Plan Change 18 Plimmerton Farm

This page provides the history of Plan Change 18 Plimmerton Farm

Plan Change 18 became operative on 19 May 2021 and is now part of the Operative District Plan. You can view the public notice here.

The Minister for the Environment made the final decision on Plan Change 18.

You can read the decision here.

The history of the formal plan change process is set out below.

Porirua City Council prepared Proposed Plan Change 18: Plimmerton Farm to the Porirua City District Plan (Plan Change 18).

Plan Change 18 sought to rezone the property known as Plimmerton Farm (Lot 2 DP 489799) from Rural Zone to a new Plimmerton Farm Zone. The new zone intended to provide for urban development including housing, a retirement village, a commercial area, water sensitive design to protect sensitive receiving waters and protection and augmentation of Significant Natural Areas, including wetlands that form part of the Taupō Swamp Complex. Specific changes were also proposed to City-wide provisions of the District Plan to apply to the proposed Plimmerton Farm Zone.

Viewing the proposed plan change

You may view or download Plan Change 18 at the links below. Hard copies were available for viewing at the following places:

  • Porirua City Council, Administration Building, Cobham Court, Porirua City
  • Porirua Library, corner Norrie and Parumoana Streets, Porirua
  • All suburban libraries in Porirua City.

Streamlined Planning Process

Proposed Plan Change 18 Plimmerton Farm proceeded through a Streamlined Planning Process. The process is set out in the Minister for the Environment’s Direction for the Streamlined Planning Process, which was gazetted on 6 May 2020.

Here is a summary of the process. The steps and timeframes were updated as the process moved forward.

Submissions – Plan Change 18 was publicly notified on 20 May 2020. Submissions closed on 2 July 2020.

Further Submissions – The Summary of Decisions Requested (Summary of Submissions) was publicly notified on 14 July 2020. Further submissions closed on 28 July 2020. Further submissions support or oppose original submissions.

The Hearing before the independent Hearing Panel (see membership below) began on 12 October 2020 and was adjourned on 16 October 2020, after sitting for 5 days, for Porirua Council's reply.

Hearing Panel Minute 5 formally closed the hearing.

Hearing Panel Minute 1 set out how the hearing process was managed to ensure clarity and certainty for all parties and a fair and efficient hearing process. Minute 1 provided a timetable and directions to Council on providing the Council report to the Hearing and to submitters on providing any lay or expert evidence they wished to provide as well as instructions on participating in pre-hearing meetings and expert conferencing. 

Please note that all correspondence for the Hearing Panel had to be via the Hearing Administrator Maria Joslin ([email protected], phone 04 237 3863). 

After the Hearing, the Hearing Panel issued a draft recommendation to submitters and Council, giving the opportunity for correction of minor or technical errors.

The Hearing Panel then issued its recommended decision to the Minister for the Environment.

The Minister made the final decision on the plan change.

Friend of Submitters Service

We understand that RMA processes can be a little daunting so a Friend of Submitters, Emily Bayliss, was made available through the submission periods to assist and continued to be available to help submitters in the lead-up to the hearing.

Emily is a qualified planner who was fully independent and had no other involvement in Plan Change 18. 

The Friend of Submitters service was provided by the Council to remove barriers and foster participation in Plan Change 18.

Emily was contactable for assistance by email [email protected]  or phone 021 532 284.

A brief introduction from Emily is available here

Emily's memo to submitters is available here

Hearing Panel

The Hearing Panel for Plan Change 18 Plimmerton Farm comprised:

  • David Allen (Chair)
  • David Allen has a resource management chair’s certification and is a teacher of the Making Good Decisions course for hearing commissioners.  He is a partner in Buddle Findlay’s Resource Management and Māori Law team in Wellington.  He has over 20 years of legal experience working primarily in designating and consenting large infrastructure projects and advising on policy and plan change processes.  In addition to his law degree David has a BSc in zoology and a Masters of Environmental Sciences, all from Victoria University.

