ConsentsWith all the new subdivision work underway in Waikanae, this guide to building consents is a first-step, must-consult document before you start planning/working on your section — (pdf, 39 pages)

There are also rules in the District Plan such as height control planes, yards, maximum height, and site coverage calculations.

One important District Plan rule in Residential Zones relates to how much of the ground can be covered by buildings:

“The maximum area of any site covered by all buildings shall be 40% except that this standard shall not apply to network utilities on sites less than 200 m2.”

As examples, if the section is 300 square metres then the footprint of the building(s) on it can’t be more than 120 square metres; with a 500 square-metre section it can’t be more than 200 square metres.

The council also tells us that the aggregate dimensions of ancillary buildings on a section can’t be more than 60 square metres; so you can’t plonk, for example, more than 6 garden sheds that are just under 10 square metres each on the land.

The height limit in residential zones is 8 metres above the natural ground level in all parts of the footprint (what our two-story house is).

A few rules have changed a little since we last checked a few years ago — for example fences can now be 2.5 metres (8 ft 3 inches) high without Council consent being required, rather than 2 metres.  (With boundary fences this is measured from the natural ground level before any retaining wall).

Of particular relevance for those intending something close to the beach is the part headed Applications for building work on land subject, or likely to be subject, to a natural hazard – Section 72 of the Building Act 2004

“Natural hazards mentioned in the Building Act 2004 are:
 erosion (including coastal erosion, bank erosion and sheet erosion);
 falling debris (including soil, rock snow and ice);
 subsidence;
 inundation (including flooding, overland flow, storm surge, tidal effects and ponding);
 slippage.”

“A Land Information Memorandum (LIM) or Project Information Memorandum (PIM) will identify hazards that the Council knows about for a particular land site.”

For existing properties close to the beach, this is and has been the subject of controversy.

Maps of what the Council considers hazards are on this webpage