Draft Urban Growth Strategy 2024-2054

Tararua has begun to experience increased population growth, with an increased demand for land for development. Therefore, Council have developed a Draft Urban Growth Strategy to establish clear, effective direction for the management of projected residential, commercial and industrial growth within our District over the next 30 years.

Until now, our growth has been largely opportunistic, with a lack of clear direction. Many opportunities to improve infrastructure and community wellbeing aren’t easily obtained, and there’s a risk we could have a district made up of disconnected and poorly integrated development. We’ve also seen the loss of rural land to ad-hoc subdivision, with little focus on connected communities or sustainable environmental outcomes.

Therefore, our Draft Urban Growth Strategy has been developed to help us understand our growth requirements, outline the challenges faced with increased housing demand, and provide recommendations for how we can meet these demands efficiently and effectively.

The Draft Urban Growth Strategy is open for public comment from Monday 5th of February 2024 until Tuesday 5th March 2024.

We’d like to hear from you about the recommendations and the proposed re-zoning maps, and whether you support the outcomes we’re recommending. Click the links below to see the recommendations for each town.

You can download the Draft Urban Growth Strategy here

You can download the Feedback Form here

If you would like to know more, please email growthstrategy@tararuadc.govt.nz.

Hardcopies can be viewed at our service centres and libraries

Questions? Clarification? More information? Please call Council on 06 374 4080 and let our team know you wish to speak to someone regarding the Draft Urban Growth Strategy 2024-2054.

TDC will also be hosting feedback sessions at each town centre – please feel free to drop in and share your views or ask questions at the following events:

  • Dannevirke  Library, 1 Station Street, Dannevirke– Thursday 15th February 2024 – 5.00pm - 7.00pm
  • Eketāhuna Library, 31 Main Street, Eketāhuna – Tuesday 20th February 2024 – 5.00pm - 7.00pm
  • Pahiatua Service Centre, 136 Main Street – Wednesday 21st February 2024 – 5.00pm - 7.00pm
  • Woodville Library, 45 Vogel Street, Woodville – Thursday 22nd February 2024 – 5.00pm – 7.00pm

Through this link you will be able to search your property and view the proposed re-zoning changes base on the draft urban growth strategy recommendations: Tararua District Proposed Growth Areas (arcgis.com)

Have Your Say Now

The Draft Urban Growth Strategy is open for public comment from Monday 5th of February 2024 until Tuesday 5th March 2024. We’d like to hear from you about the recommendations and the proposed re-zoning maps, and whether you support the outcomes we’re recommending. Fill in our online survey to have your say.

Frequently Asked Questions

A Growth Strategy is a way of putting a mark in the sand. It outlines the various parameters, aspirations and assumptions that have been made by studying population and market trends, and attempts to provide a rational, understandable basis on which to make future development decisions.

No-one can predict the future. However, we can learn from the population trends of the past and we can observe what is happening in other areas of the country. Many factors will determine how Tararua District grows. The Covid-19 pandemic has already changed the way in which people work, with greater flexibility for working remotely. Climate change will influence our environment, and improvements to roading infrastructure will change how quickly and how safely we can travel. The Draft Urban Growth Strategy attempts to consider these aspects and provide a guideline for how much land we might need for growth, and where this might be best placed – but utlimately it will need to be reviewed every 5-10 years.

There are many considerations for developing recommendations for the management of growth. These include legislation and policy, growth trends and aspirations, and spatial or environmental constraints. The Draft Urban Growth Strategy works through all of these considerations before presenting the overall recommendations.

Zones are the classification given to land within the Tararua District Plan and include Residential, Commercial, Rural and Industrial Zones. These zones set the parameters for what people can and cannot do with their land. For example, the Residential Zone is primarily for the provision of residential living and the Industrial Zone for factories and warehouses.

If a zone changes, this does not mean the underlying activity is required to change. For example, if a Rural Zoned piece of land contains a house and associated accessory buildings, and that piece of land has its zone changed to Industrial, the existing house and activities can remain indefinitely. The change in zone is to inform future development opportunities for that site and the direction a particular type of growth is to occur in the future.


There are some instances where there are Mixed-use Zones. These aim to provide flexibility to accommodate a range of compatible residential, visitor accommodation, recreational, educational, and community activities, along with limited retailing and potentially some specific industrial activities.


A rural residential zone is one that provides specifically for rural lifestyle living and is made up of smaller rural allotments containing dwellings and some small paddocks. These lots commonly are not connected to Council three waters services and are serviced wholly on-site.

