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Shaping Horowhenua District Plan review applauded

Shaping Horowhenua District Plan review applauded

Horowhenua District Council's review and public consultation of its Proposed District Plan Shaping Horowhenua has attracted high praise from one of its submitters.

Federated Farmers Manawatu-Rangitikei provincial president Andrew Hoggard has expressed his delight at how farmers were engaged through the consultation process and were able to give practical insights on farming to the District Plan review hearing panel.

Mr Hoggard says Federated Farmers came away happy, avoiding any need for Environment Court appeals.

"It goes to show how the district plan process can, at the front end, avoid costly appeal processes when there is clear, open and honest consultation. We are really pleased with the approach the Council has taken here. And, it is a testament to the great working relationship we have."

The District Plan is the main document used by the Council to manage rural and residential land use, including subdivisions, development and activities allowed on properties; as well as urban growth, business and industrial development.

The Proposed District Plan was adopted by the Council and publicly notified in September 2012, following nearly three years of work including an extensive review and public consultation process.

Submissions and hearings were held over the past year - providing opportunity for ratepayers, residents, visitors, businesses, and interest groups to have their say on shaping the future of Horowhenua. Decisions on the hearings were issued in October 2013. Any appeals against the decisions will be addressed through the Environment Court in the year ahead.

Horowhenua Mayor Brendan Duffy says the District Plan review has been a huge project for Council managers and officers.

He says its progress and completion of decisions has been an extraordinary achievement and the public engagement and consultation undertaken sets an example to be followed in future.


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