Taraika Master Plan

Taraika Master Plan thumbnail image - Artist impression of area.

The Horowhenua population is growing rapidly, increasing by an average of 2% per year between 2013 and 2018. Statistics New Zealand estimated that as of June 2019, the Horowhenua population was 35,000 – an increase of nearly 5,000 people since 2013. Council expect the population will continue to grow over at least the next 10-20 years.

Proactively planning for growth also give us the best chance of being able to manage how and where growth happens. This allows us to ensure good development outcomes, build strong, resilient, and inclusive neighbourhoods and gives us opportunity to explore more efficient and cost effective infrastructure and technology solutions. If we do not plan for growth, and development occurs in an adhoc or sprawling manner, our ability to influence the outcome is limited.

Taraika is a 420ha block of land to the east of Levin. It is privately owned by a number of different parties and has been identified as a key growth area for the Horowhenua District. Council has been working with these landowners to produce a Master Plan to guide development in this area. This Master Plan will enable the development of approximately 2,500 houses (at a range of different section sizes), a small commercial area, new parks and reserves, and education opportunities.

What is the process?

Council identified Taraika (then known as Gladstone Green) as a growth area in the Horowhenua Development Plan 2008. We initially thought this area would be a rural lifestyle area. The land is currently zoned Greenbelt Residential Deferred under the Horowhenua District Plan. However, since this process occurred our population projections have changed significantly, from little to no growth expected back in 2008 to periods of high growth that are projected to continue into the future.

Council has worked closely with landowners within the area who have expressed an interest in being involved. We have also involved experts within experience in Master Planning, including urban designers and landscape architects. Council has also worked closely with Muaūpoko to ensure their values and association with the land are understood, respected, and celebrated and with key stakeholders including New Zealand Transport Agency, Ministry of Education and Horizons Regional Council.

A District Plan Change process will follow completion of the Master Plan. This process changes the zoning of the land and introduces new rules to enable development to occur and to ensure it happens in accordance with the Master Plan. The Plan Change process is a formal process, set out in Schedule 1 of the Resource Management Act 1991. It includes a submission period (where anyone can make a submission for or against the proposal) and hearings.

Feedback on the Draft Taraika Master Plan

In August 2020, we presented the Draft Taraika Master Plan to the community for feedback. This feedback process was informal and sought to give community members an opportunity to input into the process prior to the formal Resource Management Act (RMA) process that we have to go through to rezone the land and change the District Plan rules to allow development to occur.

Since August, we have considered the feedback and made some changes to the Master Plan. We have started the formal RMA process (known as the Plan Change process), publicly notifying the Proposed Plan Change on 16 November 2020, meaning that you can now make a submission for or against the proposal. This Plan Change is called Proposed Plan Change 4 – Taraika Growth Area.

Information about Proposed Plan Change 4, including how to make a submission, is available on our Proposed Plan Change 4 - Taraika Growth Area page.

Banner image for the Taraika Master Plan.

What is the Taraika Master Plan?

A Master Plan guides future land development within a particular area. A Master Plan essentially creates a ‘blueprint’ for landowners within the development area to follow, while leaving enough flexibility and scope for each landowner/developer to create their own, individual development. This is to make sure that roads join up with each other and that adequate provision is made for features such as parks and reserves.

Why is it important?

The Master Plan will ensure new housing developments are properly planned and integrated into the existing community. Without a master plan, development can end up as a series of small subdivisions that lack important connections to each other or to existing infrastructure.

What is the process?

A generalised explanation of the development process is set out below. We are currently at Step 2.

  1. Preparation of Master Plan
  2. RMA Plan Change Process
  3. Subdivision and Resource Consent Process (each development must go through this stage)
  4. Building Consent Stage
  5. Construction

When will the new houses be constructed?

When development actually happens depends on a range of factors, such as when the developer/landowners decides they are ready to develop. However, we expect the first stage of development to occur within the next 0-5 years.

What will development in this area be like?

Some key features will be:

  • Variety of housing types
  • Good for walking and cycling
  • Good connections to Levin
  • Quality parks and reserves
  • Commercial and education activities. 

Who's paying?

Council has funded the preparation of the Master Plan. We did this because several different parties own the land in question and we felt it was important that Council have some control over the plan for the area to ensure a coherent and integrated outcome.

Council will fund the ‘lead infrastructure’ for the development for the first stage of the development. An example of this is extending sewer and water pipes across Arapaepae Road to the edge of the development area. The lead infrastructure for the first stage of the development can be paid for using existing budgets. Funding for subsequent stages will be determined through the next Long Term Plan process which will commence in 2021.

While Council will fund the ‘lead infrastructure’ for the first stage, each individual developer will pay for the infrastructure required within their development (for example roads, sewer pipes and water pipes within their land).

What about infrastructure?

The short answer is we know what we need to do to make sure our pipes, water and wastewater treatment plants, and intersections can service both existing properties in Levin and future properties in Taraika.

There have been water restrictions over the last few summers. Council have been working to make the most out of the water we already have permission to take. A big part of this is working to detect and repair leaks in the system – this way, water that was being lost to leaks can be used to service new properties without actually increasing our consumption or water take from the Ōhau River. We're also looking at requiring residential lots to have rainwater tanks on site.

What about Ō2NL and State Highway 57/Arapaepae Road?

We're working closely with NZTA to make sure they are aware of the plans for Taraika and to ensure they consider this when they do the detailed design for O2NL (for example, look at planting and bunding to provide screening and noise mitigation).

We also know that Arapaepae Road/SH57 and the intersection with Queen Street is at capacity. NZTA have committed to upgrading this intersection to a roundabout, with construction to start in December 2020.