District-wide matter: Sites and areas of cultural significance

Consultation has concluded

District Plan Review consultation now closed.

Initial public consultation on key draft changes to the current Selwyn District Plan's rules for sites and areas of cultural significance closed on Tuesdat 23 October 2018. Thank you to everyone who let us know what they thought of the review so far.

What’s next?

Following this initial public consultation on the District Plan Review, the Council will consider all feedback and start developing detailed provisions for the Proposed District Plan. Please note that a summary report on the initial public consultation will be made available on Your Say Selwyn website at www.selwyn.govt.nz/districtplanreview.

It’s expected the Proposed District Plan will be notified in early 2020 for formal public consultation. The longer timeframe is due to the local government elections at the end of 2019 and ensuring the newly elected Council endorses the Proposed District Plan before it gets notified.


We want to know what you think about the draft changes to sites and areas of cultural significance related rules and policies in the current District Plan. These draft changes have been endorsed by the Selwyn District Council for further development as part of its District Plan Review.

How can I have a say?

To give us your feedback on the draft changes , you can:

There will be many consultation opportunities for feedback at different stages of the District Plan Review and this is the first such opportunity. It’s expected that the new District Plan will be notified in early 2020 and be fully in place, subject to any Environment Court appeals, in March 2022.

Background

Sites and areas of cultural significance in the current District Plan

Ngāi Tahu are Tāngata Whenua of the Canterbury region and hold ancestral and contemporary relationship with Canterbury.

Councils have specific statutory requirements to provide for the relationship with Māori and their customs and traditions with their ancestral land, water, sites, wāhi tapu and other taonga. For our region the Canterbury Regional Policy Statement clearly sets out the need for local authorities to engage with Ngāi Tahu and Papatipu Rūnanga to identify and protect historic heritage and cultural landscapes from inappropriate development activities, including subdivision.

Wāhi tapu and wāhi taonga are defined in the current District Plan as “...sacred places, which are held in reverence according to tribal custom…” Examples of such sites and areas include tauranga waka (canoe landing sites), waiwhakaheketupapaku or urupū (burial sites) and tuhituhi o nehera (rock drawing sites).

The current District Plan’s approach to the identification and management of sites and areas of cultural significance is based on the following four cultural landscape categories:

  • Wāhi Taonga Site: includes any land, building or structure listed in the District Plan (Appendix 5) and shown on planning maps
  • Wāhi Taonga Management Area: includes any land, building or structure listed in the District Plan (Appendix 5) and shown on planning maps
  • Mahinga Kai Site: includes any land listed in the District Plan (Appendix 5) and shown on planning maps
  • Silent File Area: includes any land listed in the District Plan (Appendix 5) and shown on planning maps
Consultation has concluded
  • Key draft changes for the future District Plan

    about 1 year ago

    Te Ngāi Tūāhuriri Rūnanga and Te Taumutu Rūnanga presented a Sites and Areas of Cultural Significance report to Council for their consideration when drafting new planning provisions for the new District Plan. The Council’s District Plan Committee endorsed the report which will form the basis for further development of draft changes to the current District Plan. Key recommendations from the report include:

    • Replacing current definition of wāhi tapu and wāhi taonga with definitions from Mahaanui Iwi Management Plan.
    • Introducing a more contemporary approach to identifying and protecting cultural landscapes which results in a broader range of culturally significant sites and...

    Te Ngāi Tūāhuriri Rūnanga and Te Taumutu Rūnanga presented a Sites and Areas of Cultural Significance report to Council for their consideration when drafting new planning provisions for the new District Plan. The Council’s District Plan Committee endorsed the report which will form the basis for further development of draft changes to the current District Plan. Key recommendations from the report include:

    • Replacing current definition of wāhi tapu and wāhi taonga with definitions from Mahaanui Iwi Management Plan.
    • Introducing a more contemporary approach to identifying and protecting cultural landscapes which results in a broader range of culturally significant sites and areas, with different values (similar to the current Christchurch District Plan). This means moving away from a traditional approach of pinpointing sites on a planning map.
    • Introducing the following categories for cultural landscapes:
    1. Ngā Tutohu Whenua: cultural landscapes in the district which encompass catchments rather than defined areas or specific sites. It would include the Southern Alps and High Country, Malvern Hills, Canterbury Plains and Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere.

    2. Wāhi tapu and wāhi taonga: sites and places that are culturally and spiritually significant to mana whenua history and identity. It would include the following subcategories:

    - Silent files: a tool to protect culturally significant sites as it provides a general location of the site, but does not identify the exact site.

    - Maunga Tapu/Tūpuna: mountains which are considered to be the most sacred part of a landscape.

    - Key Pā/Kāinga/Mahinga Kai sites: several ancestral pa, kainga and significant nohoanga within the district.

    - Nga Puna: springs which are tapu (sacred).

    3. Ngā Tūranga Tūpuna: refers to larger extents of land within which there is a concentration and broader range of culturally significant sites. It would include: Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere, its margins and associated wetlands; Rakaia River and Taumutu.

    4. Ngā Wai: represents water. It would include selected waterbodies and their margins:

    - Ngā Awa: major rivers and their tributaries within the district.

    - Ngā Roto: lakes within the district.

    - Ngā Hāpua: lagoons within the district.

    - Ngā Repo: wetlands within the district.

    • Introducing new objectives, policies and rules that achieve the desired outcomes for the integrated management of cultural landscapes, including appropriate engagement with local Rūnanga.
  • Summary of key issues with the current District Plan

    about 1 year ago

    As a result of the review of current policies and rules specific to sites and areas of cultural significance, the following issues with the current District Plan have been identified:

    • Outdated definition of wāhi tapu and wāhi taonga
    • Very limited rules as current District Plan focuses only on management of earthworks and the accidental discovery of artefacts as the tool to protect sites and areas of cultural significance.
    • Traditional approach to how sites and areas of cultural significance are identified and protected ie similar to archeological or heritage sites, which overlooks cultural considerations.
    • The following potential risks/threats to wāhi tapu...

    As a result of the review of current policies and rules specific to sites and areas of cultural significance, the following issues with the current District Plan have been identified:

    • Outdated definition of wāhi tapu and wāhi taonga
    • Very limited rules as current District Plan focuses only on management of earthworks and the accidental discovery of artefacts as the tool to protect sites and areas of cultural significance.
    • Traditional approach to how sites and areas of cultural significance are identified and protected ie similar to archeological or heritage sites, which overlooks cultural considerations.
    • The following potential risks/threats to wāhi tapu and wāhi taonga identified by local Rūnanga are not presently provided for in the current District Plan:
      • contaminated land
      • subdivision
      • vegetation removal and clearance
      • disturbance of wetlands, riparian margins and waipuna
      • restrictions on access
      • structures, utilities and roads
      • intensive farming and heavy industry
      • commercial forestry
      • commercial recreation and tourism.