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Nelson City Council's Process


Nelson City Council investigated residential development in the Maitai Valley as part of its Nelson Urban Growth Strategy (2006) but concluded:

Do not provide for any future residential zoning in this area
In response to submissions the Council has decided not to pursue residential rezoning in the Maitai Valleybecause “submissions on the Maitai were very strongly opposed to any residential zoning, based on loss of open space, conflicts with recreation values, and the effects of more traffic and noise”.

Despite this, Nelson City Council’s Future Development Strategy (July 2019) identified land for housing expansion into the Maitai Valley for up to 842 houses in the Maitai Valley: 614 in Kaka Valley and 228 in Orchard Flat. These figures were repeated in the council’s Intensification Action Plan (September 2020).

The Future Development Strategy (2019) of Nelson City Council and Tasman District Council identified the need for 24,000 additional houses in the region by 2048 under high-growth forecasts.  It found we already have land approved for 12,000 houses and identified land for an additional 14,249 houses.

The FDS therefore identifies the potential for 26,249 houses by 2048, which exceeds the forecast demand by 2249 houses.

What's Proposed?

Private developers, CCKV Maitai Dev Co LP & Bayview Nelson Limited have applied to rezone land located in the lower Maitai Valley, specifically Kaka Valley, along Botanical Hill and Malvern Hill, on land predominantly located in the Rural Zone.

The proposed subdivision of approximately 750 houses would go on land adjacent to the Maitai River behind Dennes swimming hole, and also adjoin the existing residential zone on the Malvern Hills. A through-road is planned linking Atawhai to the Maitai Valley via Ralphine Way opposite Sunday swimming hole. 

The subdivision would be clearly visible from the Maitai Cricket Ground, Maitai track, Maitai Valley Road, the Centre of NZ hilltop, and other walkways in the area, in the nearest section of the valley which is most commonly used for swimming, running, walking, and relaxation.

Impacts of housing expansion into the Maitai Valley

The proposed subdivision in the Maitai Valley is located in a prime recreation area and would negatively affect many people’s use and enjoyment of the valley and river in many ways:

Unfortunately, this is wishful thinking and is unlikely to eventuate. Close to 70% of Nelsonians drive a car to work. Only 6% travel to work by bicycle, and 7.5% on foot. NZTA 2019 stats show that only 4% of kiwis identify as committed bicycle commuters. The proposed development is 3.5 km from central Nelson, and there is no evidence that people living in other suburbs located a similar distance from central Nelson (e.g., Bishopdale and Atawhai) have higher rates of walking or cycling. Thus, most residents of the proposed development are likely to travel by car.

How is the decision on zoning made?

The Council has been working on the project with the developers, who have lodged an official request to council for a change in land zoning from ‘rural’ to ‘residential’ (i.e., a Private Plan Change Request) that would allow the development to proceed.  On 23 September 2021 Council decided to accept the Plan Change to continue to a Resource Management Act Schedule 1 process. See a copy of the Council staff’s report and recommended resolutions. (670KB PDF)

Strong public interest and opposition to the development has led Council to provide a statement explaining the plan change process.  Council stated that the application would proceed under Schedule 1 of the Resource Management Act which includes public notification. Submissions closed in December 2021, and the hearing is scheduled for July 2022.
For all associated information please see the Nelson City Council website.

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