Ngā Wāhi Taiao Matua
Significant Natural Areas

We’ve been working with ecology specialists, and local Iwi to identify important areas of native bush around the city.

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, excluding large lot zone. As a result, private residential land (SNA) has been removed from the Proposed District Plan.

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.

Contact us

If you have any questions about the Proposed District Plan, contact the District Plan Team using the details below.


If you need help with your submission, check out our Friend of submitter service.


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Mobile: 021 198 7136

Email: district.plan@wcc.govt.nz