News: South Wairarapa’s 30-year vision for growth

9 December 2021

Fast-growing South Wairarapa now has a road map for the next 30 years of its growth phase.

After nearly 18 months of consultation and research, the South Wairarapa District Council has published the first stage of its Spatial Plan

The plan sets out what the Council believes should be protected and which areas should be developed for growth for our district over the next three decades. It is a broad approach, with finer details to be worked out in the master plans for each town.

“It’s robust, it responds to the demands of growth and it also gives some choice,” said Group Manager, Planning and Environment, Russell O’Leary.

In designing such a plan, the Council’s biggest challenge was the need to balance the development and economic growth needs of the district with other important factors.

At a higher level, the Plan had to take into account the need to enhance the environment, support sustainable growth, foster better social connections, and protect the character and heritage that makes South Wairarapa special.

Many people had a say in the process. There were more than 900 responses to the plan, drawn from the Council’s Long Term Plan/Spatial Plan consultation phase and the more detailed submission process.

In response to feedback, this first stage of the Spatial Plan focusses on residential housing. Forecasts are that the district will need more than 2290 houses by 2050 and the rapid rise in house prices has made supply a key concern.

From here, master planning will begin with Featherston in early 2022. Featherston is considered a growth node and there will be a strong focus on housing around the train station.

Martinborough will be the next town, with master planning beginning later in 2022, and Greytown will follow in 2023-24.

Other zones – Rural, Commercial and Industrial – will be addressed by the Wairarapa Combined District Plan, which is under review by all three district councils.

O’Leary said there was still a lot of work that needs to be done before any development/subdivision under the new Plan could get underway.

“Plans for the infrastructure to cope with this new development must also be in place, among other factors. It’s important to ensure good layout of areas alongside servicing.”

When the related work is complete, it will be adopted within the district plan via a plan change.

For more details, please visit the projects and consultations page on our website.

Our planning team can be contacted at

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