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.

Topics Covered:

● 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
Community plans
❖ Raglan Naturally

Other Relevant Topics
o Data (up to date data related to here)(growth, population, visitors)
o Growth
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

Local Government:

Waikato District Council:

Waikato District Council

• We have a district council that is clearly indicating they want to work with a more ‘bottom up’/community led approach to planning. They support our community planning. They are going to develop Blueprint planning for the district and communities which will sit above all other planning. (Bob is there a link we can attach to their proposal yet?) Is it officially available?
• Communicating community aspirations clearly to council; integration of these values into future policy; communication between institutions (WRC); long-term planning that reconciles population growth, economic growth, increased visitor numbers with infrastructure and environmental limits, and preserving Whaingaroa’s existing values
• Waikato District Council (WDC) needs to brief incoming Community Board members of up to date plans, bylaws strategies and recommendations that affect the Raglan Community. Note: this training should be a cost to WDC

Feature item 1

Feature item 2

The purpose of local government is:
a) to enable democratic local decision-making and action by, and on behalf of, communities; and
b) to meet the current and future needs of communities for good-quality local infrastructure, local public services, and performance of regulatory functions in a way that is most cost-effective for households and businesses.
In this Act, good-quality, in relation to local infrastructure, local public services, and performance of regulatory functions, means infrastructure, services, and performance that are:
a) efficient; and
b) effective; and
c) appropriate to present and anticipated future circumstances.
The role of a local authority is to
a) give effect, in relation to its district (Waikato District Council (WDC)) or region (Waikato Regional Council (WRC)), to the purpose of local government stated above and
b) perform the duties, and exercise the rights, conferred on it by or under this Act and any other enactment.
In performing its role, a local authority must have particular regard to the contribution that the following core services make to its communities:
a) network infrastructure:
(b) public transport services:
(c) solid waste collection and disposal:
(d) the avoidance or mitigation of natural hazards:
(e) libraries, museums, reserves, and other recreational facilities and community amenities.
A local authority must act in accordance with the following principles in relation to its governance:
a) local authority should ensure that the role of democratic governance of the community, and the expected conduct of elected members, is clear and understood by elected members and the community; and
(b) a local authority should ensure that the governance structures and processes are effective, open, and transparent; and
(c) a local authority should ensure that, so far as is practicable, responsibility and processes for decision-making in relation to regulatory responsibilities is separated from responsibility and processes for decision-making for non-regulatory responsibilities; and
(d) a local authority should be a good employer; and
(e) a local authority should ensure that the relationship between elected members and management of the local authority is effective and understood.
A local authority must:
a) establish and maintain processes to provide opportunities for Māori to contribute to the decision-making processes of the local authority; and
(b) consider ways in which it may foster the development of Māori capacity to contribute to the decision-making processes of the local authority; and
(c) provide relevant information to Māori for the purposes of paragraphs (a) and (b).

Raglan Community Board

– We have a community board which is attempting to achieve the 2001 objectives of, “A pro-active Community Board that responds to community wishes and priorities and consults widely with the community. The Community Board to commit to actioning the Community Plan and ensuring its regular review to ongoing involvement.”
– An active community that generally is efficient in making their views known to Local Government; a strong community focus as exemplified by the RN community plan, as well as other groups (Placemakers, etc.)
– The Board is only advisory and is often ignored. The Board should have devolved powers similar to those of Thames Coromandel and should have the same boundary as Raglan Ward. The current Representation Review should be used as an opportunity to campaign for those changes (Consultation closes at 5pm on 1 August).
– Local government is hugely challenged in managing a wide variety of communities, while seemingly underfunded (and understaffed?). Communication between district and regional council not ideal. While we have a strong voice, a challenge will be for our opinions to be taken into consideration on the ground
– Is is really possible to work closely with the district council in the way they are indicating? What commitment do we need from the community/community board to build relationships. What systems and processes need to be set up to enable a better way to manage the issues that arise? Challenge is that staff change bring disruption to relationships.
– Community Board meetings held in the middle of the day don’t allow for many to attend. Does this need to be reviewed?
– Could the community board be operating from the community plan/Raglan Naturally? Could there be specific positions on the board that manage the plan ie. admin/coordinator, planning, comms..
– The Raglan Community Board needs to set aside funds to train and introduce its members about the Local Government Act and their responsibilities.

Establishment of community boards
A community board must be established for each community constituted, in accordance with Schedule 6, by—
a) an Order in Council made under section 25; or
(b) a resolution made by the territorial authority within whose district the community will be situated as a result of a proposal by electors to establish a community; or
(c) a resolution made by the territorial authority within whose district the community will be situated as a result of the territorial authority’s review of representation arrangements.
The community board must be described as the “[name of community] Community Board”
The role of a community board is to:
a) represent, and act as an advocate for, the interests of its community; and
(b) consider and report on all matters referred to it by the territorial authority, or any matter of interest or concern to the community board; and
(c) maintain an overview of services provided by the territorial authority within the community; and
(d) prepare an annual submission to the territorial authority for expenditure within the community; and
(e) communicate with community organisations and special interest groups within the community; and
(f) undertake any other responsibilities that are delegated to it by the territorial authority.
A local authority must, in the course of its decision-making process in relation to a matter, give consideration to the views and preferences of persons likely to be affected by, or to have an interest in, the matter.

