This beloved Nelson valley could be covered in hundreds of houses and is currently undergoing a RMA Schedule 1 process.
Over 700 submissions were sent, many of which opposed subdivision in this valley. Thanks if you made one of those submissions.
Meanwhile STM has enlisted experts who will present our case. Your contribution to finance this is appreciated.
Where else could new houses go..
(not including additional infill housing now allowed)
Reasons to Oppose this Proposed Subdivision
Loss of rural amenity
The Maitai Valley is a beautiful unique green space close to town and accessible to all ages and abilities, to exercise and enjoy nature, full of walking trails, swimming holes and recreation reserves. The Maitai Valley is too precious a resource to lose to a mass housing development. A new suburb in the Maitai Valley would no longer provide a peaceful escape from the urban environment.
Hundreds of houses in the Maitai Valley would degrade the widely recognised scenic value of the valley. Urban infrastructure would be likely to include traffic lights, footpaths, curb and channel, street-signs, and the addition of hundreds of houses to the area would permanently destroy the visual beauty of the area.
Traffic & Safety Impacts
Maitai Valley Road and Nile Street as well as Collingwood, Brougham, Tasman, Milton and Bridge Street East would all become congested with much greater volumes of traffic (NZTA guidelines estimate thousands of vehicles per day) affecting safety, noise for residents and, passing schools, a creche, and NMIT. The proposed Kaka Valley through-road would negatively affect residents in Atawhai, schools and a kindergarten.
The current proposal is for 750 houses at Kaka/Bayview, and there is a possibility of future subdivision at Orchard Flat. The Maitai Valley landscape would be irrevocably changed and the rural setting of multiple recreational areas and reserves would be ruined by becoming urbanised, spoiling the setting of the main swimming holes, picnic spots, cricket field and walking/running tracks.
The lower Maitai would become just another suburb of Nelson and the urban/rural divide would be pushed further up the valley.
The noise from 750 houses (e.g. vehicles, lawnmowers, stereos, leaf blowers, weed-eaters, chainsaws, powertools, cars, motorbikes) within the valley, on both sides of the river, would destroy the peaceful ambience of the valley and adversely affect recreational users.
Moreover, the noise and volume of earthworks machinery and ongoing construction may extend over 30-40 years according to the developers.
Wrong Place for Residential Zoning
Greenfield subdivision goes against Council’s own prioritisation of intensification. Nelson identified sufficient land for Residential development until 2039 without using the Maitai Valley. In 2006 and again in 2019 Nelsonians said they preferred building up (intensification), not building out (greenfield expansion / urban sprawl). The valley base is a designated flood plain & climate change will exacerbate the risks of flooding, thus housing there could be subject to rising insurance costs.
Threat to wildlife
Kaka Valley is part of an 8km biodiversity corridor that runs from Nelson to Hira. Domestic cats and dogs belonging to households in the proposed development would pose a threat to wildlife such as indigenous bird species, lizards, and aquatic species.
Stormwater would be directed into Dennes Hole a popular swimming spot. The river would be subject to decades of sedimentation run-off, and permanently subjected to urban run-off. Years and possibly decades of earthworks would mean a high likelihood of increased sedimentation into the Maitai River and downstream to Nelson Haven.
Increased traffic would worsen air quality in the Maitai Valley and in the area extending down Nile Street into central Nelson.
Annette Milligan ONZM, STM Patron
“When you climb the hills around Nelson, you see development in the valleys of Ngawhatu, York, the Brook, Todds and Marsden – they’ve already got housing. Can we not save this one last beautiful and treasured valley for recreation?”
Grant Smithies, Music Critic
“I love Nelson because there’s a gorgeous bit of rural recreational land close to the city. I spend each summer chucking myself into local swimming holes most evenings before tea. The river is my solace and my salvation, my chill-out zone, my happy place.”
Rod Dixon, Olympic Medallist, Patron
“I grew up running, biking, swimming, picnicking and playing barefoot for hours in the Maitai. You can’t put a price on those childhood experiences. It’s exactly these sorts of simple joys that make us the envy of the world.”
Monica Pausina, Campaign Supporter
Nelson describes itself as “the smart little city.” So let’s BE smart! Let’s not follow Auckland’s disastrous model of urban sprawl. Let’s protect this much-loved rural paradise on the city’s doorstep that contributes so much to the uniquely wonderful quality of life here.
Mark Hadlow ONZM, Actor
“We must protect this special, beautiful valley for future generations.”
Sophie Weenink, Environmentalist
I am very concerned that I will be amongst the last generation to enjoy the open spaces, peace and tranquility and beautiful natural landscapes of the Maitai Valley if construction of many hundreds of houses goes ahead.
I am deeply concerned about the impacts on the Maitai Valley and river. While more housing is needed there are many other options available in our area as identified in Council documents.
I am the child of a single parent and of course we want affordable housing for us and others, but not this option which will wipe out one of the true highlights of our city.
Maurice Gee, Author
“Where else are people able to enjoy an unspoiled river valley so close to a busy little city? The Maitai is Nelson’s treasure”
Ross Whitlock, Artist
“Running, walking, cycling, swimming. Some picnic, some just sit quietly in the shade or the sun. For many it is a place of renewal and peace. For me, as a landscape painter, this steep winding river valley with its constantly changing light is an endless inspiration. Every day that I walk it with Indy I find something new and wonderful.”
Colleen Marshall MNZM, Supporter
The Maitai is my turangawaewae. I have swum in the river for 70 years and love walking Tino the dog along the pathways. It should remain a recreational playground for the people of Whakatu-Nelson. A subdivision would be a travesty.
Sophie Bisdee, Environmentalist
I really value having a quiet space, at the moment the spaces between the car noises are filled with birdsong but with increased cars you can’t hear anything but.
Susan MacAskill, Campaign Supporter
“I love the rural nature of the Maitahi Valley so close to central Nelson.”