does provide for this need without further subdivision. A retiring farmer allotment does not accord with the principles of the Growth Strategy to consolidate. Tracking of how many retiring farmer lots have been obtained for each farm and the monitoring of whether farmers are actually living on the allotments created is challenging. A retiring farmer lot, by definition, should only be applicable on a limited basis as it should be used by someone who has worked on the farm for some time and is now retiring on the site. There is some agreement that the timeframe applicable should be a ‘working lifetime’ which would indicate a longer period than the 10 year time frame applicable under the Transitional Plan. If it is decided that retiring farmer lots are to be pursued further strict controls would need to be created around eligibility criteria and the use of the Management Plan Technique should be explored further so that the provisions do not become another avenue to create scattered lifestyle development in the rural environment.

Transferable Rights / Development Benefits The provision of development benefits is one method of positively encouraging protection or enhancement of significant features. In the rural environment development benefits could apply to the protection or enhancement of historic heritage, indigenous flora and fauna, other significant natural features such as wetlands and riparian management where appropriate. Currently the Operative Plan has Environmental Benefit Lot provisions. These allow an additional lot to be created measuring a minimum of 4,000sqm to 6,000sqm in size where a natural feature that meets certain criteria is protected and enhanced if applicable. The interpretation of the Environmental Benefit Lot provisions has proven difficult and uptake has been slow. The desired outcome of the provisions to produce an environmental benefit has been questioned due to the difficulties with comprehending and administering the provisions. The benefit of an additional small lot in the rural environment is also not in accordance with the aim of the Growth Strategy to consolidate growth and prevent scattered lifestyle development. The benefit offered could however be another type of financial incentive for example rates relief. An additional lot benefit would also become much more valuable if lifestyle development in the rural environment is restricted to certain areas. The Council’s Biodiversity Strategy recommends that development right benefits are still offered, and as deficiencies in protecting historic heritage, indigenous flora and fauna and other significant natural features are recognised in the District, it is considered that development benefits should be allowed. The provisions will need to be simplified and the criteria more directed at exactly the features that protection and enhancement is directed towards. Transferring of development benefit lots could also be offered so that the benefit lot is transferred to a preferable location if it is not preferable to locate the lot on the site where the feature is located, for example to a less productive or compromised area. A development benefit transfer system could be established by the Council for this purpose, effectively advertising approved benefit rights and connecting benefit holders with potential benefit recipients. This could create a viable market for protection of significant features that the Council specifically wants protected. Criteria will need to be established for what areas are preferred or targeted for protection and when the development benefit can be used on the site or when it should be transferred. Benefit provisions and transferrable development rights may be suitable for the retiring farmer provisions.

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Minor Residential Units Minor residential units are currently allowed in the Operative Plan in the Countryside and Coastal Countryside Environments. To qualify the site must measure at least 8,000sqm in the Countryside and 1.2ha in the Coastal Countryside and the minor residential unit must be no more than 70sqm gross floor area and be located within 15m of another dwelling on the site. The minor residential unit provisions have proved to be problematic in that they have been used as a permitted baseline for lifestyle type subdivision in the rural environment and following construction have been subdivided, creating lifestyle lots. As lifestyle development in the rural environment except in identified areas is not in accordance with the recommendations of the Growth Strategy it is proposed that the minor residential unit provisions be reviewed.

Management Plan Technique The management plan technique has been introduced into the District Plan and is currently applicable to the Urban Transition Environment. The management plan technique aims to provide flexibility for subdivision and development while ensuring sustainable management of natural and physical resources. It is intended that Papakainga development will be developed using this technique or something similar. There will be circumstances where the management plan technique is applicable in the Rural Production Environment, however, specific criteria to apply the technique in this Environment will need to be achieved.

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Rural Production Environment Outcomes 1. The long-term viability of the productive functions of rural land is protected in a manner that delivers economic benefit and sustains the environment. 2. Lifestyle development in production areas is discouraged. 3. Reverse sensitivity impacts especially in relation to established and productive rural activities are avoided, remedied or mitigated. 4. Cumulative impacts in the rural environment are avoided by preventing lifestyle subdivision and development outside of planned areas. 5. The range of amenity values associated in the Rural Production Environment are recognised. 6. In relation to rural industries: a. Small scale rural industries with minimal impacts on the surrounding environment are allowed to locate in the Rural Production Environment. b. Secondary and tertiary rural industries are prevented from locating in the Rural Production Environment. 7. Services are enabled in a strategic manner to benefit productivity. 8. Development in the rural environment avoids hazards in the first instance and considers remediation or mitigation if proposals have production or other recognised benefits.

Rural Production Environment Actions 1. Map and create provisions for the Rural Production Environment in the District Plan. 2. Create criteria in the District Plan for small scale rural industries. 3. Investigate and define production areas. 4. Identify areas suitable for secondary and tertiary rural industries and protect them from sensitive land uses. 5. Undertake feasibility/scoping of servicing in the Rural Production Environment. 6. Include a description of the amenity of the Rural Production Environment in the District Plan.

Outcomes/Actions for Consideration During Detailed Section 32 Analysis of the Rural Production Environment 1. Exclusively use areas containing high class and versatile soils for productive rural uses. 2. Increase the productivity of rural environments by determining the intensity of development, lot size and land use suitability based on the benefit to productivity values. 3. Review minimum lot sizes to benefit rural productivity and the environment. 4. Investigate the provision for family succession of productive farms without reducing the productivity of the rural environment. 5. Provide positive incentives by way of development benefits to protect or enhance identified or targeted historic heritage, indigenous flora and fauna, other significant natural features and riparian management. 6. Provide transferable rights for development benefits to ensure the benefits do not erode the productivity of the rural environment. 7. Review the minor residential unit provisions to discourage further scattered lifestyle development. 8. Create criteria to use the Management Plan Technique in the Rural Production Environment.

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2.2. Rural Living Environment Overview of the Rural Living Environment To work towards the consolidated development path adopted by Sustainable Futures 30/50, a spatial planning approach has been used to identify where in the District rural lifestyle development can be provided sustainably but in a more controlled and planned way than it has occurred in the past. Research undertaken during the preparation of the RDS has identified that people choose to live in the countryside for different reasons and therefore a ‘one size fit all’ approach will not provide enough variety to suit the majority. So alongside all the environmental issues that were considered, a balance of economic and social considerations have been included which addresses benefits sought by both the rural communities and individuals such as optimal locations for small-business or access to schools, villages and community facilities. The Rural Living Environment aims to provide rural lifestyle choices for those who seek more land than the Urban Transition Environment, which will provide for a maximum lot size of 2,000 sqm, to pursue their hobbies, pursue self-sufficiency, run a small home-based business or enjoy the rural views. Lifestyle choices summarised below, have been established based on an analysis of current clusters of 1 to 4 ha lots that occur across the District and generally what type of activities are occurring in these areas. • Amongst the trees (bush blocks) • Hobby farming (goats, alpacas, horses etc) • Going green (off the grid, organics, no spraying) • The collectors (in need of space for ‘stuff’) • Working from home (galleries, B&Bs, open gardens) • Watching the world go by (views) • Commuters (urban working, country living)

Figure 6: Rural Living in the Whangarei District

Amenity in the Rural Living Environment encompasses values including: • Low levels of noise particularly at night in the context of intermittent noise typical of the rural environment for example animal noises, the operation of farm machinery and vehicle traffic noise associated with busy production periods. • A high degree of privacy. • Ample access to daylight and sunlight. • Generally low levels of vehicle traffic in the context of expected vehicle movements associated with seasonal busy times and typical rural industries.

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• A range of landscapes including flat and hilly terrain, open pastures, horticultural areas enclosed by shelter belts and orchards, significant views and vistas and large areas of significant indigenous vegetation, significant habitats of indigenous fauna and exotic forests that contribute to the amenity of rural environments. • Seasonal changes. • A sense of spaciousness, with visual connections to the wider environment. • Informal arrangement and design of roadways and structures, subservient to natural landform patterns. • Low night time light levels. • Functional and simple boundary treatments. • A clustering of built development. • Dominance of natural features including landforms, watercourses and indigenous vegetation. • Odours typical of rural activities such as from livestock, farm machinery and the growing of vegetation. Thirty five clusters were identified across the District and included in the initial analysis. These ‘clusters’ ranged in size and sometimes appeared as a small number of sections surrounded by much larger rural blocks. A series of environmental, economic, social and cultural criteria were then defined with which to undertake a ranking process thereby eliminating clusters which were not considered appropriate either to legitimise or allow for consolidation through a Rural Living Environment zoning. The top twelve clusters have been selected as being suitable for further Section 32 analysis prior to any Plan Change. The exact boundaries for the zone have not been defined at this stage, recognising that further analysis is required through the Plan Change preparation process. A needs analysis, undertaken through a survey at the 2010 Whangarei A&P Show, has provided an indication of what allotment sizes would be preferred in the Rural Living Environment, concluding that 1 ha may be too small and 4 ha may be too large for most people who would seek to live in these areas. Management of the expansion of the Rural Living Environment provides for consolidation where this can be accomplished without significant adverse effects on the environment, particularly traffic generation and reverse sensitivity impacts. This will ensure that the Rural Living Environment also contributes to the Growth Strategy’s aim of consolidation of subdivision and development across the District in the long term. For these reasons, the boundary of the Rural Living Environment will generally be tight to contain potentially adverse effects on rural amenity and productivity, particularly those that are cumulative due to increased population being surrounded by the Rural Production Environment, and key infrastructure corridors. Impacts on the local roading network have been considered in the selection of suitable areas for the Rural Living Environment and unsealed roads have been avoided due to dust nuisance and the impacts on future road maintenance and seal extensions. The Rural Living Environment also aims to support rural communities and their identification has specifically considered distance to social infrastructure such as schools and rural villages. Due to the proposed location and the potential size of allotments it is considered unsustainable and uneconomic to provide the reticulation of services within the Rural Living Environment. Onsite servicing of lifestyle development is common throughout the District. District Plan policies, rules and standards, in combination with Regional Plan policy and rules, will need to ensure that individual and cumulative subdivisions and developments are able to be serviced to such a standard so as to ensure no adverse environmental effects occur, particularly on water resources. The criteria used to determine the ranking of the rural living clusters also gave a negative score to areas identified as highly unsuitable for effluent disposal and clusters located near reticulated water (due to the potential for future capacity pressure issues).

