Media release: More time given for spatial planning project

8 May 2020

South Wairarapa District Council has agreed to allow up to three months before submitting recommendations on how to proceed with the South Wairarapa Spatial Plan, to the Planning and Regulatory Committee.

The decision, taken at a recent Council meeting, held on Wednesday 29 April via video-conference, was based on a recommendation that Council waits until more information is available post COVID-19, for example, about growth planning as well as economic and social recovery.

SWDC Chief Executive says, in light of the pandemic and the changing economic landscape, there is value in delaying the development of the Draft Spatial Plan.

“We have an opportunity to wait a little longer and gather together more information as New Zealand’s recovery progresses. Being able to take any new research that emerges from central government, and other agencies, into account willbe of benefit when we come to report back to the Planning and Regulatory Committee.”

At the meeting, Council also decided to use the extra time to seek an independent review of the proposed approach for enhanced community engagement for the Spatial Plan. This will include an assessment of the number of research companies approached, their costs and proposed methodologies, as well as the measures proposed to ensure for broad community inclusion and representation.

Despite the delay in progressing the Spatial Plan, Council has committed to keeping this important item active on the Planning and Regulatory Committee’s agenda.

Phase 1 community engagement on the South Wairarapa Spatial Plan began in July 2019. Once finalised,the Plan will outline the District’s long-term strategic approach to balancing the environment, social, economic and quality of life factors affecting the community. It will guide the allocation of resources, such as land use and construction of capital works, including core infrastructure like roads, water supplies, parks and playgrounds. Importantly, the Spatial Plan will help South Wairarapa prepare for the ongoing growth of its population.

More information on the project available at


Media contact:

Amy Wharram

Communications Manager

027 252 2863

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