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Land rezoning in our area

22 April 2021

AUTHOR:Kevin Birch

Concerns of arable land being used for housing, particularly in the Franklin area have been around for decades. The former Borough of Pukekohe boundaries delineated to some degree the extent of urban development, but even within the Borough there were areas of elite soils. Some of these were surrounded by existing urban developments, and their fate as housing areas was inevitable. However the Borough, and initially the District Council, and the Regional Council continued to exclude versatile land from urban expansion.

However, population pressures, increased housing costs and restrictive District and Regional Plans lead to significant new areas being opened up for urban development. This in turn has compromised existing arable land.

Developments such as Pokeno that we see today, were initiated by the Franklin District. Although Pokeno was excluded from the Auckland Region upon amalgamation in 2010, rezoning of land around Pokeno continues to be approved by the Waikato District Council. Such developments do reduce pressure for rezoning of land from our better Class I to Class III soils. The current plan changes occurring for the Waikato District will see further opportunities for the expansion of Pokeno.