Council aims for harmony in district and regional planning
Kāpiti Coast District Council is seeking to cut duplication between regional and district planning rules, plug gaps and harmonise positions so that people find it easier to do business with both councils.
It also wants the Greater Wellington Regional Council to give greater recognition to the role district councils play in jointly managing the environment.
Environment and Community Development Committee today approved a submission to the Greater Wellington Regional Council’s Proposed Natural Resources Plan – a new regional planning blueprint that will replace current plans governing coastal provisions, air quality, freshwater and soil quality.
The submission supports GWRC’s efforts to align its approaches with those of Kāpiti in areas where the two authorities have shared responsibilities, such as dealing with wetlands, ecological sites, earthworks and forestry.
Areas where Kāpiti feels GWRC can amend the plan include:
- better recognising the role of district councils as regulators and providers of services such as stormwater and sewerage, guiding customers on issues where district plan as well as regional provisions may be triggered
- amending rules so that both district and region can work together on a “Whaitua” approach to freshwater quality (collaborating with community and iwi to improve water quality in streams, rivers and lakes)
Kāpiti also wants GWRC do further work on defining its Coastal Marine Area and to adopt changes to the plan to manage the effects of natural hazards, including coastal hazards.
Committee chair Cr Penny Gaylor says that the Kāpiti approach is designed to cut red tape, remove duplication and make planning rules easier to understand for the public.
“Under the Resource Management Act, the district and regional councils have different responsibilities but there are often overlaps between the district and regional plans.
“Given that we are not going to amalgamate, it is up to the districts and the region to co-ordinate better in order to align spatial planning rules as much as possible.
“The goal is to make it easier for people to do business with the organisations. Our submission grasps this opportunity to make changes which will reduce duplication and streamline processes for the benefit of everyone.”
Submissions to the GWRC Proposed Natural Resources Plan close on 25 September and rules in the plan will have legal effect from 31 July 2015. Council has asked to speak to its submissions at the GWRC hearings on the proposed plan.