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Protecting Elite Soils

20 August 2019

AUTHOR:Kevin Birch

In the news recently has been the Government’s proposal to protect elite soils for primary production. Having lived in Pukekohe all my life and travelling around the country, I frequently hear comments on what a travesty it is that Franklin’s elite soils are being used for housing. So it comes as no surprise that a National Policy Statement to protect elite soils is being proposed.

How does this impact on the Resource Management process, and subdivision or land development applications which may impact on elite soils? A national policy statement can direct Councils to amend their District or Regional plan to include specific objectives and policies that are set out in the National Policy. This ensures that all plans across the country are consistent.

These new policies and objectives then need to be taken into account when land with elite soils is proposed to be rezoned, or when consents are sought on land containing elite soils. It should not affect existing urban areas or future urban zones that Council have already identified. Some Councils may argue that their plans already contain such provisions, but they may be a matter of interpretation and how far the National Policy Statement goes.