What is a Significant Natural Area (SNA)
Under the Resource Management Act 1991, the Council was tasked with identifying remnants of forest around the city. With the help of private landowners, together this initiative will contribute to keeping the city green and protect our indigenous species.
To qualify, sites need to:
- be a natural ecosystem that is no longer commonplace
- have biological or physical features that are scarce or threatened
- have diverse ecology, species and physical features
- connect ecosystems or habitats for rare indigenous species
- have significance to Tangata Whenua.
What we did
In 2016, we began working with ecologists to audit which areas in the city could be considered a significant natural area. Since then, we have gotten in touch with property owners who would be affected, and outlined what this means to them. We have conducted site visits to reassess the extent of SNAs.
SNAs in the Proposed District Plan
On 27 June 2022 the Planning and Environment Committee deemed that significant natural areas will only apply to public and rural land. As a result, SNA's on private residential land were removed from the Proposed District Plan.
The specific decisions made by the Planning and Environment Committee are as follows:
- Note that significant natural areas on public and rural land are identified and protected in a manner consistent with the requirements of the Resource Management Act 1991, and directive policies 23 and 24 in the Regional Policy Statement (2013).
- Agree that Significant Natural Areas (SNA)s on residentially zoned properties be removed from the notified District Plan until the National Policy Statement on Biodiversity has been gazetted and a SNA incentives programme has been developed and considered by Council.
- Agree that a ‘significant natural areas incentives programme’ be considered as part of the 2023/24 Annual Plan, to assist affected landowners with the protection of these ecologically important areas.
Find out more about SNAs
You can read up on the SNAs within the Proposed District Plan in the following chapters of the Plan:
SNAs will be available to view in the interactive maps of the Proposed District Plan.
View the documents below that have helped form our decision of SNAs.