Town Hall Committee

Strength/Asset: the Committee manages most maintenance and enhancement of the Historic building. The Town Hall is the 2nd most utilised hall in the district. Users include regular recreation groups involving many youth and local events are run annually by different community organisations. Hall is looking ‘well cared for’ and usage is close to maximised. The committee is active in the community and receives many positive comments regarding the facility. The Hall is in a sound financial situation. Community run radio and WEC have great visibility and accessibility in town. Any purchases or contracts over $5k needs to be approved by WDC. Hall bookings are managed by WDC office in Raglan, who also collect most payments and issue keys etc. (Rental from the WEC and Radio Station are paid by direct debit to the Hall bank account. All cheque payments are authorised by the Chairperson and cheques countersigned by two committee members.)
Challenges: Difficulty engaging with WDC hall management staff. Ageing building that the community is outgrowing. Capacity is too small for major events.
Opportunities: : We will continue with maintenance and enhancement of the building but restricted for growth as far as it goes as a community facility. As the hall stands at the moment its pretty maxed out.

Basic Info: the role of the committee is to manage the Town Hall maintenance and improvements and advise on usage. Budget/income is gathered from a targeted rate which covers Town Hall and Old School Arts Centre at $25 per year per household. WDC (since 2017) takes $30k (from $40k) per year for depreciation. Plus regular rental from WEC, Raglan Community Radio and Raglan Health & Fitness Trust ($6000) Also hall hireage fees which includes regular weekly users and special events i.e. weddings ($4500). Committee members are volunteers.

Waikato District Council Raglan Service Centre (Raglan Council Office and Library)

Strength/Asset:  The Raglan Service Centre or Library is seen as the Hub of the Community. We provide a safe space for everyone to share including locals, travellers, visitors, professionals and anyone else who wish to share in our space and this is definitely reflected by our team. This branch also oversee Council facilities for Raglan e.g. The Airfield, Town Hall Administrative functions, Cemeteries (Raglan Lawn, Okete Lawn, Te Mata Lawn & Ruapuke Lawn) etc. We provide free Wifi to the community which is available from 8am to 6pm all year round and extends to a radius of 100 meters around our building.  The staff within this office are trained in providing the best possible service to our community and with an ever changing world are continually being upskilled to best work for our Community. We are all “Locals” either having been born and bred or long term residents of Whaingaroa. The Team are representative of our Community as a whole from Tangata whenua, farming, local business owner, conservationists, surfers, parents, fishers and life long relationships with the community.
Opportunities:  With an ever changing face of Raglan we strategically sit in the centre of such a progressive town. Opportunities and support are never ending for our community they need only ask.

Basic Info:  The Raglan Service Centre (Raglan Library + Council) oversees Council services for the Raglan Community, from providing advice on Building/Resource Consents, Dog Registrations, Council payments, Burial Warrants, Alcohol & Health registrations. Budget is gathered from a targeted rate for the operational cost of the Service Centre. The Raglan Library is also connected to the Council Building and would be the busiest Library within the Waikato District for items issued, received, holds ordered and visitor numbers. We also function as a shared office space for other Council Business staff from HR, Water reticulation, Parks and Reserves Monitoring, Building Inspectors, & Project Management. The Raglan Service Centre attracted approximately 87,000 visitors through our doors last financial year which was nearly 20,000 more than our closest Service Centre within the Waikato.

Raglan Naturally Committee

Strength/Asset:  A diverse committee with local knowledge and experience and commitment to the RN process.
Challenges: reaching out to the whole community (e.g. rural areas); getting many people to provide input
Opportunities: community outreach wanting to represent all voices and values; great initiative that is welcomed by WDC

Basic Info: the 9 committee members are volunteers and represent Ngati Mahanga/Hourua, Poihakena Marae Committee, Raglan Community Board, Chamber of Commerce, Whaingaroa Raglan Destination Management Organisation, Whaingaroa Environment Centre, members with community-led development experience and includes Lisa Thomson, our Ward Councillor.  The committee sits under the Raglan Community Board as a sub-committee.

Coastal Reserves Committee
More information needed

Papahua Campground Committee
More information needed

Waikato Regional Council:

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:

Waikato District Council:

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.

Blueprinting (town centre character statements, town centre strategies)
Read more

Raglan Visitor Infrastructure Study Report
Read more

Future Proof – Growth Strategy

Waikato Regional Council:

Links to come, visit regional council website in meantime.
Waikato Regional Plan
Regional Coastal Plan
West Coast Zone Plan
Whaingaroa Catchment Management Plan

Community Plans:

Raglan Naturally
Read more 
*please note the link references the 2001 Raglan Naturally Plan. We are currently in the process of reviewing the document for 2019.

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)

Basic Info:
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)

Basic Info:
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)

Basic Info:
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)

Basic Info:
• 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:


  • How does this challenge impact on Local Government & Planning?
  • How does Local Government & Planning impact this challenge?


  •  What is the opportunity for us in Local Government & Planning in relation to this challenge?

The key challenges: (Please note that some of these sections are still to be completed.)

Climate change

Opportunity: being at the forefront as a sustainable town – leading in NZ and possibly overseas; Raglan is full of motivated people that care for the environment so could offer a template of things such as plastic free/zero carbon/locally sourced etc



Growth in visitor numbers


Implementing the Treaty of Waitangi




Questions from the Local Government & Planning Group

1. What’s missing in our Snapshot?

©2022 Raglan Naturally


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