Local Government & Planning | Kāwanatanga ā-Hāpori me te Whakatakoto Tikanga
Local Government and Planning in Whaingaroa
We as a community intend to be more knowledgeable about and more involved in the planning for our area and community. Learning about what local government looks like here and what boards and committees exist is the first step. Understanding the roles of these boards and committees and learning about how planning is done – is pretty interesting! This new Raglan Naturally Focus Area is about bringing all this information into one place and looking at how we can be more involved in planning for our community.
If we then want to get into more detail we can learn about the Local Government Act and processes. We can identify the rules, guidelines and Plans and understand the processes of how they are formulated and implemented.
A community that understands these things can get more involved and new leaders can be supported.
Local Government and Planning in the Waikato and Aotearoa
Waikato District Council
Waikato Regional Council
Local MP – Member of Parliament
What topics were covered and who has been involved so far:
We appreciate all the work of the Focus Group members
Please note: this Snapshot report is a starting point for community-wide input and is not a finished or complete report. Your input will build on this report.
● Local Government Structures
o District Council
▪ Council committees
▪ Council workshops
o Regional Council
o Raglan Community Board (RCB)
▪ Workshops for the community
o Waikato District Council – Raglan Service Centre (at the library)
▪ Events updated and programmes
o Community Committees
▪ Town hall committee (incl RCB member)
▪ Coastal reserves committee (incl RCB Chair)
▪ Raglan Naturally committee (incl RCB Board Member)
▪ Papahua Campground committee (incl RCB Chair)
▪ Stakeholder requirements (RCB Chair or Board Member)
● Plans, Reports, Guidelines, Rules
Local government plans
❖ Waikato District Council
– District plan – (rules, design guidelines, development guidelines)
– WDC Long and Annual Plans
– Blueprinting – (town centre character statements, town centre strategies)
– Future Proof – Growth Strategy
– Raglan Visitor Infrastructure Study Report
❖ Waikato Regional Council
– Waikato Regional Plan
– Regional Coastal Plan
– West Coast Zone Plan
– Whaingaroa Catchment Management Plan
❖ Raglan Naturally
Other Relevant Topics
o Data (up to date data related to here)(growth, population, visitors)
o Housing (planning) WRAP
o New Development what new development is happening, or is planned.
o Infrastructure Planning (Three Waters) waterworks plan and programme, stormwater plan and programme, wastewater plan and programme – each have a rate associated with them)
o (Open Spaces) Parks & Reserves
o Zoning (under Blueprint/Greenfields lense) (what zoning do we have now – ie. maps) (urban zone nearly full)
Who is contributing to this Snapshot
Brian Ruawai, Bob McLeod, Hannah Mueller, Adrian Morton, Rolande Paekau, Malibu Hamilton, John Lawson, Gabrielle Parson, David Peacocke
Partners, organisations, people
Waikato District Council, Waikato Regional Council, Raglan Community Board, Iwi and hapu, Waikato District Council – Raglan Service Centre (at the Library), Raglan Town Hall Committee, Coastal Reserves Committee, Raglan Naturally Committee, Papahua Campground Committee
Strengths, Assets, Challenges & Opportunities
Waikato Regional Council
Strength/Asset: Having a constituent member from Raglan, Fred. This means that there is someone focusing on our catchment and lobbying for projects and funding to this area. – they have previously been elected from east coast, have not have one from west coast for 9 years. (No investments in the west coast – no rates – $ went to harbour planting, sea walls.) This is evident in that we are now getting money for our catchment.
Challenges: the majority of councillors are farmers who tend to look after their particular interests. This means one sector (farming) is represented strongly. WRC needs to work with/alongside Waikato District Council to protect Whaingaroa’s environment in the context of ongoing growth and development.
Opportunities: the Coastal Plan review is coming up – the entire regional coastal plan (eg. stock/animals should not have access to the coast). Marine reserve – 12 nautical miles? Marine farms? Support the ‘Three Harbours’ Treaty settlements. The harbours are huge part of our environmental landscape. How could the community learn about and support those settlements?
Basic Info: Waikato Regional Council is a local government body. “We help communities, industry and other groups in New Zealand’s Waikato region to live and work with natural resources. Our activities help look after our region’s water, soil, air, geothermal areas and coasts – so we can all enjoy these precious resources for generations to come.” See map for the boundaries of the WRC.
The people of the Waikato region are represented by 14 elected council members. These representatives work in committees and make decisions and/or recommendations on a variety of matters which are then reported to or decided on by the full council once a month. Fred Lichtwark is our local councillor and with another councillor represents the entire Waikato region/constituency. See map .
