Shaping & Growing Horowhenua’s future together - Tara-Ika

Published on August 08, 2022

News thumbnail image - Shaping & Growing Horowhenua's future together - Plan Change 4: Tara-Ika Growth Area.

Council has adopted the decision on Proposed Plan Change 4, approving the rezoning of land east of Levin at Tara-Ika, at its Council meeting on 29 June 2022. 

“The rezoning of 420 hectares will allow for the most significant urban development in Horowhenua's history. Approximately 3,500 new houses will result, and a greater variety of housing types provided for. There is also provision for a commercial centre, reserves, education facilities and multi-modal transport infrastructure,” says David McCorkindale, Group Manager Customer and Strategy. 

“Among the approved network of reserves and open spaces is one of particular importance that will be developed in partnership with Muaūpoko to be known as ‘Maunu Wahine’ – a 2.4ha area that recognises a site of significance and their connection to the area.” 

The approval of Plan Change 4 is the culmination of many years of work. Council worked closely with local iwi and landowners in developing the Tara-Ika Master Plan, which was the basis of the Plan Change. Council sought informal feedback from the community before formally notifying the plan change in November 2020 and hearing submissions on the Plan Change in November and December 2021 (under the Resource Management Act 1991). 

After considering submissions, further submissions from the community and a public hearing, an Independent Hearing Panel decided that Council should approve the Proposed Plan Change. Council has adopted the decision and will notify the public of the decision on Proposed Plan Change 4, as required under the Resource Management Act 1991. Notification of the decision starts the period when submitters can appeal the decision to the Environment Court. 

"Our district is growing rapidly as more and more people discover Horowhenua as a wonderful place to live and work. This growth brings both opportunities and challenges, and we must ensure that we can keep up with the needs of our growing community," says Council’s Chief Executive Monique Davidson. 

“The proposed plan change is part of the broader Horowhenua Growth Strategy 2040 and will significantly impact how our district grows and develops in the next few years. Proactively planning for growth in Horowhenua gives us the best chance of managing how and where the growth happens. It also provides a framework to ensure good development outcomes, builds strong, resilient and inclusive neighbourhoods with more efficient and cost effective infrastructure provision.” Davidson explains. 

The rezoning represents an exciting phase of new development in the district that will result in several benefits to the Levin and wider Horowhenua District, including greater choice in housing stock and potential employment opportunities to support our expected population growth. 

While there will be a change in the current character of the area, the future development of the land is expected to have the following positive effects: 

  • Enable the establishment of land for at least 3,500 homes, with a greater variety of building typologies provided for, including smaller houses on smaller sections and larger ones on large sections. This will enable the provision of houses to suit a wide variety of future residents, with varying needs in terms of dwelling size and affordability. 
  • It will be supported by multi-modal transport infrastructure, with walking and cycling infrastructure as well as roading, to encourage all forms of transport. This will enable residents to have greater transport choices, including options with lower carbon outputs, and will improve accessibility and walkability within the new suburb. 
  • A network of parks and reserves will be created, including one that will be developed in partnership with Muaūpoko to recognise Maunu Wahine ('the women's place of refuge') – a site of cultural significance to Muaūpoko. 
  • Traditionally, Maunu Wahine was a natural open glade in the forest surrounding the base of a large-forked rimu tree. This refuge was located near the Waiopehu Reserve and Te Awa a Te Tau tributary and provided wai (drinking water), tuna (eels) and shellfish for consumption. It was known to be an early established place of refuge along with one of the ancient pathways traversing the Tararua Range from East to West, where people could rest and where the study of Rongoā (traditional Māori medicine) also took place. The future development of this area as a reserve area in partnership with Muaūpoko will be a formal recognition and reverence of the historic use of the land, while providing a recreation area to be enjoyed by the Districts residents and visitors. Maunu Wahine will also meet a valuable conservation role, by retaining the natural habitat of some of the District’s endanged flora and fauna, including bats and snail species which are endemic to the Tara-Ika area. 
  • Provision has been made for the establishment of a variety of community infrastructure, including a primary school and commercial activities such as shops and cafes in the future. These facilities will be an asset to the community, as they will allow for the convenient provision of goods and services and potential employment opportunities for future residents. 
  • An innovative approach will be taken for stormwater disposal to help future proof the area from climate change and natural hazards and to protect infrastructure. All stormwater for up to a 100-year storm event, including allowance for climate change, will be contained within the Tara-Ika area through a combination of plumbed-in rainwater tanks - so they can be used for non-potable uses, soakpits and stormwater treatment wetlands and basins, which will be incorporated into recreation areas as appropriate. 

Want to know more? 

Visit our Proposed Plan Change 4: Tara-Ika Growth Area page for more information.

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