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Rural Living Environment Outcomes 1. Lifestyle options are provided in the rural environment which promote opportunities to pursue space-intensive hobbies, self-sufficiency or small home-based enterprise, compatible with rural production activities and the sustainable function of ecosystems. 2. Rural living development is consolidated in areas where productive rural land uses have already been compromised or on less productive land which is able to continue to develop without significant adverse effects on the environment. 3. Reverse sensitivity effects on surrounding rural production, rural industries or key infrastructure networks are avoided, remedied or mitigated. 4. Growth within the Rural Living Environment is managed to protect the viability of Rural Villages. 5. The range of amenity values associated in the Rural Living Environment is retained.

Rural Living Environment Actions 1. Map and create provisions for the Rural Living Environment in the District Plan. 2. Include reverse sensitivity effects as criteria for the identification of Rural Living Environment locations.

2.3. Rural Village Environments Overview of the Rural Village Environments The proposed Rural Village Environments aim to strengthen, consolidate and enhance the two existing rural villages and the established rural hamlets and coastal settlements by providing opportunities for a mix of residential and small scale commercial and industrial activities servicing the surrounding rural hinterland, and reflecting the varying settlement types, scale and functions. At the same time the zones seek to ensure that the heritage and amenity values and sense of place currently enjoyed by residents are respected and protected. The larger rural villages, (Maungatapere and Maungakaramea), have greater potential for development and their consolidation will be encouraged in line with the Growth Strategy philosophy. The Rural Village Environments are seen as providing rural living and servicing options complementary to the proposed Rural Living Environment which is based on rural development ‘clusters’. Proximity to social infrastructure (such as schools and rural villages) has been acknowledged as an important determining factor in the selection of these clusters. Three types of Rural Village Environment are envisaged – • Rural Village Mixed Use Environment (RV Mixed Use) applying to larger rural villages such as Maungatapere and Maungakaramea, with scope for combining a core of small-scale, mixed use activities and those of a more conventional (RV Living) nature, including home occupations. It is anticipated that this combination of environment types would also be applied to appropriate coastal settlements (such as Ngunguru and Waipu Cove/ Langs Beach) where land zoned for commercial/business purposes and/or properties established by resource consent or existing use rights is included, or where structure plans have indicated the suitability of particular land uses. Nine coastal structure plans exist, with those relating to Matapouri – Woolleys Bay, Ngunguru, Oakura, Pataua, Tutukaka, and Waipu Cove - Langs Beach being of most relevance to the proposed Rural Village Environments.

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• Rural Village Light Industry Environment (RV Light Industry) applying to rural and coastal villages identified in the Growth Strategy as containing existing light industrial activities and/or requiring further expansion of light industrial areas. These areas will be separate from core mixed use and residential areas due to their industrial nature, however, are only envisaged to accommodate light industrial activities. The use of this Environment will be explored further in structure planning of the villages. • Rural Village Living Environment (RV Living) applying primarily to small inland hamlets such as Pipiwai and Ruatangata which currently include community facilities such as a hall, marae or school, and limited residential land (zoned Living 1) but little or no business activity. The RVL would effectively replace the existing Living 1 Environment zoning. Due to the rural hamlets’ historical origins and declining population trend over recent years, no expansion of RVL settlement boundaries is anticipated in the short or medium term. Note: The specific format of the Environments and details of related provisions will be developed as part of any statutory Section 32 analysis associated with a Plan Change.

Figure 7: Rural Village Environments Concept

Rural Village Environments

Rural Village Mixed Use (RV Mixed Use)

Rural Village Light Industry (RV Light Industry)

Rural Village Living (RVL)

Rural Villages, possibly with small business/commercial core surrounded by RVL and peripheral light industry, e.g Maungatapere & Maungakaramea, with future expansion subject to Structure Plans

Coastal Villages, possibly with small business/commercial core surrounded by RVL and peripheral light industry, e.g Ngunguru & Waipu Cove/Langs Beach , with external village boundaries based on existing Structure Plans

Hamlets - generally small with hall, marae or school but without business type activities, e.g Pipiwai & Ruatangata, replacing Living 1 Environment zoning

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Any future extension of existing settlement boundaries will be based on existing and proposed structure plans for the coastal locations noted above and for Maungatapere and Maungakaramea (as recommended in the Growth Strategy). The structure plans and subsequent plan changes will need to take into account constraints such as natural hazards, location of State Highway 14 (in terms of potential access issues for Maungatapere), areas of high natural character and outstanding landscapes, sites of significance, and the presence of high class soils (particularly adjacent to Maungatapere and Maungakaramea) in order to avoid adverse effects on the coastal environment and rural amenity and productivity. Rural settlements in coastal areas experience different issues and pressures from those of inland settlements. These are primarily due to the sensitivity of the coastal environment, the function of coastal villages as holiday destinations and commuter suburbs, the higher proportion of non permanent seasonal residents, and a greater availability of recreational and accommodation facilities. Adoption of Environmental Engineering Standards, and coastal overlay/resource areas consistent with the NZCPS (2010) and NRC mapping of the coastal environment will provide environmental safeguards in terms of effects associated with coastal villages, additional to the underlying Rural Village Environment provisions. Existing community facilities such as schools, churches, community halls and marae and residential facilities such as retirement complexes (e.g Parua Bay, Waipu and Maungakaramea) constitute a focus for rural communities, both inland and on the coast. Existing domestic buildings within the zones are typically one or two storeys in height and located on sections of approximately 1,000m2. Increased flexibility in development controls can result in benefits such as higher density of development (e.g for retirement housing) where smaller units of land may be desired and where infrastructural constraints permit. Similarly, some controls (e.g parking) based on urban standards may warrant relaxation in a village context. The ‘Rural Settlements and Urban Design Issues and Options Paper’ prepared for the RDS highlights the value of incorporating urban design principles in rural settlement planning. Benefits such as enhancement of rural communities, increased efficiency in the use of rural land and provision of infrastructure, and encouragement for people to live in villages and hamlets, thus reducing impacts on rural productive land and landscape values are advocated. There was some public feedback on the draft RDS on costs of urban design and its ‘barrier to development’, with high level design criteria identified as more practical. However, the need for inclusion of ‘strong urban design principles’ in the structure plans for Maungatapere and Maungakaramea is also emphasized as a priority in the Whangarei Growth Strategy Implementation Actions for 2012 - 2022. A key to successful urban design for each of these villages will be on-going consultation with the local communities concerned.

Figure 8: The Rural Village of Maungatapere

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While the Rural Villages Environments are intended to offer a certain degree of flexibility in terms of activity types and bulk and location controls, they also reflect the need to maintain the amenity of the predominantly residential environment by promoting development that will not generate adverse effects of noise, lighting and reduced visual amenity. District Plan policies, rules, standards and Regional Plan policy will need to ensure that servicing requirements are met, while controls and guidelines on the design and siting of development (e.g building height, building coverage, recession planes, and outdoor living areas) and adherence to accepted urban design principles will assist in ensuring that: • Neighbouring properties are not unreasonably denied sunlight or daylight • Ample, useable outdoor living space is provided • A character and scale of buildings and open space compatible with the anticipated mixed use environment, and an open and visually attractive setting are achieved

Rural Village Environment Outcomes 1. The long term sustainability of rural villages (including coastal villages) and the rural hinterland is supported through incremental growth and consolidated development within the villages and increased opportunities for complementary economic development. 2. Development pressures are reduced on the coastal environment, areas of high class versatile soils and productive farmland and sporadic and ribbon development along the coast and transport corridors is reduced by limiting future expansion of rural villages within such areas. 3. Mixed use opportunities within rural villages are increased for activities of a commercial, business or light industrial nature that are compatible with existing residential activities and that contribute towards the servicing of the rural community. 4. Living opportunities are provided for different sectors of the community, (e.g. farm workers and retired farmers), enabling the continued retention of established links with the adjoining rural environment. 5. Differences between coastal and inland rural settlements are recognised, particularly in terms of the sensitivity of the coastal environment. 6. Existing rural village character, sense of place, heritage and amenity values are identified and protected. 7. Long-term open space and recreation values are protected and enhanced.

Rural Village Environment Actions 1. Map and create provisions for the Rural Village Mixed Use Environment in the District Plan as identified in adopted Structure Plans. 2. Map and create provisions for the Rural Village Light Industry Environment in the District Plan as identified in adopted Structure Plans. 3. Map and create provisions for the Rural Village Living Environment in the District Plan. 4. Review relevant Environmental Engineering Standards for the Rural Village Environments. 5. Create controls in the District Plan on the nature, scale and location of non residential activity and adherence to accepted urban design principles. 6. Structure Plans consider the future provision of open space and recreational facilities in rural villages as

demand requires.

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2.4. Rural Industry Overview of Rural Industries In the rural environment a range of rural industries currently operate. Direction on rural industries is considered necessary to provide consistency with the philosophy of the Growth Strategy. The following categories have been created to group rural industries as they are treated differently in the RDS depending on the category. • Strategic • Small scale • Primary • Secondary and tertiary A description of each rural industry category follows.

