Lake Wanaka town growth issues are addressed in the Queenstown Lakes District Plan review which is currently under way.

The purpose of the preparation, implementation and administration of this District Plan is to assist the Queenstown Lakes District. Council to carry out its functions in order to achieve the purpose of the Resource Management Act (RMA) 1991.

The purpose of the RMA is to promote the sustainable management of natural and physical resources.

In the RMA, sustainable management means managing the use, development and protection of natural and physical resources in a way, or at a rate, which enables people and communities to provide for their social, economic, and cultural well-being and for their health and safety while:

  • Sustaining the potential of natural and physical resources, to meet the reasonably foreseeable needs of future generations.
  • Safeguarding the life-supporting capacity of air, water, soil, and ecosystems.
  • Avoiding, remedying, or mitigating any adverse effects of activities on the environment.

The Act requires that the Queenstown Lakes District Council have at all times, a District Plan. The Council is obliged to commence a full review of its District Plan not later than 10 years after this Plan becomes operative.

Potential changes in this review include;

  • Instigation of a medium density zone in central Wanaka. Implications of this would include more infill building and the bowling of more old baches and small houses. The market has already seen a change in values of old bachs coming to the market in response to this proposal.
  • Increasing of the height overlay in the CBD – buildings up to 14 metres high and promoting an entertainment hub in Ardmore street.
  • Creating a new zone and designating it on the map to protect natural landscape features.
  • Introduction of a new zone within the urban growth boundary to give more certainty and less resource consent processes for some stated types of subdividing building and alterations.
  • Protection of the undeveloped spaces in the rural areas.

These changes are focused on cutting red tape to make it easier and cheaper for some types of development in the Lake Wanaka and Queenstown Lakes district by streamlining and simplifying some areas and making development less t=restrictive. in some cases providing some basic rules are met. Last year the district processed 1026 resource consent applications; Wellington city processed about 1000.

Opportunities for submissions closed on 23 October. These will be summarised and published. There is a limited chance for further submissions from Feb to September 2016 at the hearings.


There were 837 submissions in the first phase of the construction process of the Proposed District Plan. Many of the submissions related to the rezoning changes. Public hearings kick off in February.