Tararua is growing, and we need to allow space for this growth to occur. Therefore we have identified land that we think is suitable for either residential, commercial or industrial activities in the future. By rezoning this land, we are able to promote the growth of our district.

Yes. You can undertake all your currently permitted activities even if your land is rezoned.

Yes. You may be able to undertake a residential subdivision or establish an industrial activity. What you are able to do will be set out in the new District Plan.

Rates are calculated from your district plan zoning and through your land use activity occurring on your piece of land. The rates for your property will not change through the Draft Urban Growth Strategy but through the decisions on the Proposed District Plan Review. No changes will be made to rating classifications until the following July after adoption of the District Plan Review in line with Council’s How Council Rates/Sector Rates adopted under the Long Term Plan and Annual Plan.


The Draft Urban Growth Strategy is an aspirational vision for the future of the District. In order to give effect to these recommendations Council will need to incorporate this into their Proposed District Plan Review. The proposed District Plan is currently being reviewed and Council is looking to publicly notify this in July 2024. This will go through a Schedule 1 RMA process which means it is publicly notified and you will have another opportunity to submit and be a part of this process.

We recognise that rezoning land will require us to invest in our infrastructure, including on our roads and our water infrastructure. These impacts are currently being considered by our infrastructure team, and may impact when the rezoning becomes operative.

The relevant bylaws will still apply to your property until the zoning of your property changes.

Talk to us now and let us know your reasons. There’s a chance we may be able to change the recommendation in the Urban Growth Strategy before it goes any further.


However, when we rezone land, we do have to think about the benefits for the wider community as much as individual landowners. Therefore, we may decide to proceed to the District Plan Review process with the recommendation to rezone your land.


If this happens, you will be able to formally submit through the District Plan Review process, and your submission will be considered by a hearing panel of three including a Councillor and two independent commissioners.

You will need to wait until the revised District Plan is made operative before any rezoning takes effect.

There is no cost to landowners for the process of rezoning if it is undertaken as part of the recommendations from the urban growth strategy.

Talk to us and outline your reasons why you’d like it rezoned – we may be able to add it to the Growth Strategy recommendations.
Otherwise, you will need to make a submission on the District Plan Review.

We recognise that developing land has the potential to create adverse effects on the environment. We are developing a set of Design Guidelines that will help to avoid or mitigate such effects.

The Draft Urban Growth Strategy has been prepared at a high level only, considering wider community, environmental and urban outcomes. The draft document has specifically not considered private land ownership, and we are very aware that some landowners may wish to comment on the recommendations. This is why we are now seeking public comment on the document, including its recommendations and the re-zoning maps. We encourage everyone, particularly affected landowners, to provide feedback. We will review everything we receive, and if required will make changes to the document before it is formally adopted.

All our community will also have the opportunity to submit on our District Plan Review, which is where any finalised re-zoning recommendations will be formally adopted.

We are aware that the Draft Urban Growth Strategy has been prepared under existing legislation and national policy, some of which may be repealed or changed by the new Government. However, although these changes may affect some of the policy decisions we will eventually make as part of the District Plan Review, they have very little effect on how or where Tararua District might grow. As such, we will keep watch on the potential legislation and policy changes, but at this stage we do not anticipate that we will need to change the overall recommendations contained in the Draft Urban Growth Strategy.

The recommendations from the Urban Growth Strategy will be adopted into the District Plan Review, including the recommended re-zoning maps. In addition, Design Guidelines will be developed in accordance with the recommendations, that will support development policies in the proposed District Plan. However, before we can adopt the Urban Growth Strategy, we are seeking public comment on the draft document.

Please complete the relevant parts of the Feedback Form, which is available for download here. You can also complete our online feedback form using the form below.

The Feedback Form can be:

  • Downloaded here
  • emailed to growthstrategy@tararuadc.govt.nz
  • dropped in or delivered to our service centres in Dannevirke, Woodville, Pahiatua or Eketāhuna.
  • Posted to Private Bag 115, Dannevirke 4930.
  • Or simply fill in our online form here.

You can also pop into any of our drop-in sessions and have your say.

  • Dannevirke  Library, 1 Station Street, Dannevirke– Thursday 15th February 2024 – 5.00pm - 7.00pm
  • Eketāhuna Library, 31 Main Street, Eketāhuna – Tuesday 20th February 2024 – 5.00pm - 7.00pm
  • Pahiatua Town Hall, Corner Main Street and Kiwi Street – Wednesday 21st February 2024 – 5.00pm - 7.00pm
  • Woodville Digital Spaces, 45 Vogel Street, Woodville – Thursday 22nd February 2024 – 5.00pm – 7.00pm