Strategic Rural Industries Whangarei has a few Strategic Rural Industries that provide essential employment to the District and have been operating for a number of years. These industries have the potential to have adverse impacts on surrounding rural activities due to the scale of their operations, however, due to their strategic nature it is important that these industries are protected and encouraged to continue to operate and develop. Examples of Strategic Rural Industries in the District include the Kauri Dairy Factory and the Portland Cement Works. Currently these Strategic Rural Industries are recognised in the District Plan with an industrial zoning and overlays. It is not considered that the zones adequately cater for the specifics of the industries, for example the Kauri Dairy Factory is zoned Business 4 which is a heavy industrial zoning. The overlays also appear to add a layer of confusion to the rules governing the sites. As there are only a few Strategic Rural Industries in the District and they currently have a number of different district plan tools protecting them it is considered simpler to create zones to specifically address the industries and to review the current overlay and zone boundaries to ensure they will continue to protect and encourage them to operate over a long term timeframe.

Small Scale Rural Industries Small Scale Rural Industries are usually located directly on the site that goods are produced, such as an avocado farmer having a small stall out the front of the property selling produce. The nature of these industries being small scale means they do not create adverse traffic, noise, visual or other impacts on the surrounding area. Due to their connection to specific rural sites they are also usually dotted around rural environments. Small Scale Rural Industries contribute to the character of rural environments by adding to the sense of community for example by being able to pick up local produce at the source and meet the farmer. Small Scale Rural Industries also offer tourism opportunities that have minimal adverse impacts on the surrounding area but add the diversity of the rural environment, for example, cellar door sales at a vineyard. Due to the positive benefits that Small Scale Rural Industries have on the rural environment and the lack of adverse impact they create on the surrounding area, these industries are encouraged and will only be loosely regulated. It is assumed that other environmental health regulations will more stringently address environmental impacts that may arise from these mainly food based industries. To meet the category of Small Scale Rural Industry criteria will need to be developed to ensure they will not create adverse impacts on the surrounding area especially on strategic rural road networks. These industries may therefore be better suited off main roads or with adequate pull in and car parking areas to ensure that adverse traffic impacts are avoided especially on strategic rural roads.

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Primary Rural Industries Primary Rural Industries are rural uses that may require resource consent from the Council, unlike pastoral farming, because they involve large buildings or create traffic movements that may be captured by rules in the Plan but they can only feasibly locate in rural environments as they involve activities linked to the rural environment for example a chicken farm or a flower farm. Primary Rural Industries are expected be located in rural environments but will require some control as they may be suitable in some locations and not suitable in others depending on road access, noise, odour, visual impact etc. Quarries are Primary Rural Industries in the District that are dealt with in the Plan by buffer rules and Mineral Extraction Areas. The Mineral Extraction Areas are recognised as best practice and consultation suggests they work well. A review of all quarries needs to be undertaken to ensure there is a consistent approach to buffers and Mineral Extraction Areas. The rules concerning smaller scale farm quarries also need to be reviewed to check they are still relevant and effective. Additional zones are not proposed for Primary Rural Industries as policies, rules and the resource consent process will continue to encourage and control these activities adequately.

Secondary and Tertiary Rural Industries Secondary and Tertiary Rural Industries are similar to Primary Rural Industries, however, they do not necessarily have to be located in the rural environment and they usually involve manufacturing or selling of primary products. However, they are associated with rural markets for example a farming supplies shop. So there is a case to locate them in rural environments. Consultation has indicated that rural people do not necessarily see having to travel to town for farming supplies as an inconvenience due to the relatively small size of the District and as these industries provide specialist goods and services not required on a daily basis. There are a number of Secondary and Tertiary Rural Industries located around the District that are not appropriately zoned. They tend to encourage additional commercial and industrial type activities to locate around them. This random distribution of activities is considered to, like scattered lifestyle development, have a detrimental impact on the productivity of rural environments by creating quasi-commercial areas in unsuitable locations as outlined in the Growth Strategy. For this reason secondary and tertiary rural industries will be discouraged outside of suitably zoned areas.

Figure 9: Example of Rural Industry

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Rural Industries’ Outcomes 1. Strategic Rural Industries are protected and encouraged. 2. Small Scale Rural Industries with minimal impacts on the surrounding environment are encouraged to locate in the rural environment. 3. Primary Rural Industries are encouraged to locate in suitable rural environments. 4. Secondary and Tertiary Rural Industries are directed to locate within zoned areas. 5. The impact on amenity values that rural industries may have on the rural environment is recognised. 6. Service needs in relation to the location of rural industries are assessed.

Rural Industries’ Actions 1. Map and create provisions for District Plan Environments for Strategic Rural Industries. 2. Create criteria in the District Plan for Small Scale Rural Industries. 3. Investigate and define Production areas within the District. 4. Identify areas suitable for Secondary and Tertiary Rural Industries and to protect them from sensitive land uses. 5. Create standards to manage amenity impacts in relation to Rural Industries. 6. Undertake feasibility/scoping of servicing in the rural environment.  

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3. Scheduled Activities In the Operative District Plan, several Scheduled Activities/Overlays are located in the rural environment. These include: • Overlay 3 – Sandy Bay • Overlay 6 – Headland Farm Park (part) • Overlays 11/1, 11/2, 11/3 & 11/4 – Pataua South • Overlay 14 – Portland Cement Works • Overlay 15 – Kauri Dairy Factory • Overlay 16 – Croft Timber Company Limited • Overlays 24 & 25 – Taurikura/Urquhart’s Bay Many of these Scheduled Activities read as exceptions to the underlying Environment rules, in particular the building height rules that apply to the industrial activities in the case of Overlays 14, 15 and 16 and allotment areas in relation to Overlay 6. Overlays 24 and 25 include conditions relating to dogs and cats, which has similarities to the conditions included in Overlays 11/1, 11/2, 11/3 and 11/4 which are detailed and read similar to resource consent conditions. It is therefore recommended that the District Plan review should consider the usefulness of each Overlay and whether general issues can be included in the Environment rules and whether site-specific issues are best addressed at the consenting stage. Overall, Scheduled Activities are expected to be phased out and replaced by other mechanisms where practical. It may also be useful to consider the extent of the existing Business 4 Environment as it applies to particular sites in the rural environment and if a new Strategic Rural Industry Environment can address the various issues or whether specific Environments for the types of industry concerned are necessary. It is recommended that early consultation with the affected industries, and other interested parties, be undertaken prior to finalising an approach for inclusion in the new District Plan.

Scheduled Activities’ Outcomes 1. Scheduled Activities are removed from the District Plan and are accommodated by other mechanisms.

Scheduled Activities’ Actions 1. Explore the appropriateness of Scheduled Activities.

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4. Policy Areas It is proposed that the District Plan include a series of Policy Areas which will ensure that the sustainable management of resources occurs across multiple Environments (zones) and Resource Areas all seeking to achieve a common resource management outcome. Whilst the outcomes (objectives) are set at a high-level, the Policy Area approach allows for different methods of achieving the outcomes. Policy Areas will focus on community outcomes and a range of factors that contribute to these as opposed to one specific factor. Policy Areas could also be integrated with local government financial planning processes (i.e. Long Term and Annual Plans) to ensure that Council resources are also directed towards outcomes where appropriate. The Coastal Management Strategy 2002 defined a set of coastal policy areas which integrated issues by geographical area along the coastal environment. This enabled individual communities to define a set vision and outcomes for their area. The RDS has not attempted to define geographic ‘communities of interest’ but rather has identified that through ‘layering’ Policy Areas multiple resource management outcomes could be achieved within a particular site or locality. Individual communities may also wish to define specific issues for which they wish to see a Policy Area developed. This would require detailed work and consensus amongst all stakeholders to be adopted; however, this process could evolve out of complementary projects such as the village planning project being developed through the implementation of Sustainable Futures 30/50.

Figure 10: Coastal Policy Areas

Coastal Policy Areas Bland Bay - Mimiwhangata Bream Bay Horohora-Awahoa Ngunguru Ocean Beach - Whangarei Heads Parua Bay - Waikaraka Portland - Takahiwai Sandy Bay - Tutukaka Coast Urban Fringe Whananaki

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The Policy Area approach should not be used where issues cannot be spatially mapped or they are likely to frequently change, thereby requiring regular District Plan changes. It is also not considered appropriate to use Policy Areas to address matters which have a prescribed standard or method across the entire District such as those determined through national policy statements or the Regional Policy Statement. These matters are best dealt with either at the District, Resource Area or Environment level depending on the required level of application. Policy Areas will be most effective in the consideration of subdivision and activities which are ‘out of the ordinary’ i.e. discretionary and non-complying activities. For subdivision in the proposed Rural Production Environment, for example, this could require all subdivision not for ‘productive purposes’ to be subject to assessment against district-wide objectives and policies and any objectives and policies included in Policy Areas which are applicable to the subject site. The Policy Areas will provide for a site-specific policy test which is difficult to determine when objectives and policies apply district-wide, as is currently the case. It is not anticipated that this will substantially increase the number of objectives and policies included in the District Plan but rather objectives and policies will be ‘pulled down’ to Policy Area level where they can be spatially applied. The benefits of this approach is that it will provide certainty to applicants, the community and regulatory planners over ‘which’ issues will be considered, and ‘where’ but leaves flexibility to design a solution for ‘how’ based on for the site conditions, activities proposed and the integration of resource management issues which need to be addressed.

Policy Area Outcomes 1. The different issues and values of coastal areas are recognised in Policy Areas in the District Plan. 2. The creation of Policy Areas in the District Plan on an as needs basis are considered.

Policy Area Actions 1. Implement Policy Areas in the District Plan.  

