Ētehi atu Panonihanga Tautoko kua tohua e wātea ana kia Tāpaetia | Proposed Additional Supporting Changes Open for Submission

Financial Contributions for Reserves

The proposed amendments include extending the ability to charge reserve contributions for permitted residential activities i.e. up to three units, to capture the greater potential for residential units to be constructed without a subdivision or land use consent. To ensure Financial Contributions are fit for purpose, it is proposed that they are reduced as follows:

  • In most urban zones from 5% to 3.5%, to encourage efficient land use.
  • In the Rural Zone to 2.5%, recognising the residents in these areas have less demand for the reserve network; and
  • For minor residential units to 1%, to encourage an increase in ‘smaller’ housing types to meet demand, and to address the fact that there are less household occupants and lower demand on reserves by the individual household.

Transport Provisions

The Plan Change has the potential to impact and further exacerbate effects on the transport network in Rotorua. Amendments have therefore been proposed to the transport provisions to ensure that the anticipated effects of the increase in residential development, enabled through this plan change are well managed. In this regard, the proposed amendments include new planning provisions to manage the increased number of households accessed from one shared access way and requiring a simple transport assessment for more than 20 residential units.

Papakāinga Housing

This plan change also includes proposed amendments to the rules for papakāinga to make developments of this nature easier to do. The proposed amendments are in accordance with section 80E of the RMA, which enables an intensification planning instrument to amend provisions to enable papakāinga housing in the district in both urban and rural areas.

The proposed amendments include:

  • Removing the requirement that papakāinga needs to be located on land that adjoin, or is adjacent to a Marae;
  • Amending the provisions to ensure that the framework for papakāinga in residential zones is in keeping with the MDRS and policy intent of the NPS-UD;
  • Introducing additional provisions to enable a greater density of papakāinga development in rural zones; and
  • Introducing additional performance standards for non-residential papakāinga development, recognising that papakāinga are not limited to housing.

Qualifying Matters

There are some areas of the city that may be identified as unsuitable for higher densities.

The operative District Plan has rules that require certain features or values to be protected. We are not proposing to change these and those rules will continue to apply. These are referred to as existing qualifying matters.

We are proposing new rules to manage flooding and development close to heritage buildings. We are also proposing to retain the Residential 3 Zone rules recognising their significant cultural values. These are new qualifying matters.

Existing qualifying matters

Existing qualifying matters within the Rotorua District Plan include:

  • National Grid
  • Natural Hazards
  • Historic and Cultural Values
  • Significant Natural Areas
  • Outstanding Natural Character
  • Outstanding Natural Features and Landscapes
  • Public Access
  • Designations

It is proposed to retain these current District Plan rules. These reasons or ‘qualifying matters’ can’t be used to prohibit intensification altogether, but they can be used to moderate the level of building height and density in places where it's needed.

Through the plan change process, we must justify why they should be given a greater level of protection than other parts of the city. These reasons or ‘qualifying matters’, cannot be used to prohibit intensification altogether, but they can be used to moderate the level of building height and density in places.

For example, if your section is in an area that is subject to flooding, the medium density residential standards won’t automatically apply. So if you’re looking at developing your land, it’s a good idea to get planning advice from us first.

New qualifying matters


Changes are proposed through this plan change to clarify and strengthen the District Plan to manage flooding with respect to building and subdivision, as development potential is increased through the Plan Change. Amendments are therefore proposed to better manage flood risk specifically, and to improve the efficiency of the current provisions.

The proposed amendments to the district-wide flood management provisions will apply across the district within areas subject to flooding and are only considered a new qualifying matter where they are proposed to apply within the Residential 1 and 2 Zone. This will apply to properties where maximum flood depths on a building site are greater than 300mm.

Residential 3 Zone

This Plan Change includes retaining the current Residential 3 Zone (Ōhinemutu, Whakarewarewa, and Ngāpuna) rules. The current zoning framework recognises the villages of Ōhinemutu, Whakarewarewa and Ngāpuna as exceptional and unique places within the district. There will be no changes to the objectives, policies and rules in this zone due to the values and characteristics of these villages being considered to be a matter of national importance.

