Plan Change 50 – Rural and Residential Chapters Review



Shape the future of Upper Hutt

We’re embarking on a significant review of the residential and rural chapters of our District Plan, which controls land use and development throughout most of the city. To grow smarter, we’ll need to grow differently.  This means we want to hear your ideas, and test ours ideas with you too.

We’re calling this review ‘Plan Change 50’ and it will include changing policies and rules to enable the right types of housing growth in the right places. We’ll be directed by our Land Use Strategy and National Policy, but we need local knowledge and ideas to help refine that direction, and enable growth that provides for our community’s wellbeing and our environment.

The first wider public consultation, called "Issues and Options" will be released in March/April 2020. This consultation will explore the initial direction that our review is taking. There will be additional opportunities to provide feedback on draft policies and our proposed chapters throughout 2020 and 2021. 

Get Involved 


The E-Panel is a group that's intended to provide opportunities for interested community members to provide input and to be kept up to date with how the plan change processes over time. The group will be e-mailed questions that go beyond the scope of the wider consultations and will help inform the questions we ask during public consultation. To join the e-panel, please e-mail with your name and preferred contact e-mail address.

Focus Groups

The Focus Groups will help us to identify issues with our existing plan, and look at opportunities to meet the direction set by our strategies and other regional and national policy. The groups will help test ideas before the wider community is engaged.

We have set up two groups of approximately 8 members; one focused on the rural areas, and one focused on the urban residential areas. We expect the groups to meet every couple of months. 

The groups are intended to represent the community and include a mix of backgrounds, ages, genders, experiences and viewpoints in order to provide for a range of lived experiences in Upper Hutt and diversity in people from different geographic areas.

For more information, please see our Terms of Reference(PDF, 213KB).


Rural Group

Residential Group

What is Plan Change 50?

We’re going through a ‘rolling review’ of our District Plan. This means it is reviewed by chapter or by issue, instead of the entire plan at once.

Plan Change 50 is the review of the Residential and Rural chapters. The plan change will review the policies and rules about how land within these zones can be used and developed in the future. We need to make the best use of the land available, and ensure that it helps create vibrant and healthy communities.

We’ll be looking at things like:

  • Enabling different types of housing
  • Subdivision sizes
  • Building heights and densities
  • Family flats
  • Outdoor space requirements
  • At home businesses
Where we are at, and what's next?

We are at an early stage in the process. We’re collecting background information on infrastructure, urban character and design, and environmental qualities to help determine what the future needs of Upper Hutt will be.

We will begin engagement through the focus groups, but that is only part of a wider engagement strategy. We will be talking to a range of people and groups to help best inform this work over the next couple of years.

There will be multiple opportunities for the wider community to provide their feedback too.

Ultimately, we’ll be developing proposed changes to the District Plan. Once the changes are developed, the process becomes more formal and is prescribed by the Resource Management Act 1991. Further information about the formal Resource Management Act can be found on the Ministry of Environment website.

Contact us

For more information or to speak to a planner about this work:


P: +64 4 527 2169

Frequently asked questions

How long will the Plan Change take?

This initial stage of Plan Change 50 is predicted to continue until 2022, when we will transition into the more formal notification stage set out in the Resource Management Act. The timeframes after notification will depend on the submissions we receive.

 How can I get involved and provide feedback?

The best way to get involved is to join our e-panel. This panel will be updated throughout the plan change process and will be asked for additional feedback on key topics. You can join our e-panel by e-mailing us at