19. Ohiwa Harbour Zone
19.1 Zone Introduction
19.1.1 Ohiwa Harbour is recognised as having outstanding natural
feature and landscape values. It is valued locally, regionally,
nationally, and internationally as an area of ecological
importance. The Harbour is of significant cultural importance to
Iwi and Hapu within and external to the district. The Upokorehe
hapu have for many centuries been the kaitiaki, 'guardians', of the
19.1.2 The coast of the district contains a number of important
ecological habitats. One of these is the Ohiwa Harbour. The Ohiwa
Harbour is important spiritually, historically, culturally,
ecologically, scientifically, and botanically, and is an important
area for recreation activities. The Harbour is also a food source
for the local iwi and hapu. The foreshore of the harbour is
surrounded by many areas of indigenous vegetation which contribute
to the district's biodiversity. Also surrounding the Harbour are
coastal forest sequences not found elsewhere in the district.
19.1.3 Efforts have been made by Opotiki District Council,
Whakatane District Council, Environment BOP, landowners, Iwi and
Hapu, and the Department of Conservation to preserve the values of
the Ohiwa Harbour environs through such measures as land
improvement agreements, consent conditions, discontinuation of
intensive stock grazing near the harbour edge, retiring of
saltmarsh areas, and the creation of esplanade reserves and
19.1.4 The majority of the Ohiwa Harbour isin a natural state
possessing natural, ecological, landscape, and cultural values,
characteristics that contribute to the character of the Zone
19.1.5 The Ohiwa Spit Coastal Hazard Overlay Area covers an area
of 56.0110 hectares and is located on the seaward side of part of
the Ohiwa Spit. The Overlay covers an area that was subjected to an
extreme coastal erosion event in the mid 1970s. This event resulted
in the planned removal of all but one of the houses from seaward
sites of that part of the Spit, but the house that remained was
lost to the sea. Coastal processes at the Spit have been the
subject of much research. Coastal processes affecting the area
subject to the Overlay Area have resulted in the retreat and
advance of the shoreline in cycles lasting between 50 - 60 years.
Because land at the Spit is unstable, it is appropriate that
development be avoided.
19.2 Resource Management Strategy
19.2.1 Resource management issues
1. Modification of the Ohiwa Harbour may contribute to a decline
in the biodiversity and natural resources of the district.
2. Inappropriate drainage, modification, land use, subdivision,
earthworks, tracking and roading can affect Harbour quality.
3. The areas of indigenous vegetation and habitats of the Ohiwa
Harbour contribute to the unique character of the district and
region. These areas are diminishing and need protection to ensure
4. The Ohiwa Harbour straddles administrative boundaries, this
can result in administrative differences.
5. There is a need to recognise that parts of the Harbour are
ecological sequences and ecological corridors, where the areas are
connected to other parts of the district.
6. There is a need to recognise the cultural importance of the
Harbour to the community, and to the Upokorehe hapu.
7. Sporadic subdivision and development pressure can adversely
affect the natural character of the Harbour, particularly where
there is fragmented ad hoc development.
8. The location of structures within the Ohiwa Harbour Zone can
detract from outstanding natural features, and landscapes,
especially coastal margins and coastal ridgelines.
9. Grazing of harbour margins, and the introduction of plant
pests can adversely affect the natural character of the
10. Amenity values within residential properties need to be
maintained so that the residential quality of the site and
adjoining sites is maintained. These include managing effects such
as height of buildings, storage areas, parking, loading, signage,
noise, glare, and separation distances.
11. Sites within the zone need to be of sufficient size, so that
where on-site effluent treatment is required there will be no
adverse effects on the site, adjoining sites, and particularly on
the coastal environment.
12. In some areas of the Harbour it is difficult to obtain a
water supply that is suitable for human consumption.
13. The Ohiwa Spit is subject to coastal hazard risks, the
shoreline is unstable and subject to erosion and progradation
cycles of around 50 - 60 years.
19.2.2 Objectives and policies
Objective 1. Ohiwa Harbour will continue to be an outstanding
natural feature and landscape of the Opotiki district and the Bay
of Plenty. Effects of land use activities will be managed to assist
in protection and enhancement of the natural and ecological values
of the Harbour environment.
Policies 1.1 To preserve the natural character of the Harbour
shoreline and protect the ecology of the Harbour environs.
1.2 To assess the effects of activities on the natural character
of the Ohiwa Harbour, and to avoid adverse effects as far as
practicable by the placing of conditions on resource consents,
where the adverse effects that will be avoided include potential
point and non-point contamination, siltation, sedimentation,
drainage and reclamation.
1.3 To avoid as far as practicable the effects of land use
activities that will aversely affect the qualities and
characteristics of the Ohiwa Harbour landscape. These effects can
include tracking and scarring of the landscapes, obstruction of
landscape vistas and alteration of landscape skylines and
1.4 To provide for the integrated management of the Ohiwa
Harbour through continual consultation with agencies that have
responsibilities for Harbour management.
