Significant Natural Areas and Landscapes on Private Land (Tiaki Taiao)

Published on 05 October 2020

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Over the last few weeks we've spoken with over 100 potentially impacted landowners about the work we’re doing to identify important natural areas, native bush and landscapes in Upper Hutt. Those conversations have been really positive.

However we have received feedback from some parts of our community that isn’t quite accurate, so we wanted to clarify exactly what we’re doing between now and November.

What is happening?
We’ve been working to identify important natural landscapes, features, or areas of land with special wildlife, plants, and trees that are native and important to the biodiversity of our city. Before we undertake a Plan Change, we want to make sure we have identified the right areas and the values within them.

Where are these areas?
We have identified 100 areas with significant biodiversity. We have also identified three outstanding natural landscapes and five special amenity landscapes. Most of these areas are on public land like reserves and regional parks however, there are also areas within private land.

Why are we doing it?
Central Government has directed all councils to identify and protect areas that contain important native ecosystems. These are generally known as Significant Natural Areas (SNAs). Councils nationwide are at varying stages of identifying SNAs in their jurisdictions. The identification criteria for these sites is set out in Policy 23 of the Wellington Regional Policy Statement.

What we’re doing.
Contacting potentially impacted landowners to check that the information we have from the aerial mapping and assessment work, is correct e.g. has native bush or features with important biodiversity.

What we’re not doing.
Making a plan change now. Doing anything without seeking your input. Taking your land or turning your land into a reserve. Seeking feedback from the wider community.

What are the next steps?
Working with you. Over the next couple months we will be talking with landowners and responding to requests for site visits. We’ll then review the feedback as part of preparing an update to the district plan. This will involve a proposed plan change (PC48) mid-next year.

Where can you go for support?
If you’ve received a letter from us, give us a call on (04) 527 2175 or at planning@uhcc.govt.nz, to arrange a call back from one of our Planners. We can also arrange for an ecologist to come out and visit your property. You can find all the information on our website under Tiaki Taiao.