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5. Rural Environment Matters relevant in a geographical context fit within the middle level of the District Plan. Background research and the efficiency and effectiveness monitoring of the District Plan have confirmed that the middle layer of the Operative District Plan is the most lacking in strategic and policy direction. With the majority of the rural environment being zoned Countryside Environment the Operative District Plan does not provide sufficient spatial and policy direction for the rural environment. The use, amenity, character and very nature of the rural environment is variable throughout the District. It is difficult for one or two District Plan zones to adequately describe and achieve appropriate resource management outcomes. To fill this policy gap multiple zones are suggested. Potential conflicts between zones should be addressed within the geographical context and middle layer of the District Plan. This Strategy proposes to replace the two rural zones with the Rural Production Environment, but also includes additional zones for Rural Living and Rural villages and further separate catchment areas, as has been done in the urban area with the Urban Transition Environment. It is recognised that generalised approaches do not allow for the intricacies and special characteristics that define different areas, catchments are increasingly acknowledged as an appropriate environmental management unit to highlight the trade-offs that may be available in an area and to focus on key connections in the landscape that allow for potential development. For this reason a catchment management approach to assessing the impacts of development is proposed whereby the characteristics and outcomes of different areas of the District are defined so that proposals can be assessed against them.

Rural Environment Outcomes 1. The long-term viability of the productive functions of rural land is protected in a manner that delivers economic benefit and sustains the environment. 2. Opportunities for rural living in areas are provided where productive rural land use has already been compromised. 3. Reverse sensitivity impacts in the rural environment are recognised and avoided, remedied and mitigated. 4. The contribution of ecosystem services provided by key environmental resources located within the rural environment is recognised to the economic and social wellbeing of the Whangarei District. 5. Rural land use and development is managed to protect water resources. 6. Water resources are protected through the adequate provision of on-site services. 7. Long-term open space and recreation values associated with the rural environment are protected and enhanced. 8. Opportunities for a range of living choices in the rural environment are provided. 9. The expansion of rural and coastal villages/hamlets is managed. 10. Residential, commercial and lifestyle development is consolidated in rural and coastal villages, rural and coastal hamlets and rural living clusters. 11. The strategic and functional requirements of rural industries are recognised. 12. Secondary and tertiary rural industries are encouraged to locate within planned areas. 13. The range of amenity values associated with the rural environment is recognised. 14. Services are provided in a strategic manner to benefit productivity in the rural environment. 15. Lifestyle development is directed to locations that minimise impact on existing council infrastructure. 16.Cumulative impacts in the rural environment are assessed by considering the impacts of development on a catchment basis.District Council Rural Development Strategy Whangarei

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Rural Environment Actions 1. Describe the rural environment and create catchment based provisions in the District Plan. 2. Create Rural Production, Rural Living, Rural Village and Strategic Rural Industry Environments in the District Plan and Environment provisions for each. 3. Assess development on a catchment basis. 4. Review the Open Space Environment in the District Plan. 5. Create and review Structure Plans to accommodate growth for Rural and Coastal Villages selected in the Growth Strategy and incorporate in the District Plan. 6. Create location criteria provisions in the District Plan to manage growth and define the boundaries of Rural and Coastal Villages and Hamlets. 7. Create criteria in the District Plan for small scale rural industries. 8. Investigate and define Production areas within the District. 9. Identify areas suitable for secondary and tertiary rural industries and to protect them from sensitive land uses. 10. Undertake feasibility/scoping of servicing in the rural environment. 11. Create standards to manage amenity impacts in relation to rural industries. 12. Create District Plan provisions to ensure that onsite services are designed to meet site specific conditions. 13. Review and amend chapter 6 Built Form and Development of the Operative District Plan as required to reflect the Growth Strategy and the RDS. 14. Comprehensively review the indigenous vegetation clearance provisions in the District Plan within the rural environment context.

5.1. Catchments A catchment is the area of land that contains a river system and its associated groundwaters and coastal waters. Boundaries with adjacent catchments are often formed by high ground separating them. The Northland Regional Council has mapped local water catchments for the Northland Region. These are then also divided into sub-catchments which basically follow each ridgeline in the District and encompass individual valleys and streams. There are 34 local catchments in the Whangarei District and 7,072 sub-catchments. For the purposes of this Strategy the local catchments have been further grouped into what we are calling ‘district catchments’. The district catchments relate to the main water bodies that the group of local catchments drain into. Seven district catchments have been identified in Whangarei as follows: • Bay of Islands • Bream Bay • Mangakahia River • Manganui River • Pacific Coast • Wairoa River • Whangarei Harbour.

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Figures 11, 12 and 13: Whangarei District Sub-catchments, Local Catchments and District Catchments Rural Local Catchments

Rural Sub-Catchments

Rural District Catchments

Bay of Islands

Mangakahia River

Pacific Coast Wairoa River

Whangarei Harbour

Manganui River Bream Bay Manganui River

Catchment management is commonly a process whereby all activities within a river catchment are considered in relation to their impact on each other and on the quality and quantity of surface and groundwater. Catchments can also be used to group and assess other impacts of development such as impacts on indigenous flora and fauna, reverse sensitivity, historic heritage and versatile and high class soils. It is intended that development in the rural environment will be assessed on a catchment basis. The District catchments have been outlined for the purposes of this Strategy; however, for individual applications local and sub-catchment impacts are likely to be assessed depending on the scale of the application. Catchment plans will aim to deliver environmental improvements whilst balancing human and environmental needs. Key issues and outcomes for each district catchment are summarised in the tables located in Appendix B. The key issues will focus the assessment of applications in each catchment to provide a more strategic direction for decision making. It is anticipated that objectives and policies will be developed for each district catchment based on key issues identified. Refer to Appendix B – District Catchment Outcomes

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6. District Wide Matters dealt with in the district wide level of the District Plan apply to the entire District, although they may be dealt with in a different manner in different localities or communities. Resource Areas are mapped in the District Plan and have provisions that relate to resource specific matters of interest that apply on a district wide basis. Many of the issues analysed are district wide issues and will be addressed at this level in the District Plan. As this Strategy is focused on the rural environment, the Strategy outcomes are limited to those required in a rural context. Outcomes have not been listed if they are required to address district wide issues and are consistent with a general district wide approach proposed in the rolling review. These issues include: • Water Resources • Heritage Values • Landscape • Cultural Values • Network Utilities • Infrastructure • Biodiversity • Hazards and Contaminated Sites

District Wide Outcomes 1. Sustainable and renewable energy generation is provided for. 2. Residential and commercial growth is focussed in Whangarei City, the satellite town and growth nodes. 3. Key transport infrastructure is recognised. 4. The impacts on the transport network and from the network to the surrounding environment are taken into account. 5. The role of the rail corridors and their past and future significance is recognised.

District Wide Actions 1. Create District Plan provisions consistent with the National Policy Statement for Renewable Electricity Generation 2011. 2. Implement the Whangarei District Growth Strategy: Sustainable Futures 30/50 in the District Plan. 3. Redefine in the District Plan the road hierarchy to consider a range of factors. 4. Include proximity to rail as criteria for development assessment.

District Wide Outcomes for Consideration During Detailed Section 32 Analysis 1. Positive incentives by way of development benefits to protect or enhance identified or targeted historic heritage,

indigenous flora and fauna and other significant natural features are provided for.

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6.1. Resource Areas The District Plan currently uses Resource Area layers to identify and set rules for activities where specific issues need to be considered. This layered approach to planning maps and rules is useful in that it allows for different resource management issues to be considered using a spatial planning approach at the consenting stage. Industries have indicated that Resource Areas, such as Mineral Extraction Areas, provide them with certainty and security for their future planning and development whilst also providing protection from effects such as reverse sensitivity. Other Resource Areas, including heritage buildings and contaminated sites, however, rely on all the issues to be updated and the information on planning maps to be correct and accurate at the time of publication. All existing Resource Areas should be reviewed to ensure that the location of sites and areas are accurate and current. The District Plan rolling review programme provides the ideal opportunity to undertake a systematic review of sites and areas. Rules for each Resource Area will also need to be considered. Additional Resource Areas may be required. The following Resource Areas are of particular importance to the rural environment: • The coast • High class and versatile soils • Significant indigenous vegetation and significant habitats of indigenous fauna (e.g. kiwi) • Landscape values • Contaminants in soil • Heritage Buildings, Sites and Objects • Sites of significance to Maori • Natural hazard areas A Coastal Resource Area will be applied across Environments (zones) which will address issues particular to the coastal environment. It is anticipated that the boundary of this Coastal Resource Area will be defined in the new Regional Policy Statement (RPS), meeting the requirements of the New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement 2010.

Figure 14: Kiwi Presence and Concentrations Kiwi Presence and Concentrations ! Whangaruru

Bland Bay

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Oakura

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Helena Bay

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Opuawhanga

Hukerenui

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Mouresses Whananaki

Whakapara

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Riponui

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Kauri !

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Parakao

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Titoki

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Kamo

Tutukaka

Ngunguru

Whareora

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Glenbervie!

Kokopu

Pataua

Whangarei City

Poroti

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Taiharuru

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Maunu ! Maungatapere

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Parua Bay Onerahi Otaika Stream ! !Tamaterau Limestone Island!

Whatitiri

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Portland

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Kiwi Presence

Matapouri

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Opouteke

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Hikurangi

Purua Ruatangata West Matarau

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Pipiwai

Sandy Bay

Marua

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Oakleigh ! Maungakaramea Mangapai !

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Kiwi Concentrations

Mata

McLeod Bay ! OneTree Pt Taurikura !

Marsden Point !

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Ocean Beach

Springfield Ruakaka

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Waiotira Waikiekie

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Waipu

Waipu Cove

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Langs Beach !

