June 2016 Update

Council officers are looking into issues identified in the November/December 2015 feedback and are making some changes to the draft Plan Change.

Please email housing.choice@wcc.govt.nz if you would like an update on a specific matter relating to the draft Plan Change.


Draft Plan Change introducing a medium-density residential area (MDRA) zone in Tawa

We have taken your feedback into account and developed a draft District Plan Change. The key elements include establishing an MDRA zone around Tawa, with the following standards:


Current Standards

Proposed Standards

Number of household units

2 household units permitted 3 or more household units require resource consent

1 household unit permitted 2 or more household units require resource consent (notification not required if the building standards below are met)

Building height

8m (2 storeys) Or 4.5-6m for an infill unit if the site is less than 800m²

8m (2 storeys), with scope through the resource consent process to build to 10.4m (3 storeys) in places. Eg, close to the town centre.

Building recession planes

2.5m on the boundary with 45o incline on all boundaries

2.5m on the boundary with 56o incline on southern boundaries or 63o on northern boundaries

Site coverage



Minimum landscaping

No standard

At least 30% of the site shall comprise landscaped permeable surface

Front yard

The lesser of 3m or half the width of the road minus 10m


Open space

50m2 per unit

20m2 per unit

Vehicle parking

1 space per unit

1 space per unit


Other changes:
  • A Tawa-specific appendix to the Residential Design Guide, and other design guide changes to help make sure developments are of a high quality
  • New rules for retirement villages and supported care facilities
  • Changes to make it easier to convert an existing house into two smaller units

Read the full range of draft provisions.

On average about 30–40 new dwellings are built each year in Tawa. We expect that even with an MDRA zone in place, development will still happen gradually as opportunities come up – the suburb won’t change overnight. With permitted height not proposed to change for most of the draft MDRA zone, greater density is achieved instead by increasing site coverage and reducing the open space requirement.

Draft MDRA zone boundary

The draft MDRA boundary is shown in the map below. We have developed this based on a number of information sources and your feedback.