  • Miria Pomare
  • Miria Pomare is an experienced decision maker with an extensive background in local government issues.  She has held various iwi representative roles over the years and has considerable experience as an Independent Hearings Commissioner, having participated in numerous hearings in the Wellington region and the Far North. Miria has previously been appointed to a number of decision-making committees for the Environmental Protection Authority and was recently re-appointed as a Deputy Commissioner to the Environment Court.  Miria has particular expertise in tikanga Māori and Māori resource management, having worked in the field of Treaty claims for more than a decade and through her personal involvement with her Marae and Iwi over decades. She is affiliated to a number of Iwi around the country including Ngāti Toa Rangatira, Ngāti Mutunga, Ngāti Whakaue, Ngāti Kahungunu and Rongowhakaata. 

  • Dr Martin Neale
  • Dr Martin Neale is a scientist with over 20 years’ experience in the research, monitoring and management of the natural environment. In addition to being an accredited RMA commissioner, Martin has a wide range of RMA-related experience, including expert witness roles, scientific input into the development of RMA plans and provisions, and management of State of the Environment monitoring programmes. Furthermore, Martin was a member of expert groups for the development and implementation of the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management (2011-2015). Martin is an active member of the scientific community and has held an Honorary Lectureship at the University of Auckland since 2012, where he leads the teaching of a postgraduate course about ‘Assessing Environmental Effects’.

  • Nicki Williams
  • Nicki Williams is an Associate with Mitchell Daysh Limited and has approximately 30 years’ experience as a planner working as a consultant and in local government.  For example, Nicki was the Research, Policy & Planning Manager at Kāpiti Coast District Council, responsible for the Proposed District Plan and involved in the mediation with appellants to resolve matters at appeal. Nicki is a certified Commissioner Chair under the Ministry for Environment ‘Making Good Decisions’ programme. Nicki has significant experience in working with mana whenua, communities and decision makers in understanding the issues associated with a broad range of consent applications and planning outcomes. Nicki understands the importance of effective communication and has considerable experience as a meeting facilitator and working with Councils, stakeholders, and community groups to work collaboratively to resolve complex planning issues.

  • Ian Munro
  • Ian Munro is an urban planner and designer based in Auckland but who works across the country. He has qualifications in planning, urban design, environmental legal studies and traffic engineering and is a full member of the New Zealand Planning Institute. He has over 20 years' experience and worked on numerous large-scale urban re-zoning projects and Plan Changes in Dunedin, Christchurch, Queenstown Lakes, Marlborough, Tasman, Kapiti Coast, Tauranga, Hamilton, Waikato, Thames Coromandel, Auckland and Kaipara, in a variety of roles. Ian is very familiar with the RMA and public hearings conducted under it, and has made several hundred decisions as a Hearings Commissioner.

Key Steps, Dates and Documents

1. Direction for the Streamlined Planning Process

Gazette notice published 6 May 2020

2. Public Notification

Publicly notified 20 May 2020

Submissions closed 2 July 2020

Plan Change 18 (with attachments bundled) 

Plan Change 18 Volume 1 (Parts 1-4)
Plan Change 18 Volume  2 (Part 5 - Section 32 Report)

Plan Change 18 (in separate documents)

Plan Change 18 Volume 1 (Parts 1-4)
Plan Change 18 Volume 2 (Part 5 - Section 32 Report)

The external documents referred to in Plan Change 18 are available here (for Porirua City documents) and here (for other documents). 

3. Submissions

Public Notice of Summary of Submissions

Further submissions closed on 28 July 2020.

All further submissions received 1-16

Progress Report to Ministry for the Environment

4. Pre-Hearing Meetings 

Pre-hearing meetings for lay submitters were held:

  • Wed 16 Sep, 3.00-6.30pm at Pātaka Art + Museum
  • Thu 17 Sep, 3.00-6.30pm at Pātaka Art + Museum

The Letter to Pre-Hearing Submitters provided details of the pre-hearing meetings and requested information from you to help in making arrangements. Responses were due to Maria Joslin (Hearing Administrator)  [email protected] by 31 August 2020.

Hearing Panel Minute 1 set out the requirement for the pre-hearing meetings. 

Report of pre-hearing meetings

Planning Framework

5. Expert Conferencing

Expert conferencing took place in the week beginning 21 September 2020 as directed by Hearing Panel Minute 1.  Please refer to Hearing Panel Minute 1 and Preliminary Letter Expert Conferencing for guidance on participation.