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The varying landscapes in the rural environment of the District contribute to its amenity and provide opportunities for different activities to occur depending on the landscape sensitivity. Landscape sensitivity will be assessed in the rural environment and will be a contributing factor in determining the type of activities that are suitable for an area. The National Environmental Standard for Assessing and Managing Contaminants in Soil to Protect Human Health (the NES) came into effect on 1 January 2012. The NES provides a nationally consistent set of planning controls and soil contaminant values to ensure that land affected by contaminants in soil is appropriately identified and assessed before it is developed. Development in the District will need to be undertaken in accordance with the NES. The rural environment contains a large amount of historic heritage. The recognition and protection of historic heritage will be encouraged with positive incentives. These could include but not be limited to financial incentives and development benefits. Flooding, instability, mining and coastal hazards are prevalent throughout the rural environment and over time development has not been managed strategically to avoid hazards. Climate change is an emerging hazard consideration relevant to coastal areas in the District. New development in the rural environment should not exacerbate effects of natural hazards. A combination of engineering solutions and selection criteria for the location of new development areas will also contribute to this. Hazard area mapping also requires updating to ensure it effectively covers all relevant hazards.

Resource Area Outcomes 1. Areas with coastal influence are recognised and provided for. 2. Areas containing high class and versatile soils for productive rural uses are considered and protected from degradation. 3. Significant indigenous vegetation and significant habitats of indigenous fauna are protected and enhanced on a catchment basis. 4. The landscape values of an area are recognised and used as a determining factor for the appropriateness of proposals in the rural environment. 5. Contaminants in soil are assessed and managed to protect human health. 6. Historic heritage is recognised and protected in the rural environment with positive incentives. 7. Land use activities do not exacerbate the effects of natural hazards. 8. Existing quarries are reviewed in light of existing Mineral Extraction Resource Area provisions.

Resource Area Actions 1. Review existing Resource Area provisions and develop new ones. 2. Use the Northland Regional Council coastal environment boundary in the new RPS to map and create provisions for a new Coastal Resource Area. 3. Update hazard mapping and review hazard provisions in the District Plan in accordance with Northland Regional Council information and maps.

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7. Non Regulatory Actions The implementation plan for Sustainable Futures 30/50 will require a number of different projects to be completed which are complementary to the outcomes of the RDS. The following is a summary of the non-regulatory actions identified in the background papers for the Strategy.

Water Resources • Work with key rural industries to educate new rural dwellers about what impact they can have on local water resources. This could include ensuring that when Council provide information to new residents such as through welcome packs or Land Information Memorandums (LIMs), the proximity of known important water resources which may be impacted upon by the new residents is included. • New management approaches that see productive land supplying a wider range of services so that food and fibre production may allow for better water related outcomes. • More active collaboration with Northland Regional Council on a strategic monitoring programme so that effective policy can be put in place to address water issues over time. • Participation in programmes facilitated by the Land and Water Forum.

Transport • Investigate the potential use of financial contributions or development contributions to facilitate land uses on strategic transport routes. • Encourage walking and/or cycling through consolidated growth, to allow for shorter travel distances that can be covered by cycle or on foot. • Develop funding mechanisms with NRC and the Regional Transport Plan, to follow on from present regional development funding to allow key forestry routes to be upgraded with minimal cost burden on ratepayers.

Hazards • Look at options to increase the resilience of communities to hazards. This may involve promoting restoration planting along rivers and streams in the upper catchment or converting marginal land in hill country to forest. • Provide identified evacuation paths for areas prone to tsunami. The management of tsunami risk and wave runup is probably not best addressed by the District Plan but can be looked at in an educational role. Tsunami sirens have been installed in coastal areas however communities need to know what to do if a tsunami warning occurs. • The community need to decide on what time frame we should plan for. Do we seek to plan for 1 in 100 year events, 1 in 50 year events, or 1 in 5 year events? The answer to this is site specific, dependant on high level strategic documents and on the nature of the hazard and the amount of investment at risk.

Network Utilities • Establish a working group with representatives from the various network utility operators, including Council to discuss future growth and strategic planning in the different sectors so that potential issues can be identified early on. • Facilitate the creation of community groups to discuss how issues of vulnerability and resilience can best be addressed.

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Energy Methods that may assist in the uptake of renewable energy and energy efficient technologies include: • Financial incentives to encourage uptake of energy efficient systems. Offering low interest or interest free loans repayable through rates is just one example of what could be undertaken. • Trained council staff, proficient in the energy efficiency/renewable energy field, could provide ratepayers with free advice on the actions they could undertake themselves. • Free or subsidised resource consent/building consent fees for certain energy efficient/renewable energy activities. • Simplified resource consent processes. • Work together with the rural sector and their representative organisations to proactively encourage the uptake of new technology. • Educating rural communities as to how and where energy savings can be applied may be a useful way to raise people’s awareness of the issue. This could be done in several ways: distributing brochures, setting up a dedicated webpage, media campaign, targeting individual businesses and or sectors, and so on.

Heritage • Financial incentives such as heritage grants, subsidies, rates relief, waiving of consent fees, or use of development contributions all have the potential to supplement regulatory approaches. • The use of information, education and advocacy could encourage voluntary protection together with improved practice in protective processes in general. For example, the council could encourage the community to liaise with the HPT regarding protection of heritage items. Information on how to carry out maintenance in a manner that is sensitive to the values of the heritage resource could be provided by suitably qualified persons facilitated by council.

Indigenous Vegetation • Implement the non-regulatory actions in the WDC 2012 Biodiversity Strategy. • Actively engage in the maintenance and protection of biodiversity through, for instance, the co-ordination of community efforts. • Explore opportunities for innovative economic initiatives/activities based on the properties of native vegetation, such as food products, medicine, (manuka) honey, biofuels and so on (ecosystem services). • Financial incentives to encourage the maintenance and protection of biodiversity values. • Undertake research on the value of biodiversity to the local (agricultural) economy (ecosystem services).

Contaminated Sites • Make submissions on various NRC documents stressing the importance of identifying potentially contaminated land and keeping of a database. • Adjust internal resource consent assessment processes: i.e. develop a standard checklist to be used in the assessment of resource consent applications which would assist in the identification of potentially contaminated sites. • Put checks and processes in place at building consent stage. • Information dissemination and education: i.e. pamphlets or information on Council website explaining potential consequences to human health and the environment from developing contaminated sites.

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Minerals and Aggregates • Put additional resources into identifying future mineral and aggregate resource requirements. This information could then be used to safeguard access to these resources through the District Plan. • Making new residents aware of what activities typically occur in ‘the Countryside’. Council could work with key rural industries, including mineral and aggregate operators, to educate new rural dwellers about what to expect in terms of amenity such as traffic movements and noise. This could also include ensuring that when Council provides information to new residents such as through welcome packs or Land Information Memorandums (LIMs), the proximity of known quarries which may impact on their future development plans or existing amenity are included. • Council should continue to work with other agencies such as Northland Regional Council, the Ministry of Economic Development and key industry representatives to understand the future direction and issues facing the industry. Key legislation and government programmes in the minerals sector are under review and if changes are progressed, activities in mineral exploration could impact on the Whangarei District.

Landscape • Rates remissions are available, under certain circumstances. A review of the remission policy could be undertaken to provide rating relief where high value land is set aside for conservation purposes, this may provide some compensation for areas and reduce the holding costs of land. • Financial assistance be provided by Council, or through other agencies such as the Queen Elizabeth II National Trust, for fencing, pest control and/or covenanting costs where areas of land are protected. • Land management agreements could be negotiated between Council and landowners. These may provide that the landowner receives some ongoing financial compensation for foregoing development rights and providing other community benefits such as public access to the land. • Community involvement in landscape management initiatives can be important in achieving ongoing management and enhancement of landscapes. Increased community involvement can be facilitated through Council support of appropriate individual and community activities. • Landcare groups, which bring farmers, lifestyle residents and others together to jointly undertake initiatives aimed at sustainable land management. Activities can include re-vegetation, weed and pest control, and the protection of riparian areas and other important habitats. • Coast care programmes, which mobilise communities to restore dune systems along the coast. Most programmes provide advice on reducing and repairing dune damage and also provide native dune plants, information brochures, fertilisers and building materials free. • Retain a dedicated biodiversity or environmental enhancement fund.

Subdivision and Land Use • Non-regulatory development guideline booklets could be developed for the rural environment. These guidelines could focus on specific characteristics of each of these communities and provide design guidance and information on issues that are of particular concern to each village. • Creation of information packs that act as background information resources and provide guidance for certain activities in the rural environment. The purpose of the packs is to provide all the relevant District Council information relating to the different approvals that are normally required for these activities. • An economic instrument is simply a financial incentive for behavioural change. This may be positive as in when rates relief is provided in exchange for protecting areas of wetlands or upland vegetation, or negative as when financial penalties prevent certain behaviours. The scope and effectiveness of economic instruments is limited by resources available for administration and the ability to observe or measure an effect.

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Open Space • The Whangarei District Growth Strategy has confirmed the need to increase open space areas and recreation facilities. Implementation of the Growth Strategy through the Long Term Plan, Infrastructure Asset Management Plans and Reserve Management Plans will work to resolve District wide matters, such as purchasing land for open space.

Rural Economy/Commerce and Industry • Scientific plant research for alternative crops (indigenous or exotic). • Sustainable native logging. • The use of manuka and other indigenous species for productive purposes. • Artisan food production and markets. • Emerging rural (eco)tourism.

Rural Settlements, Urban Design and Sense of Place • Increase community awareness and education on urban design, incentives and subsidies to encourage proponents to contribute to good urban design in rural settlements, mainstreet programmes, infrastructure management plans, and three-dimensional modelling for pilot projects.  

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APPENDIX A: Action Plan The following table summaries the regulatory outcomes and actions for the RDS and makes timing comments in relation to achieving the actions.

Figure 1: Rural Development Strategy Action Plan Outcomes

Actions

Further Detailed Analysis (s32 RMA)

Timing Comments

Create District Plan provisions consistent with the National Policy Statement for Renewable Electricity Generation 2011.