1.5 To avoid, remedy or mitigate the adverse effects of
subdivision, use, and development in the Ohiwa Harbour environs in
areas which have largely been unmodified by use and
Objective 2. Protect and enhance significant indigenous
vegetation and habitats of indigenous fauna within the Ohiwa
Harbour environs so that the ecological, botanical, scientific, and
educational values of the Harbour are maintained.
Policies 2.1 Protect and enhance significant indigenous
vegetation and habitats of indigenous fauna which contribute to the
character of the Ohiwa Harbour through the resource consent process
and through education and incentives.
2.2 Restore and enhance riparian areas and avoid, remedy and
mitigate adverse effects in the Harbour environs.
2.3 Protect natural areas around the Harbour from development by
either the creation of reserves, retirement areas, or some other
2.4 Protect the saltmarsh communities of Ohiwa Harbour from
modification and destruction by avoiding, remedying, and mitigating
the adverse effects of adjacent land uses.
Objective 3. The continued existence of the Ohiwa Harbour as an
area of cultural and historical significance to the people of the
Opotiki district, and the Iwi and hapu of the Harbour environs.
Policies 3.1 Consultation with tangata whenua who hold mana
whenua within the Ohiwa Harbour when assessing resource consents to
ensure that concerns are adequately addressed by any applicant
within the Ohiwa Harbour environs.
3.2 When assessing resource consent applications within the
Ohiwa Harbour area to ensure, through consultation with appropriate
agencies, that heritage resources are protected.
19.2.3 Methods of implementation
The objectives and policies of this section will be implemented
by the following methods:
2. Other methods
The rules and standards that apply to the Ohiwa Harbour Zone are
those of Section 17.4, Coastal Zone. In addition to the rules and
standards for the Coastal Zone, the following provisions apply
specifically to activities undertaken within the Ohiwa Harbour
When considering applications for resource consent for
controlled, discretionary and non-complying activities, the
objectives and policies for the Ohiwa Harbour Zone shall be
recognised and provided for. In addition regard shall be had to the
provisions of the Regional Coastal Environment Plan as it applies
to the Ohiwa Harbour Zone and in particular the application of the
"Generic Landscape Guidelines for Natural Features and
19.3.1 Permitted activities
Permitted activities able to be undertaken in the Ohiwa Harbour
Zone are detailed in Sections 3 to
10 of the District Plan, and Section
17 Coastal Zone.
19.3.2 Controlled activities
The following activities may be established after a land use
consent has been granted by Council. Activities must comply with
the Zone standards.
1. The removal of topsoil and undertaking of earthworks to
provide for stable building areas, access and servicing, where the
activities do not generate siltation or sedimentation effects in
2. Subdivision as stated in 19.5.2.
19.3.3 Discretionary activities
The following activities may be established after a land use
consent has been granted by Council. Activities must comply with
Zone Standards stated in Section 17.4. The Council
may grant or refuse a resource consent for a discretionary
1. Land disturbance and excavation activities that may generate
siltation and sedimentation effects on the Ohiwa Harbour. These
activities include roading, tracking, movement of soil, and
2. The damage to or clearance of indigenous vegetation. Where
the damage to or clearance of indigenous vegetation where the
a) Indigenous vegetation disturbance in the Opotiki or Taneatua
Ecological Districts (see Map 2 - Significant Features and
Ecological Districts) where the sum of all disturbance exceeds
250 m² in any five year period (refer to
3.3.3 rules 7, 8 and 9 and Advice Notes).
3. The erection of buildings and structures on ridgelines. The
matters to be considered by Council will include (but will not be
limited to) the following:
a) Extent of an immediate land backdrop.
b) Nature of the landform content.
c) Extent of an immediate vegetative backdrop.
d) Foreground vegetative backdrop.
e) Vegetative mitigation offered.
f) Proposed built form.
g) Proposed building materials and colour.
h) Associated earthworks.
4. Plantation forestry.
5. Subdivision as stated in 19.5.3.
6. Plantation forestry.
7. Activities stated in Section 9.3.3 Network Utilities.
19.4 Zone Standards
The Zone Standards for the Ohiwa Harbour Zone are stated in 17.4
The following rules provide for controlled activities and
discretionary activities in relation to subdivision within the
Ohiwa Harbour Zone.
19.5.2 Controlled activities
1. Subdivision complying with the boundary adjustment
requirements specified in Rule 22.214.171.124.
2. Subdivision which create lots for public utilities, public
works, and reserves within the meaning of the Reserves Act 1977,
where these subdivisions comply with Rule
The matters over which Council will reserve control are stated
in Rule 126.96.36.199 to 188.8.131.52.
19.5.3 Discretionary activities
1. Subdivision, where all new lots are a minimum of 4 hectares
or more, and where the following can be met:
(i) Each lot has a potable water supply.
(ii) The site has sufficient area to contain all effects of the
disposal of waste water on a sustainable basis, including provision
for alternative effluent disposal fields.
(iii) Each lot is capable of supporting an area for a
residential building site that ensures visual separation, by means
of topographical features, distances over flat land, protected
areas of vegetation, or similar devices.