Historic Heritage Structures

Amendments are proposed to the provisions which manage historic heritage, to respond to the greater building height and bulk enabled through the Plan Change, which may give rise to adverse effects on the heritage values of cultural heritage features. It is anticipated that by including a ‘new building rule’ to sites, which contain historic heritage structures, the plan will manage the protection of historic heritage from inappropriate subdivision, use and development in the Residential 1 and 2 zones and the Commercial 4 zone.

Summary of How Plan Change 9 amends the Rotorua District Plan

Overview of Proposed Changes to the District Plan Chapters

Key parts of PC9 to the Rotorua DP are summarised chronologically below in terms of the DP chapters:


Part 2: District Wide Matters

Strategic Direction

  • Amend the strategic direction objectives and policies for urban development to align with the NPS-UD.

Historical and Cultural Values

Historic Heritage:

  • Introduce a restricted discretionary rule applying to new buildings on the same site as a heritage structure listed in the Historic Structure Schedule, or on a specified adjacent site (new qualifying matter).

Hazards and Risks


  • Introduce a restricted discretionary rule applying to building and additions in areas where there are significant flood depths (new qualifying matter);
  • Supporting changes to existing relating provisions to manage flooding
    1. Amend design flood used for minimum building levels to 1% AEP with an allowance for climate change and extend building level standards to new buildings.
    2. Reduce the maximum impervious site coverage standards for Residential 1 and 2 Zones.


  • Insert a new permitted activity standard to ensure that any venting structures necessary for gas ingress mitigation shall be directed to vehicle access ways or the street.


  • Incorporate the MDRS and related changes.
  • Clarify rules and activity status for subdivision of sites affected by flooding.

Financial Contributions

Financial Contributions for Reserves:

  • Align the purpose of contributions for reserves with the future reserve requirements by providing for the enhancement of existing reserves.
  • Reduce contribution rates to encourage more efficient land use
  • Extend contributions to permitted residential units


  • Delete performance standard that requires papakāinga to locate on land that adjoins or is adjacent to a Marae.
  • Align the framework for papakāinga in residential zones with the MDRS and policy intent of the NPS-UD.
  • Enable a greater density of papakāinga development in rural zones.
  • Clarify the activity status, and appropriate scale and intensity of non-residential activities that form part of a papakāinga development in rural zones.

Part 3: Area Specific Matters

Residential Zones

  • Align the objectives and policies with the intent of the NPS-UD.
  • Residential 1 Zone: Incorporate the MDRS, provisions for assessing proposals that do not comply with MDRS and other related changes. Rename the zone to Medium Density Residential Zone.
  • Residential 2 Zone: Incorporate the MDRS and related changes in Residential 2 Zone, but with some changes (for example to increased height height) to enable higher density development. Rename the zone to High Density Residential Zone.
  • Residential 3 Zone: Retain the existing zone provisions (new qualifying matter for the protection of relationship of Maori and their culture and traditions with ancestral lands, sites, etc.).

Commercial Zones and City Centre Zones

  • Amend activity status of residential units to increase the opportunity for permitted residential units.
  • Respond to the NPS-UD with increased height limits for buildings and amendments to yards, landscaping and site coverage standards.
  • Support quality design through assessment of buildings and additions.

Development Areas – Pukehangi Heights and Wharenui

  • Partially adopt the MDRS for Residential 1 Zone but retain existing provisions relating to natural hazards, infrastructure, cultural values and landscape values as qualifying matters.
  • Amendments to standards and policies for Pukehāngi Heights to protect landscape values of the Caldera Rim.
  • Delete/amend performance standards for Wharenui relating to the Eastern Arterial and road upgrades.

Appendices and Maps

Appendix 1 - Parking

  • Detail requirements for transport assessments for 20-100 residential units


  • Amend the extents of the Residential 1 Zone and Residential 2 Zones
  • Rename the Residential 1 Zone from Low Density Living to Medium Density Residential Zone
  • Rename the Residential 2 Zone from Medium Density Living to High Density Residential Zone
  • Remove the Lake Rotorua and Lake Rotoiti 1 in 50 year (20% AEP) flood levels.
Categories: About the changes
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