Positive incentives by way of development benefits to protect or enhance identified or targeted historic heritage, indigenous flora and fauna and other significant natural features are provided for.

The addition of renewable energy provisions must wait for direction from the RPS.

District Wide Sustainable and renewable energy generation is provided for. Residential and commercial growth is focussed in Whangarei City, the satellite town and growth nodes. Key transport infrastructure is recognised. The impacts on the transport network and from the network to the surrounding environment are taken into account. The role of the rail corridors and their past and future significance is recognised.

Implement the Whangarei District Growth Strategy: Sustainable Futures 30/50 in the District Plan. Redefine in the District Plan the road hierarchy to consider a range of factors.

The implementation of the Growth Strategy: 30/50 is ongoing. Road hierarchy and rail reviews are part of the Transport plan change.

Include proximity to rail as criteria for development assessment.

Resource Areas Areas with coastal influence are recognised and provided for.

Review existing Resource Area provisions and develop new ones.

Areas containing high class and versatile soils for productive rural uses are considered and protected from degradation.

Use the Northland Regional Council coastal environment boundary in the new RPS to map and create provisions for a new Coastal Resource Area.

Significant indigenous vegetation and significant habitats of indigenous fauna are protected and enhanced on a catchment basis. The landscape values of an area are recognised and used as a determining factor for the appropriateness of proposals in the rural environment.

Update hazard mapping and review hazard provisions in the District Plan in accordance with Northland Regional Council information and maps.

The coastal, hazard and landscape resource areas cannot be finalised until NRC finalises its RPS mapping/information. Soils mapping/information is a high priority. Significant indigenous vegetation and significant habitats of indigenous fauna and quarry resource area provisions can be reviewed independently. The historic heritage review is part of a separate plan change.

Contaminants in soil are assessed and managed to protect human health. Historic heritage is recognised and protected in the rural environment with positive incentives. Land use activities do not exacerbate the effects of natural hazards. Existing quarries are reviewed in light of existing Mineral Extraction Resource Area provisions.

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Outcomes

Actions

Further Detailed Analysis (s32 RMA)

Timing Comments

Rural Environment The long-term viability of the productive functions of rural land is protected in a manner that delivers economic benefit and sustains the environment. Opportunities for rural living in areas are provided where productive rural land use has already been compromised. Reverse sensitivity impacts in the rural environment are recognised and avoided, remedied and mitigated. The contribution of ecosystem services provided by key environmental resources located within the rural environment is recognised to the economic and social wellbeing of the Whangarei District. Rural land use and development is managed to protect water resources. Water resources are protected through the adequate provision of onsite services. Long-term open space and recreation values associated with the rural environment are protected and enhanced. Opportunities for a range of living choices in the rural environment are provided. The expansion of rural and coastal villages/hamlets is managed. Residential, commercial and lifestyle development is consolidated in rural and coastal villages, rural and coastal hamlets and rural living clusters. The strategic and functional requirements of rural industries are recognised. Secondary and tertiary rural industries are encouraged to locate within planned areas. The range of amenity values associated with the rural environment is recognised. Services are provided in a strategic manner to benefit productivity in the rural environment.

Describe the rural environment and create catchment based provisions in the District Plan. Create Rural Production, Rural Living, Rural Village and Strategic Rural Industry Environments in the District Plan and Environment provisions for each. Assess development on a catchment basis. Review the Open Space Environment in the District Plan. Create and review Structure Plans to accommodate growth for Rural and Coastal Villages selected in the Growth Strategy and incorporate in the District Plan.

Background reviews will be undertaken prior to compiling the PC for the rural environment (middle section of plan). Chapter 6 of the Operative Plan (Built Form) will be reviewed at the same time the rural environment is reviewed. A district wide plan change review for open space will be undertaken separately. The Structure Plans will be undertaken in accordance with the 30/50 timeframes (2012-2015).

Create location criteria provisions in the District Plan to manage growth and define the boundaries of Rural and Coastal Villages and Hamlets. Create criteria in the District Plan for small scale rural industries. Investigate and define Production areas within the District. Identify areas suitable for secondary and tertiary rural industries and to protect them from sensitive land uses. Undertake feasibility/scoping of servicing in the rural environment. Create standards to manage amenity impacts in relation to rural industries. Create District Plan provisions to ensure that onsite services are designed to meet site specific conditions. Review and amend chapter 6 Built Form and Development of the Operative District Plan as required to reflect the Growth Strategy and the RDS. Comprehensively review the indigenous vegetation clearance provisions in the District Plan within the rural environment context.

Lifestyle development is directed to locations that minimise impact on existing council infrastructure. Cumulative impacts in the rural environment are assessed by considering the impacts of development on a catchment basis.

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Outcomes

Actions

Further Detailed Analysis (s32 RMA)

Timing Comments

Catchments (grouped) Influence of the coast and coastal processes and the values associated with this are recognised in this catchment. Residential and commercial growth is focussed in the nearby city of Whangarei and its urban villages, in the nearby satellite town of Marsden Point/Ruakaka and the growth nodes of Waipu, Hikurangi and Parua Bay.

Catchment provisions will be prepared in conjunction with the rural environment PC.

Residential, commercial and lifestyle development is consolidated in the: • rural villages of Maungakaramea and Maungatapere • coastal villages of Oakura, Matapouri, McLeods Bay/Reotahi, Ngunguru, Pataua, Taurikura/Urqharts Bay, Tutukaka and Waipu Cove/Langs Beach • rural hamlets of Mangapai, Pakatai, Pipiwai, Portland Titoki, Ruatangata and Waiotira • the coastal hamlets of Helena Bay, Ocean Beach, Moureeses Bay, Taiharuru, Whananaki and Whangaruru; and • any rural living clusters. Strategic rural industries such as the Kauri Dairy Factory and the Portland Cement Works are protected and encouraged. Significant indigenous vegetation is protected and enhanced. Large exotic forests are recognised to be contained in this catchment. Areas with high landscape values are taken into account. Significant habitats of indigenous fauna such as kiwi and pateke are protected and enhanced. Areas impacting an at risk aquifer are considered. Areas impacting an outstanding river are considered. Water in areas of the catchment that have potential limited water availability is considered. Areas containing highly versatile soils for productive rural use are considered and protected from degradation. Development in the rural environment avoids hazards in the first instance and then considers remediation or mitigation. Dwellings are located in areas that are suitable for waste disposal. Policy Areas The different issues and values of coastal areas are recognised in Policy Areas in the District Plan.

Implement Policy Areas in the District Plan.

Introducing the coastal policy areas is linked to the review and replacement of the Coastal Countryside Environment and the introduction of the Rural Production Environment.

Explore the appropriateness of Scheduled Activities.

Scheduled activities can be reviewed independently. Some reviews are linked to the introduction of the Strategic Rural Industry Environment.

The creation of Policy Areas in the District Plan on an as needs basis are considered. Scheduled Activities Scheduled Activities are removed from the District Plan and are accommodated by other mechanisms.

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Outcomes

Actions

Further Detailed Analysis (s32 RMA)

Timing Comments

Map and create provisions for the Rural Production Environment in the District Plan.

Exclusively use areas containing high class and versatile soils for productive rural uses.

Create criteria in the District Plan for small scale rural industries.

Increase the productivity of rural environments by determining the intensity of development, lot size and land use suitability based on the benefit to productivity values.

The rural environment layer of the plan (middle layer) should be notified first or prepared in conjunction with the introduction of new rural Environments.

Rural Production The long-term viability of the productive functions of rural land is protected in a manner that delivers economic benefit and sustains the environment. Lifestyle development in production areas is discouraged. Reverse sensitivity impacts especially in relation to established and productive rural activities are avoided, remedied or mitigated. Cumulative impacts in the rural environment are avoided by preventing lifestyle subdivision and development outside of planned areas. The range of amenity values associated in the Rural Production Environment are recognised.

Investigate and define production areas. Identify areas suitable for secondary and tertiary rural industries and protect them from sensitive land uses. Undertake feasibility/scoping of servicing in the Rural Production Environment. Include a description of the amenity of the Rural Production Environment in the District Plan.

In relation to rural industries: • Small scale rural industries with minimal impacts on the surrounding environment are allowed to locate in the Rural Production Environment.

The PC for the Rural Production Environment can be linked with the Rural Living PC.

Review minimum lot sizes to benefit rural productivity and the environment. Investigate the provision for family succession of productive farms without reducing the productivity of the rural environment. Provide positive incentives by way of development benefits to protect or enhance identified or targeted historic heritage, indigenous flora and fauna, other significant natural features and riparian management. Provide transferable rights for development benefits to ensure the benefits do not erode the productivity of the rural environment.

• Secondary and tertiary rural industries are prevented from locating in the Rural Production Environment.

Review the minor residential unit provisions to discourage further scattered lifestyle development. Create criteria to use the Management Plan Technique in the Rural Production Environment.

Services are enabled in a strategic manner to benefit productivity. Development in the rural environment avoids hazards in the first instance and considers remediation or mitigation if proposals have production or other recognised benefits. Rural Living Lifestyle options are provided in the rural environment which promote opportunities to pursue spaceintensive hobbies, self-sufficiency or small home-based enterprise, compatible with rural production activities and the sustainable function of ecosystems.

Map and create provisions for the Rural Living Environment in the District Plan. Include reverse sensitivity effects as criteria for the identification of Rural Living Environment locations.

The rural environment layer of the plan (middle layer) should be notified first or prepared in conjunction with the introduction of new rural Environments. The Rural Living PC can be carried out independently

Rural living development is consolidated in areas where productive rural land uses have already been compromised or on less productive land which is able to continue to develop without significant adverse effects on the environment. Reverse sensitivity effects on surrounding rural production, rural industries or key infrastructure networks are avoided, remedied or mitigated. Growth within the Rural Living Environment is managed to protect the viability of Rural Villages. The range of amenity values associated in the Rural Living Environment is retained.