Plans, reports, guidelines and rules:
District Plan – (rules, design guidelines)
More information needed
Town Character Statement and Design Guidelines – (part of the District Plan)
Strength/Asset: preservation of Significant Natural Areas (tbc)
Challenges: Recent developments in the CBD are all about the same height and of similar appearance. If this continues, some of the attractive variety could be lost. Outside the CBD there are no design guidelines and 2 storey houses are replacing smaller single storey. Some areas such as near the wharf could have buildings of similar size and density to the silos, giving a different character, without detracting from the rest of the town.
• Town centre – opportunity to shape a more community friendly, pedestrian focused town centre that can become the focal point of the community
• Character Statement says, “Maintain wide open streets and a high quality public realm that prioritises pedestrian movement, safety and amenity”. Need to improve, rather than maintain.
Long Term Plan and Annual Plans
The purpose of a long-term plan is to—
a) describe the activities of the local authority; and
(b) describe the community outcomes of the local authority’s district or region; and
(c) provide integrated decision-making and co-ordination of the resources of the local authority; and
(d) provide a long-term focus for the decisions and activities of the local authority; and
(e) provide a basis for accountability of the local authority to the community.
The purpose of an annual plan is to—
a) contain the proposed annual budget and funding impact statement for the year to which the annual plan relates; and
(b) identify any variation from the financial statements and funding impact statement included in the local authority’s long-term plan in respect of the year; and
(c) provide integrated decision making and co-ordination of the resources of the local authority; and
(d) contribute to the accountability of the local authority to the community.
Future Proof – Growth Strategy
Links to come, visit regional council website in meantime.
Waikato Regional Plan
Regional Coastal Plan
West Coast Zone Plan
Whaingaroa Catchment Management Plan
Other Topics relevant to Planning:
Data (up to date data related to here – growth, population, visitors)
Basic Info: (infrastructure and strategy & finance)(open Waikato – economic development)
– The ‘unoccupied’ dwellings on census night have been increasing. Use should be made of those figures to argue for provision and spending based on average population, rather than permanent residents. After all, the baches pay rates, not just the permanent population and they impose peak demands well above average.
– The recent Raglan Visitor Infrastructure Study Report (as above) provides the most recent report on visitor numbers.
– Opportunity associated with an increase in population = more income generally for the township, more resources in terms of a diverse group of people
– Future Proof says we don’t need growth beyond areas already planned.
– It’s been suggested Raglan could become a Hamilton suburb. We need to look at what need there is for growth, ask what existing residents want and set out pros and cons of growth.
– How do we keep shaping Whaingaroa in a way that the community sees it fit; are we being overrun by Auckland and Hamilton? How do we stick to the community values, and how are local people not pushed out by investors/holiday house owners/expensive shops/etc?
– Community members are concerned about growth and impacts of. I think its important that we have a clear understanding of this as a community. Would be good to get some stats/data from Clive Morgan, WDC on growth and impacts of.
RN Key challenges – Housing (planning)
– Whaingaroa Raglan Affordability Project (WRAP) is a local group working on the Housing issue
– We have a number of forward thinking architects and experts working in the housing space that can work together to bring leading practices and ideas to Raglan. An opportunity for more collaboration? Can Raglan be a community with innovative housing design – taking into account local housing issues, developers interests, climate change and leading design?
– Where are appropriate areas for any new subdivision/expansion? Do we want to limit expansion at least spatially, and if so how?
New Development (what new development is happening, the process – ie private plan change and then into DP)
Challenges: accommodating population growth and increased visitor numbers versus affordable housing for local community
Infrastructure Planning (waterworks plan, stormwater plan, wastewater plan – each have a rate associated with them)
Challenges: Coping with growth, especially in summer peak – already we have queues in shops and on the roads and parking spreads haphazardly along Cliff St, Wallis St, Wainui Rd. We don’t know what numbers might be and we don’t know if water, internet, sewage, power, etc can cope.
Parks & Reserves (related plans – Open Spaces)
Challenges: limited areas of open spaces with growing visitor numbers
Zoning (under Blueprint/Greenfields lense) (what zoning do we have now – ie. maps) (urban zone nearly full)
• Does the current zoning allow for the growth or protection of space that we are needing for future of Raglan?
• The example of Mount Maunganui should be borne in mind in deciding on zoning and development rules. In 1950 it looked very similar to Raglan today. Now the Google map shows a very different picture. It has since lost most of its trees and the proportion of building to plot size has grown. Even in 1964 the Mount was a similar size to Raglan now.
Future Challenges & Opportunities
For the key challenges that need to be considered across all focus areas, these are the questions we are asking:
The key challenges: (Please note that some of these sections are still to be completed.)
Questions from the Local Government & Planning Group
1. What’s missing in our Snapshot?