How we live and grow

growth, affordability, character, housing, heritage, safety, earthworks, signs, lights, noise

What’s it all about

This is about how and where we want to grow our city, while protecting its history, character and values of Ngāti Toa Rangātira; our mana whenua o Porirua. 

As the city grows we need to reconsider what type of housing we need, how we help make our city safer, where our new houses go and how we ease the pressure on our roads and our network of water and sewage pipes. 

It's also about getting the zoning right for our business and residential needs across the city.  


Where and when development can occur and how our environment is cared for is affected by the state of our roads and our network of water and sewage pipes.  We need to plan so that future development does not put undue pressure on this infrastructure, that we have infrastructure in place for new growth and that it meets the standards set by Greater Wellington Regional Council and iwi.

We are considering new rules that will:

  • direct new developments to be stormwater neutral to limit increased demand on the city’s stormwater pipes and improve water quality
  • encourage water sensitive urban design features in new developments such as swales, rain gardens and wetlands, and encourage developments to provide onsite rain tanks

It’s important that people feel safe in our city centre and local neighbourhoods. We can help achieve this by encouraging good urban design, allowing for a mix of commercial and residential growth in the city centre and villages, and supporting a more pedestrian friendly city.

We are proposing to create urban design guidelines to so that new development helps to minimise opportunities for crime and anti-social activity by:

  • identifying key pedestrian and transport routes within the city and then encouraging veranda cover and active street edges to create an active, interesting and engaging streetscape
  • putting in place basic urban design standards to create a welcoming and inviting city centre, such as requiring retail/commercial services at ground floor level, glazed shop fronts and limiting roller shutters and blank walls 
  • reducing minimum parking requirements to limit the need to develop expansive parking lots

As Porirua grows and our population becomes more diverse there is an increasing demand for a greater variety of housing styles. We want to provide for this demand while respecting neighbourhood character and being mindful of natural hazards.

We are proposing to create greater housing choice and affordability within the District Plan, while protecting neighbourhood character by:

  • providing for cultural living arrangements that suit tangata whenua
  • enabling high quality infill development within existing urban areas
  • enabling greenfield (new housing developments) in the right places and staging the availability to meet the market.
  • supporting a variety of housing options, in particular town houses, apartments in the central city and local centres and providing for smaller rural lifestyle blocks
  • enabling the development of services and facilities the community needs such as child care and elderly care facilities, local halls and places of worship
  • providing for commercial and industrial development opportunities in existing centres and new strategic locations based on Transmission Gully  and new housing developments
  • relaxing minimum parking requirements
  • discouraging residential intensification and growth in places where it is not safe due to natural hazard risk and where there are sensitive environments and landscapes
  • encouraging a mix of business and residential activities in our local centres

Earthworks are a necessary part of development. We want to make sure earthworks are designed and managed to protect the local environment, visual impact on residents as well as our harbour’s health. 

We are proposing to introduce rules that:

  • enable earthworks for small scale activities
  • limit earthworks in sensitive environments
  • put in place erosion and sediment control measures for all earthworks in line with our bylaws
  • manage and control the visual effects of large scale earthworks  

Signs help to identify places and provide information; however they need to be in the right place, well-designed, and suitable for road and pedestrian traffic. 

To achieve this we are proposing to:

  • enable signage while avoiding visual clutter or signs that dominate by managing the size, number and location of signs
  • introduce road and pedestrian traffic safety standards for signs, particularly around the wording, lighting and location
  • introduce rules that specify lighting levels that apply to illuminated signs
  • consider developing urban design guidelines for signs on key routes and on sensitive buildings to protect the character of the local environment

We need to plan for our changing environment, such as new developments that may spring up close to new transport networks, and create more flexibility for some activities.

We are proposing some minor changes to the District Plan to:

  • introduce setbacks or acoustic insulation for new homes built close to existing noisy or brightly lit activities, such as the existing state highways, Transmission Gully and the railway
  • allow for higher levels of noise from short term temporary activities such as outdoor concerts 

Porirua has many archaeological sites relating to early Māori occupation and European settlement. It’s important we protect our heritage buildings, sites and items of significance from inappropriate development. Ngāti Toa is mana whenua of Porirua and as a result there are a number of sites of significant cultural value that need to be protected, preserved and improved in order to retain the historical value.

We are considering some minor changes such as:

  • identify any new archaeological, cultural and heritage buildings, sites and items within the district plan
  • enable the reuse and adaptation of heritage buildings, such as earthquake strengthening and the repurposing of heritage buildings
  • investigate the creation of heritage precincts for areas with considerable character, such as Plimmerton and Pāuatahanui
  • recognise areas of cultural value associated with Ngāti Toa and allow for them to practice kaitiakitanga (guardianship) within these areas