Timeline of key dates for Plan Change 29
Timeline item 1 - complete
National Policy Statement Urban Development (NPS-UD)
The NPS-UD 2020 sets out the objectives and policies for planning for well-functioning urban environments under the Resource Management Act 1991, instructs Councils to prepare and make publicly available a Future Development Strategy in time to inform the 2024 long-term plan and to prepare an Intensification proposed plan or plan change to implement policy 5.
Timeline item 2 - complete
October 2020 – December 2020
The draft Whakamahere Whakatū Nelson Plan
Council sought feedback on the Draft Nelson Plan through drop-in sessions around Nelson as well as online and public meetings and received over 300 individual items of feedback. Growth was the key issue for submitters, who expressed strong support for the draft growth provisions, particularly around growth and intensification of housing. A large proportion of feedback received was on the draft Residential zones, with the majority supporting changes to the General residential zone.
Timeline item 3 - complete
Nelson Future Development Strategy 2022-2052 (NTFDS) initiated
Nelson and Tasman Councils begin developing the NTFDS which sets out an approach to accommodating growth for housing and business demands for the next 30 years. The process involved iwi, stakeholder, and public consultation between 2021 and 2022.
Timeline item 4 - complete
Pause of Whakamahere Whakatū Nelson Plan, Start of Plan Change 29
The Council decided to pause the release of the Whakamahere Whakatū Nelson Plan, primarily due to the risk that new legislation will require significant changes to plans. Instead, officers would make changes in the short term under the existing Nelson Resource Management Plan to introduce more flexibility around housing policies and rules in response to population growth and demand for housing in the region, and to fulfill Council’s obligations under central government’s National Policy Statement for Urban Development (NPS-UD) 2020.
Timeline item 5 - complete
Council workshop - Draft Plan Change
A preliminary draft of Plan Change 29 based on Whakamahere Whakatū Nelson Plan content was presented to Council. Officers sought direction from elected members on heritage, natural hazards, and guidance for the scope and extent of Plan Change 29.
Timeline item 6 - complete
Council Meeting - Preferred Planning Pathway
Officers sought a decision from the Council on the preferred planning pathway, confirming the use of the standard First Schedule of the Resource Management Act for processing Plan Change 29 following public notification. At this Council meeting, officers were also directed to present further information at a future workshop on climate change approaches and an assessment of a perimeter block development, an alternative housing form (as presented by community action group Nelson Tasman 2050).
Timeline item 7 - complete
Nelson Tasman Future Development Strategy adopted
The NTFDS directs growth in Nelson towards intensification of existing urban areas rather than continued expansion onto new greenfield sites. It established recommended heights and densities for redevelopment for the long-term, directed a new high density residential zone in and around Nelson’s key commercial centres and additional housing opportunities in commercial zones.
Timeline item 8 - complete
Council Workshop - NTFDS directions confirmed
Council directed officers to implement the NTFDS heights and densities into the Plan Change, including a High Density Residential Zone. At this workshop, the climate change approach of Plan Change 29 and an analysis of Perimeter Block Development was presented.
Timeline item 9 - complete
Council Workshop - Draft Plan Change approved for formal statutory consultation
At a council workshop on 13 September officers sought Council direction on the release of Plan Change 29 to stakeholders and iwi partners.
Timeline item 10 - complete
November 2022 – January 2023
Formal consultation under Section 3 (1) of the First Schedule of the RMA
A draft Plan Change was released to iwi partners, government ministries, and key stakeholders for feedback. Feedback received from stakeholders was generally positive, there was support for the direction taken towards providing for a more enabling and flexible approach to housing opportunities within Nelson’s existing urban areas. Suggestions for improving some provisions were provided and led to refinements. As a result, Plan Change 29 was amended to improve the consistency of like rules across chapters, improve some assessment matters of rules to clarify intent, better align policies with the direction of rules, and align provisions with best practice and/or national standards in key areas (e.g. management of electricity infrastructure).
Timeline item 11 - complete
Council workshop with new term of Councillors
Draft Plan Change 29 was presented to the new term of Council, including an overview of consultation feedback. At this meeting, Officers were directed to implement the Ministry for the Environment's interim guidance on the use of new sea level rise projections in relation to identifying the boundary extent of intensification benefits.
Timeline item 12 - complete
Council Workshop - ePlan introduction
At a Council workshop on 20 July, officers provided elected members with an introduction and overview of ePlan and discussed the Plan Change content and notification process.