The results of the expert conferencing are available below:

Ecology - Joint Witness Statement of Experts (21 September 2020)

Engineering - Joint Witness Statement of Experts (22 September 2020)

Planning - Joint Witness Statement of Experts (25 September 2020)

6. Hearing

The Hearing began 12 October 2020 and was adjourned on 16 October, after sitting for 5 days, for Porirua City Council's reply.

Hearing Panel Minute 5 formally closed the hearing.

Notice of Hearing (updated) - includes draft Hearing Schedule

Hearing Panel Minute 1 General hearing process and management directions

Memorandum of Counsel for Forest and Bird and QEII National Trust (attachments below)


Hearing Panel Minute 2 Initial response to memorandum by Forest & Bird and QEII National Trust

Memorandum of Counsel for Porirua City Council

Memorandum of Counsel for Plimmerton Developments Ltd

Reply Memorandum from Forest & Bird and QEII National Trust

Hearing Panel Minute 3 National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2020 and National Environmental Standards for Freshwater

Hearing Panel Minute 4 Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency

Section 42A Report (including appendices) 

Section 42A Report including appendices (large file)

Section 42A Report (in separate documents)

Section 42A Report

Appendix 1 - Statements of Evidence

Appendix 2 - PCC Housing Capacity Summary Statement

Appendix 3 - Plan Change 18 with recommended amendments

Appendix 4 - Summary of Decisions Requested with officer recommendations

Submitters' Expert Evidence

Submitter 134 - Director-General of Conservation 

Submitter 49 - Greater Wellington Regional Council

Submitter 107 - Robyn Smith

Submitter 128 - Queen Elizabeth the Second National Trust

Submitter 117 -Forest and Bird

Submitter 113 - Welhom Developments Ltd

Submitter 122 - Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency

Submitters' Lay Evidence

Submitter 107 - Robyn Smith
Submitter 15, 78 - Plimmerton Developments Ltd

Statements of Rebuttal Evidence

Submitter Statements to Hearing Panel 

Experts' Responses to Submitters' Questions

Hearing Panel Minute 1 provided submitters with the opportunity to put questions to experts. The experts' responses are provided below. 

Legal Submissions to Hearing

Experts' Summaries of Evidence

Porirua City Council:

Submitter 49 - Greater Wellington Regional Council:

Submitter 128 - Queen Elizabeth the Second National Trust

Submitter 112 - Royal Forest & Bird Protection Society

Submitter 107 - Robyn Smith

Submitter 113 - Welhom Developments Ltd

Submitter 134 - Director General of Conservation

Submitters' Presentations to the Hearing Panel

Responses to the Hearing Panel's Requests for further information:

Porirua City Council Right of Reply

Notes from Hearing

The notes provided here were prepared solely as an aid memoir for the Hearing Panel to supplement their own notes of the hearing. They are not a transcript or complete record of the hearing.

7. Hearing Panel's Draft Report

The Hearing Panel released a draft report to submitters and Porirua City Council for comment. The scope of comments was limited to the identification and correction of minor or technical (including legal) errors or omissions. Comments could be made on the Hearing Panel's recommendation to the Minister for the Environment or the reasons for its recommendation.

Within the Executive Summary of the report the Panel directed the following timetable for comments:

  1. Submitters were to provide comments (as described above) to the Hearing Administrator by 3pm Thursday 10 December.
  2. Porirua City Council's experts were, through Messrs Cumming and Anderson, to collate all comments, and add their own, and provide a single compiled set of comments by 3pm Monday 14 December.

Please find below the draft report and recommendations:

Form for submitting comments to the panel:

Comments on Hearing Panel's draft report:

8. Hearing Panel's Final Report to the Minister for the Environment

The Hearing Panel submitted its final recommendation report and recommended provisions for Plan Change 18 to the Minister for the Environment.

You can access these documents below:

Get in touch

If you have any questions please contact Maria Joslin on (04) 237 3863 or at [email protected]

Information about the lead up to Proposed Plan Change 18 Plimmerton Farm is available here