We talked with the community on a draft Plan Change in November/December 2015. We received 58 submissions from individuals and organisations, including:

  • 53 submissions from Tawa residents using the feedback forms, which were completed online, emailed or posted to us.
  • 5 submissions from community groups and/or organisations (Presbyterian Support Central, Architectural Centre Inc, Vibrant Tawa, Tawa Community Board, and Johnsonville Community Association).


What you told us

The main messages from the public consultation:

  • Most people support the proposed design standards and believe they provide enough certainty about what type of development may happen.
  • Roughly half thought the boundary was too large, while the other half thought it was too constrained.
  • There were a number of good constructive suggestions on refining the boundary – often based around topography, limited access or flooding. Good material for us to work with.
  • There was still some concern around the overall quality of the developments.
  • Many people were happy that three storeys is not the baseline for much of the proposed area. Some submissions suggest three storeys could be appropriate when built right next to the town centre.
  • There were some suggestions around building recession planes.
  • Medium-density housing developments should provide off-street car parking.


Responses to the Questions


Q: Is the MDRA area boundary too big or too small? Are there areas we should include or exclude?

Draft boundary

Percentage of submitters

Number of submitters







Agree in principle, with suggested expansion



Agree in principle, with suggested reduction




  • Suggestions to reduce the boundary in places were often based around topography, road constraints and/or flooding concerns.
  • Suggestions to increase the boundary also generally related to how close it was to the rail network and/or available viable land that wasn’t in the proposed boundary. 
  • Overall, the submissions added to the discussion, and suggested helpful possible changes to the draft boundary.


Q: Do the proposed MDRA standards achieve balance between enabling density and helping to manage the effects of development on others?

Most submissions support the proposed standards and also believe they achieve a balance between enabling density and helping to manage the effects.

However, some submitters were concerned about the impact some changes to building design standards would have on local character and on loss of sunlight on neighbouring properties.


The proposed building standards with greatest support included: 

  • restricting the building height generally to 8 metres, with allowance to 10.4 metres on some wide roads or close to the town centre
  • a requirement to have onsite car parks
  • a requirement for a maximum site coverage allowance, with each unit being required to have open space
  • building recession planes
  • 3-metre front yard setback.


The proposed building standards with least support included:

  • building recession planes on the southern boundary – many would like this kept at a 45° angle (as it is now)
  • the lack of controls for stormwater run-off and impervious surfaces
  • site coverage – some wanted slightly less
  • rigidity of building design standards – some wanted these to be more relaxed to allow for greater levels of development.


Q: Do the provisions give enough certainty for landowners and potential developers?

Most submitters chose not to respond. However, 19% believe the draft provisions give enough certainty, while 5% do not think the draft provisions give enough certainty for landowners and potential developers.


Q. What other provisions would you apply, and why?

In general, there was limited response to this question. However, some responses added to the discussion, and proposed initiatives for consideration. These include: 

  • incentivise single storey development for the elderly
  • reduce the front yard requirement and introduce a minimum rear yard setback (to provide generous setbacks between properties, rather than the street front)
  • provide additional landscaping and planting in the legal road reserve to create a greater “green” public area
  • limit scale of individual developments (ie a maximum of 10 units per site)
  • remove building design standards and instead consider each proposal on its design merits
  • encourage apartments above shops in Tawa town centre
  • introduce a permeable surface requirement to help manage stormwater 
  • allow for more intensive housing next to the Tawa town centre
  • avoid building medium-density housing in known flood-prone areas.