October 21, 2008
First Local Plan Underway for Waitakere Ranges Heritage Area
Work on the first Local Area Plan to be drawn up under the Waitakere Ranges Heritage Area Act gets underway next month
with a public workshop in Oratia.
Oratia has been selected as the first area to develop a Local Area Plan to put the provisions of the new Act in place.
Chair of the Waitakere City Council’s Policy and Strategy Committee, Penny Hulse, says the Local Area Plans are a great
opportunity to blend local knowledge, residents’ aspirations and council processes to map out the future of the ranges
“The new Act is clearly focused on defining the distinct character of the many environments of the ranges; from coast
and bush, to rural and urban fringe. The aim is to preserve these unique features as identified by local communities so
they are not compromised in the future,” says Councillor Hulse.
She says as Auckland continues to grow at a rapid rate the new act will become increasingly important as a tool for
maintaining the different character and landscapes of the west coast, bush areas, rural foothills and urban fringe.
Cr Hulse says the Local Area Plan for Oratia will be an opportunity for residents and those with an interest in the area
to influence the future of the area through council plans and legal processes.
She says another positive outcome from the Local Area Plans will be to start mapping out the future economic
opportunities in the Ranges.
The Oratia Local Area Plan will be the first in a programme for the Waitakere Ranges Heritage Area that will see a total
of 10 to 12 plans drawn up with communities throughout the ranges and foothills over the next decade.
An open day and community meeting about the Oratia Plan will be held on November 19 at the Oratia Soccer Club at Parrs
Local Area Plan Media Fact Sheet:
• The Waitakere Ranges Heritage Area Act was enacted on April 9, 2008 and recognises the national, regional and local
significance of this area.
• Local Area Plans are a council-led community process for setting goals for planning and determining long-term (50+
years) goals for the distinctive character of different local communities in the ranges and foothills. The plans will
protect the well-being of these communities within a Heritage Area framework.
• The Local Area Plan process is expected to progressively cover 10 to 12 different communities in the ranges and
foothills over the next decade.
• The outcome of the Local Area Plan will be incorporated into the Waitakere District Plan as a means of protecting
social, economic, cultural and environmental values from being destroyed or degraded by a cumulative process of
• Local Area Plans are more than just structure plans (see definition below), as they go through a whole range of
social, economic, cultural and environmental outcomes to be secured by this generation for the benefit of future
• A structure plan is a district planning tool that assesses the ‘carrying capacity’ of a catchment by assessing
heritage, landscape, ecological, water and soil constraints. This plan is then used to identify subdivision
opportunities that are measured against these constraints. Typically a structure plan identifies future subdivision
density, bush and stream protection and enhancement areas, and stormwater and soil mitigation requirements.