Timeline item 13 - complete
Plan Change 29 - Publicly notified
Officers prepared a comprehensive notification package designed to exceed statutory obligations including a free ‘friend of the submitter’ service provided by the Council to remove barriers and foster participation in the plan change process, a dedicated Shape Nelson web page, publication of a summary Notice in the Nelson Mail, Our Nelson and a community newspaper, targeted social media and advertising campaigns, publication of the summary of the Plan Change and FAQ in Our Nelson during the consultation period, a media briefing session, community drop-in sessions held at the Nelson Market and council offices, and material and assistance available at the Customer Service Centre and each library in the region.
Timeline item 14 - complete
Saturday Market - Community drop-in
Council Officers and Elected Members held a drop-in session at the Nelson Market, the feedback received was that Nelsonians were feeling overwhelmed by the complexity of changes, the scale of change, and the huge amount of documentation.
Timeline item 15 - complete
Community Meeting held
A public meeting was held at the Trafalgar Centre, where hundreds of community members gathered to learn more about Plan Change 29 and ask questions regarding the changes and the process. During the meeting, Mayor Nick Smith announced that the deadline for submissions would be extended by six weeks, and that 10 neighborhood drop-in sessions would be held.
Timeline item 16 - complete
Submission extension notified
Due to expressions of interest, the Council agreed to extend the submissions period by a further six weeks to Tuesday 31 October 2023.
Timeline item 17 - complete
September - October 2023
Informative neighbourhood meetings
Throughout the extened notification period, Council held a series of informative neighbourhood meetings and an online webinar aimed at engaging the community in discussions about Plan Change 29. These meetings, chaired by elected members, provided residents with the opportunity to learn more about the proposed changes for their individual neighbourhoods, plus ask questions and find out more about the submissions process. In addition to these meetings, Council planners were available at specific times and days at the region’s libraries to meet one-on-one with people who had questions.
Timeline item 18 - complete
On Tuesday 31 October 2023, Council received 880 submissions, 401 submitters indicated they wish to be heard at the Hearing.
Timeline item 19 - complete
November 2023 - January 2024
Summary of Submissions
Council officers carefully read each submission made on Plan Change 29 to produce a summary of submissions that paraphrases each submission and lists the main points made by each submitter, including their reasons and what outcome they seek from the hearing panel’s decisions.
Timeline item 20 - active
Summary of Submissions and Further Submissions
Council must publicly notify the decisions requested by submitters. Following the notification of the summary of submissions, there is an opportunity to make further submissions. A further submission is limited to a matter in support of, or opposition to, an original submission. Under clause 8 of Schedule 1, further submissions on publicly notified proposals can only be made by persons who are representing a relevant aspect of the public interest or persons who have an interest in the proposed policy statement or plan that is greater than the interest the general public has. The further submission period is no longer than 10 working days from the date the summary of submissions is notified (unless the period is extended under section 37 of the RMA). The Friend of Submitters service is available to submitters who require additional help to make a further submission.
Timeline item 21 - incomplete
Further submissions summarised
When the council has received all the submissions, and any further submissions, council officers prepare a report that includes a summary and analysis of the submissions and further submissions.
Timeline item 22 - incomplete
April - June 2024
Preparation of reports
Section 42A reports are prepared before a hearing and include the reasons for accepting or rejecting submissions made on any plan change provision. Council officers must give a decision on the provisions and matters raised in submissions, including the reasons for accepting or rejecting the submissions. Importantly, there is no requirement to give a decision that addresses each submission individually if they can address the submissions by grouping them according to the provisions of the proposed statement or plan to which they relate.
Timeline item 23 - incomplete
If submitters intend to call expert evidence, the council may require it to be provided before the hearing. In these situations, the council will usually make this evidence available for other parties to read and may hold expert conferencing before the hearing especially if the experts disagree. At least 15 working days before the hearing, submitters will be notified of the publication of the council officer’s Section 42A report.
Timeline item 24 - incomplete
August - September 2024
The hearing provides the opportunity to expand on the points raised in submissions or to explain the evidence provided. The friend of the submitters is available to assist submitters in participating in the process and understand what is going on. The hearing panel's role is to listen to submitters’ arguments for and against the Plan Change and recommend a final decision on the Plan Change to the Council.
Timeline item 25 - incomplete
Decision on Plan Change and Appeals
The council must give a decision on the provisions and matters raised in submissions no later than two years after notifying the Plan Change proposal. All submitters will be notified of the decision, If a submitter does not agree with the council’s decisions about their submission, they may be able to appeal to the Environment Court. Appeals can only be made on a matter you raised in their own submission. The Environment Court will look again at the facts, and its decision is final unless there is a further appeal to the High Court on a point of law. If no appeals are lodged, the Council will publicly notify the date the plan becomes operative.