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Outcomes

Actions

Further Detailed Analysis (s32 RMA)

Timing Comments

Rural Villages The long term sustainability of rural villages (including coastal villages) and the rural hinterland is supported through incremental growth and consolidated development within the villages and increased opportunities for complementary economic development. Development pressures are reduced on the coastal environment, areas of high class versatile soils and productive farmland and sporadic and ribbon development along the coast and transport corridors is reduced by limiting future expansion of rural villages within such areas. Mixed use opportunities within rural villages are increased for activities of a commercial, business or light industrial nature that are compatible with existing residential activities and that contribute towards the servicing of the rural community. Living opportunities are provided for different sectors of the community, (e.g. farm workers and retired farmers), enabling the continued retention of established links with the adjoining rural environment.

Map and create provisions for the Rural Village Mixed Use Environment in the District Plan as identified in adopted Structure Plans. Map and create provisions for the Rural Village Light Industry Environment in the District Plan as identified in adopted Structure Plans. Map and create provisions for the Rural Village Living Environment in the District Plan. Review relevant Environmental Engineering Standards for the Rural Village Environments.

The rural environment layer of the plan (middle layer) should be notified first or prepared in conjunction with the introduction of new rural Environments. The Rural Villages PC should be prepared when the outcome of the Structure Plans is known OR when the entire plan is reviewed (10 year review in 2017). The Rural Villages PC can be carried out independently

Create controls in the District Plan on the nature, scale and location of non residential activity and adherence to accepted urban design principles. Structure Plans consider the future provision of open space and recreational facilities in rural villages as demand requires.

Differences between coastal and inland rural settlements are recognised, particularly in terms of the sensitivity of the coastal environment. Existing rural village character, sense of place, heritage and amenity values are identified and protected. Long-term open space and recreation values are protected and enhanced. Rural Industries Strategic Rural Industries are protected and encouraged. Small Scale Rural Industries with minimal impacts on the surrounding environment are encouraged to locate in the rural environment. Primary Rural Industries are encouraged to locate in suitable rural environments. Secondary and Tertiary Rural Industries are directed to locate within zoned areas. The impact on amenity values that rural industries may have on the rural environment is recognised.

Map and create provisions for District Plan Environments for Strategic Rural Industries. Create criteria in the District Plan for Small Scale Rural Industries. Investigate and define Production areas within the District. Identify areas suitable for Secondary and Tertiary Rural Industries and to protect them from sensitive land uses.

The rural environment layer of the plan (middle layer) should be notified first or prepared in conjunction with the introduction of new rural Environments. The Strategic Rural Industry PC will be linked with removing some of the Scheduled Activities.

Create standards to manage amenity impacts in relation to Rural Industries. Undertake feasibility/scoping of servicing in the rural environment.

Service needs in relation to the location of rural industries are assessed

 

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APPENDIX B - District Catchment Outcomes Figure 1: Bay of Islands District Catchment

Bay of Islands District Catchment

Description

Outcomes

A small portion of the northern Kawakawa local catchment is located within the Whangarei District. This portion of land drains north east into the Bay of Islands.

• Significant indigenous vegetation is protected and enhanced.

There are very few dwellings and no small lots in this catchment. The catchment is mostly covered in exotic and indigenous forests and has kiwi presence. The catchment has high landscape sensitivity and large areas that are unsuitable for waste disposal.

• Large exotic forests are recognised to be contained in this catchment. • Significant habitats of indigenous fauna such as kiwi are protected and enhanced. • Areas with high landscape values are taken into account. • Dwellings are located in areas that are suitable for waste disposal.

Figure 2: Bream Bay District Catchment

Bream Bay District Catchment

Description

Outcomes

The Bream Bay district catchment is located south of Whangarei and drains to the east coast. The catchment contains the local catchments of Ruakaka, North, Lower Waipu, Millbrook, Ahuroa, Waihoihoi, Waionehu and Mangawhai.

• Influence of the coast and coastal processes and the values associated with this are recognised in this catchment.

The catchment contains a large area of coastline, south of Whangarei City.

• Residential and commercial growth is focussed in the nearby satellite town of Marsden Point/Ruakaka and the growth node of Waipu.

The catchment contains the coastal villages of Waipu Cove/Langs Beach. Although the RDS does not encompass the satellite town of Marsden Point/Ruakaka or the growth node of Waipu, this catchment is in close proximity to or surrounding these nodes. There is a higher density of development in the catchment around these nodes. The catchment is mostly made up of large lots but there are a number of scattered smaller lots and residential dwellings clustered along the coast and spreading along roads and ridgelines to the west. The catchment contains large areas of pasture with dairy and pastoral farming prevalent and large areas of indigenous and exotic forest located throughout including at Takahiwai Dam, Ruakaka Forest, Waipu Caves/North River, Maretu Forest and Waipu Gorge Forest. Landscape sensitivity is mostly medium to low in the catchment with areas of high landscape sensitivity at Waipu Caves/North River, Ruakaka Forest and Takahiwai Dam. The catchment contains a large area of high class versatile soils and a main aquifer on the eastern side near the coast. There are large areas of erosion prone land in the catchment. Portions of the catchment to the west have potential limited water availability based on current water allocation estimates. The catchment contains large flood susceptible areas and areas that are highly unsuitable for on-site wastewater disposal.

• Residential, commercial and lifestyle development is consolidated in the coastal villages of Waipu Cove/ Langs Beach and any rural living clusters. • Significant indigenous vegetation is protected and enhanced. • Large exotic forests are recognised to be contained in this catchment. • Water in areas of the catchment that have potential limited water availability is considered. • Areas containing highly versatile soils for productive rural use are considered and protected from degradation. • Development in the rural environment avoids hazards in the first instance and then considers remediation or mitigation. • Dwellings are located in areas that are suitable for waste disposal.

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Figure 3: Mangakahia River District Catchment Bream Bay District Catchment

Mangakahia River District Catchment

Description

Outcomes

The Mangakahia River district catchment contains the Hikurangi and Lower Mangakahia local catchments and drains to the west via the Mangakahia River system.

• Residential, commercial and lifestyle development is consolidated in the rural hamlets of Pipiwai, Titoki and Pakatai.

The catchment contains the rural hamlets of Pipiwai, Titoki and Pakatai. Residential dwellings are generally sparse in the catchment but where present are clustered in valleys and along roads. Smaller lots are located close to the rural hamlets. There are large areas of exotic and indigenous vegetation in this catchment especially in the north and west. Large pasture areas are located in the south and east of the catchment with dairy and pastoral farming prevalent. The catchment mostly has a medium landscape sensitivity. Areas of high landscape sensitivity are associated with the Mangakahia Forest and Takitu Stream and a small portion of Motatau Forest. There is a large kiwi presence in the north of the catchment and an area of kiwi concentration in the north east of the catchment.

• Significant indigenous vegetation is protected and enhanced. • Large exotic forests are recognised to be contained in this catchment. • Areas with high landscape values are taken into account. • Significant habitats of indigenous fauna such as kiwi are protected and enhanced. • Areas containing highly versatile soils for productive rural use are considered and protected from degradation.

There are very small areas of highly versatile soils in this catchment and some areas of erosion prone land.

• Development in the rural environment avoids hazards in the first instance and then considers remediation or mitigation.

There are large flooding hazard areas and areas highly unsuitable for waste disposal associated with the river system.

• Dwellings are located in areas that are suitable for waste disposal.

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Figure 4: Manganui River District Catchment

Manganui River District Catchment

Description

Outcomes

The Manganui River district catchment contains the local catchments of Tauraroa and Manganui and drains to the west.

• Residential, commercial and lifestyle development is consolidated in the rural village of Maungakaramea, rural hamlet of Waiotira and nearby rural hamlet of Mangapai.

The catchment contains the rural village of Maungakaramea and the rural hamlet of Waiotira and is near the rural hamlet of Mangapai. This catchment generally has a low amount of dwellings; however, there are small clusters of development spreading from Maungakaramea, Mangapai and Waiotira. The catchment contains mostly pastoral and dairy farming uses with some forestry. There is an area of indigenous vegetation associated with the Tangihua Ranges with high landscape sensitivity. The Tangihua Forest area contains some erosion prone land. There is a large area of high class versatile soils and an at risk aquifer located near Maungakaramea and another small area of high class and versatile soils in the south of the catchment.

• Significant indigenous vegetation is protected and enhanced. • Areas with high landscape values are taken into account. • Areas impacting an at risk aquifer are considered. • Water in areas of the catchment that have potential limited water availability is considered. • Areas containing highly versatile soils for productive rural use are considered and protected from degradation.

The southern portion of the catchment has potential limited water supply based on current allocation estimates.

• Development in the rural environment avoids hazards in the first instance and then considers remediation or mitigation.

There are flooding hazard areas associated with river systems and large areas unsuitable for waste disposal especially in the south of the catchment.

• Dwellings are located in areas that are suitable for waste disposal.

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Figure 5: Pacific Coast District Catchment

Pacific Coast District Catchment

Description

Outcomes

The Pacific Coast district catchment includes the east coast catchments in the north of the District that drain into the ocean. The local catchments contained in the Pacific Coast district catchment include Oakura, Ngunguru, Horahora and a portion of the Whangarei/Tutukaka catchment.

• Influence of the coast and coastal processes and the values associated with this are recognised in this catchment.

The catchment has a large area of coastal influence to the north of Whangarei City. The catchment contains the coastal villages of Matapouri, Ngunguru, Oakura, Pataua and Tutukaka and the coastal hamlets of Ocean Beach, Taiharuru, Helena Bay, Moureeses Bay, Whananaki and Whangaruru. The catchment is located near the growth node of Parua Bay. Dwellings are generally sparse and clustered along the coast, around coastal settlements and along roads. There is a higher density of development around Ngunguru, Matapouri and Parua Bay. The entire catchment contains large areas of indigenous and exotic forests with many areas of high landscape sensitivity. There are also areas of mangroves around the coast and large pastoral areas. The largest productive uses are forestry and pastoral farming. There is a kiwi presence throughout the catchment with kiwi concentrations in areas and pateke (brown teal) distribution in the north of the catchment. There are only very small areas of highly versatile soils in the catchment with some larger areas in Glenbervie and near Bream Head. There are large areas of erosion prone land throughout the catchment especially in the south near Bream Head and in the north inland from Helena Bay, Oakura and Bland Bay.

• Residential and commercial growth is focussed in the nearby growth node of Parua Bay. • Residential, commercial and lifestyle development is consolidated in the coastal villages of Matapouri, Ngunguru, Oakura, Pataua and Tutukaka, the coastal hamlets of Ocean Beach, Taiharuru, Helena Bay, Moureeses Bay, Whananaki and Whangaruru and any rural living clusters. • Significant indigenous vegetation is protected and enhanced. • Large exotic forests are recognised to be contained in this catchment. • Areas with high landscape values are taken into account. • Significant habitats of indigenous fauna such as kiwi and pateke are protected and enhanced. • Areas impacting an at risk aquifer are considered • Areas impacting an outstanding river are considered. • Areas containing highly versatile soils for productive rural use are considered and protected from degradation.

There is a large outstanding river near Orangikahu and an at risk aquifer in Glenbervie. There are small at risk aquifers in the coastal settlements of Pataua, Ngunguru, Matapouri and Whananaki.

• Development in the rural environment avoids hazards in the first instance and then considers remediation or mitigation.

Water availability is not generally an issue from preliminary estimates in this catchment except in small localised areas.

• Dwellings are located in areas that are suitable for waste disposal.

There are large flooding hazard areas and highly unsuitable areas for waste disposal located throughout the catchment.

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Figure 6: Wairoa River District Catchment

Wairoa River District Catchment

Description

Outcomes

The Wairoa River district catchment encompasses a large area in the centre of the district that drains to the west eventually into the Kaipara Harbour. The catchment contains the local catchments of Northern Wairoa, Waipao, Lower Wairua Bridge, Mangere, Lower Purua, Mangahahuru, Whakapara, Waiariki and Waiotu.

• Residential and commercial growth is focussed in the nearby growth node of Hikurangi.

The catchment contains the rural village of Maungatpere and the rural hamlet of Ruatangata. The catchment does not include but surrounds the growth node of Hikurangi. The centre of the catchment has high concentrations of population and smaller lot development especially around Hikurangi, north and west of the City, and around Maungatapere and Whatatiri. The Kauri Dairy Factory strategic rural industry is located in this catchment. There are large areas of pasture in the centre of the catchment with a mixture of productive uses, mostly pastoral and dairy farming, forestry and also market gardens near Whatatiri. There are large indigenous and exotic forests especially on the edges of the catchment including Pukenui Forest, near Wharekohe, near Maungatapere, Glenbervie Forest and near Opuawhanga. The catchment mostly has a medium to low landscape sensitivity with areas of high sensitivity associated with Pukenui Forest and in the north of the catchment including Kaimamaku, Papanui Creek and Paremata Hill. There is kiwi presence near Whangarei City, and a presence and some concentrations in the north east and north west of the catchment. There is also pateke distribution in the far north of the catchment. The centre of the catchment has potential limited water supplies due to current allocation estimates especially in the south. There are large areas of high class and versatile soils and at risk aquifers located near Matarau, Maungakaramea and Whatatiri. There are also small areas of high class soils throughout the catchment.

• Residential, commercial and lifestyle development is consolidated in the rural village of Maungatapere, the rural hamlet of Ruatangata and any rural living clusters. • Strategic rural industries such as the Kauri Dairy Factory are protected and encouraged. • Significant indigenous vegetation is protected and enhanced. • Large exotic forests are recognised to be contained in this catchment. • Areas with high landscape values are taken into account. • Significant habitats of indigenous fauna such as kiwi and pateke are protected and enhanced. • Areas impacting an at risk aquifer are considered • Water in areas of the catchment that have potential limited water availability is considered. • Areas containing highly versatile soils for productive rural use are considered and protected from degradation. • Development in the rural environment avoids hazards in the first instance and then considers remediation or mitigation. • Dwellings are located in areas that are suitable for waste disposal.

There are small areas of erosion prone land throughout the catchment and a larger area in the north near Opuawhanga. There are small flood susceptible flood hazard areas throughout the catchment and a large flood hazard area in the north of the catchment near Hikurangi. There are large areas highly unsuitable for waste disposal throughout the catchment.

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Figure 7: Whangarei Harbour District Catchment

Whangarei Harbour District Catchment

Description

Outcomes

The Whangarei Harbour district catchment drains into the Harbour and contains the local catchments of Hatea, a portion of the Whangarei/Tutukaka catchment, Waiarohia, Kirikiri, Raumanga, Otaika, Purewa, Whangarei South and Marsden Point. The catchment includes large areas with coastal influence.

• Influence of the coast and coastal processes and the values associated with this are recognised in this catchment.

This catchment contains a variety of communities including the coastal villages of McLeods Bay/Reotahi and Taurikura/Urqharts Bay and the rural hamlets of Mangapai and Portland. The catchment does not include but is near Whangarei City, the five urban villages of the City, the Marsden Point/Ruakaka satellite town and the growth node of Parua Bay. There are a large number of smaller lots and dwellings throughout and radiating from settlements in the catchment. The Portland Cement Works strategic rural industry is located in this catchment. In the north of the catchment the land cover is mostly indigenous and exotic forests. The south of the catchment is mostly pasture but includes large areas of indigenous and exotic forests associated with Pukenui Forest, Otaika Valley, Waipapa Stream, Oakleigh and Takahiwai Dam. There are more dairy and pastoral uses in the south of the catchment and more forestry and other productive uses in the north of the catchment. Landscape sensitivity in the catchment is mostly medium to low with higher areas associated with Pukenui Forest, Otaika Valley and around the Waikaraka area. There is kiwi presence in the north of the catchment and some concentrations of kiwi towards Bream Head. There are at risk aquifers located in Glenbervie, Maunu and Maungatapere and a main aquifer located at One Tree Point. There are areas of versatile and high class soils in the catchment located near Maungatapere, One Tree Point and Glenbervie with smaller areas located near Maunu and Onerahi. There are large areas of the catchment with potential limited water availability based on current estimated allocation. There are areas of erosion prone land throughout the catchment. There are large areas highly unsuitable for onsite waste disposal throughout the catchment and some areas subject to flood hazards especially in the south of the catchment near the One Tree Point, Mangapai and Otaika areas.

• Residential and commercial growth is focussed in the nearby growth node of Parua Bay and the nearby city of Whangarei and its urban villages and the nearby satellite town of Marsden Point/Ruakaka. • Residential, commercial and lifestyle development is consolidated in the coastal villages of McLeods Bay/Reotahi and Taurikura/Urqharts Bay, the rural hamlets of Mangapai and Portland and any rural living clusters. • Strategic rural industries such as the Portland Cement Works are protected and encouraged. • Significant indigenous vegetation is protected and enhanced. • Large exotic forests are recognised to be contained in this catchment. • Areas with high landscape values are taken into account. • Significant habitats of indigenous fauna such as kiwi are protected and enhanced. • Areas impacting an at risk aquifer are considered • Water in areas of the catchment that have potential limited water availability is considered. • Areas containing highly versatile soils for productive rural use are considered and protected from degradation. • Development in the rural environment avoids hazards in the first instance and then considers remediation or mitigation. • Dwellings are located in areas that are suitable for waste disposal.

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Figure 8: Settlements in each District Catchment of the Rural Development Strategy Catchment

City/Urban Villages/Satellite Town/Growth Nodes

Rural Villages

Coastal Villages

Rural Hamlets

Coastal Hamlets

Bay of Islands

-

-

-

-

-

Bream Bay

-

-

Waipu Cove/Langs Beach

-

-

Mangakahia River

-

-

-

Pakotai Pipiwai Titoki

-

Manganui River

-

Maungakaramea

-

Waiotira

-

Pacific Coast

-

-

Matapouri Ngunguru Oakura Pataua Tutukaka

-

Ocean Beach Taiharuru Helena Bay Moureeses Bay Whananaki Whangaruru

Wairoa River

-

Maungatapere

-

Ruatangata

-

-

McLeod Bay/Reotahi Taurikura/Urquharts Bay

Mangapai Portland

-

-

-

-

-

Whangarei Harbour

Outside RDS

Whangarei City Kamo Maunu Onerahi Otaika/Toetoe Tikipunga Marsden Point / Ruakaka Hikurangi Waipu Parua Bay

APPENDIX C: Definitions Ecosystem Services Ecosystem services refer to the many goods and services emanating from the functioning of the local environment. Many of these services are simply by-products of natural processes and functions happening within ecosystems, but as environmental pressures increase, greater cognisance is been taken globally of the benefits derived from these historically ‘free’ services.

Production (from RMA 1991) means any land and auxiliary buildings used for the production (but not processing) of primary products (including agricultural, pastoral, horticultural, and forestry products): (b) does not include land or auxiliary buildings used or associated with prospecting, exploration, or mining for minerals,—

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Private Bag 9023, Whangarei 0148 | Forum North Building, Rust Ave, Whangarei Ruakaka Service Centre, Takutai Place, Ruakaka Phone: +64 9 430 4200 | Fax: +64 9 438 7632 Email: mailroom@wdc.govt.nz | Website: www.wdc.govt.nz

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WDC Draft Rural Development Strategy  

Technical Report Backgrounding the Draft Rural Development Strategy for Whangarei District

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