(iv) The road to which the lots have frontage is formed to a
suitable standard. Where work is required to upgrade the road, then
a financial contribution will be required. See Section 11.
2. The subdivision of protection/incentive lots as follows:
One lot of 4000 m² will be permitted where:
(i) There is on the parent lot a feature which is identified in
the District Plan or a Regional Plan, or has been assessed against
the following criteria and is found to be of significant value:
a. Diversity and pattern
d. Rarity and special features
e. Buffering and connectivity
f. Ecological viability
g. Fragility and threat (An explanation of these criteria can be
(ii) Legal protection of the feature will be secured by a way of
a legal protection mechanism.
(iii) An additional incentive lot of 4000 m² will be
offered for every subsequent 2000 m² of protected feature,
where the maximum number of incentive lots will be as follows:
2 incentive lots for a parent lot of less than 6 hectares
4 incentive lots for a parent lot of 6 hectares or more.
(iv) The balance area of any protected feature will be secured
in the maximum incentive lot in the subdivision, where the feature
identified will be completely protected by the time that the
maximum incentive lot is granted.
An application for discretionary activity may be granted by
Council and conditions imposed that may include any one or more of
the following matters:
184.108.40.206 Water supply
i. Specify a fixed water supply that is able to be supplied to
all new lots in the subdivision
220.127.116.11 Provision of services
i. Require that any services provided to the new lots created
are to be underground where this is possible to mitigate the
effects of the networks on the Harbour environment.
ii. Require proposed dwellings and structures to be located away
from present services, particularly in relation to present overhead
18.104.22.168 Waste disposal
i. Specify methods and areas for the disposal of effluent.
ii. Require specification effluent treatment systems that will
ensure that no adverse effects from effluent disposal will occur in
the Harbour environment.
iii. Specify a communal system of effluent disposal given an
assessment of the adverse cumulative effects that may result from
iv. Require screening or planting of any communal effluent
system so that adverse visual effects are mitigated.
v. Require the use of wetlands as polishing and finishing
component of effluent treatment .
22.214.171.124 Residential building sites and building platforms
i. Require the location of building sites in areas sympathetic
to the surrounding environment, including not locating buildings on
prominent skylines, ridgelines, and promontories.
ii. Require buildings and structures to be finished in colours
and materials that complement the surrounding environment.
iii. Require screening of suitable species around dwellings and
structures so as to mitigate adverse effects on the surrounding
iv. Specify quantity of vegetation or excavation material that
is able to be cleared or shifted to provide for a building
v. Specify any measures needed to restore areas that have been
subject to vegetation clearance of soil disturbance.
vi. Require measures to ensure that sedimentation or siltation
of the Harbour does not occur.
126.96.36.199 Roading and accessways
i. Specify the location and physical dimensions of any access
way to a building site, including not locating buildings on
prominent skylines, ridgelines, and promontories.
ii. Require screening of suitable species adjoining roads and
accessways where visible scarring of the landscape may occur.
iii. Specify quantity of vegetation or excavation material that
is able to be cleared or shifted to provide for the accessway.
iv. Require measures to ensure that sedimentation or siltation
of the Harbour does not occur as a result of roading or
188.8.131.52 Indigenous vegetation disturbance
i. Specifying that location and disturbance of any indigenous
vegetation, including limiting the area of vegetation
ii. Specifying the methods by which the disturbance or clearance
can be undertaken.
iii. Require fencing off of the remaining areas of indigenous
vegetation from the grazing of animals.
iv. Specify legal instruments to be used to protect and manage
indigenous vegetation on an ongoing basis.
v. Requiring a site rehabilitation programme to include
landscape and vegetation restoration.
vi. Require development of a monitoring programme to gauge the
effects of the activity on the indigenous vegetation.
184.108.40.206 Water courses and riparian management
i. Require the planting of vegetation to enhance the riparian
areas of the subdivision.
ii. Specify the location of dwellings and structures to any
water body or to the Harbour edge.
iii. Require the maintenance and enhancement of existing natural
drainage areas or wetlands.
19.5.4 Non-complying activities
1. Subdivision stated in 19.5.2 that does not
meet the controlled activity criteria.
2. Subdivision stated in 19.5.3 that does not
meet the discretionary activity criteria.
3. Subdivision stated in 19.5.3 where the
number of incentive lots sought by the applicant exceeds the
maximum incentive lot provision.
19.5.5 Subdivision Standards
The subdivision standards for the Ohiwa Harbour Zone are stated
in Section 17.5.5 Coastal Zone.
220.127.116.11 Esplanade requirement
An esplanade reserve or esplanade strip will be required on any
subdivision located along coastal margins or rivers within this
zone, and will be taken in accordance with the provisions of
Section 5 Esplanade reserves. This provision does
not apply to Maori Land within the Ohiwa Harbour environment
18.104.22.168 General subdivision requirements
In addition to Rule 19.5 the general rules for
subdivisions stated in Section 10 subdivision,
shall be met.
22.214.171.124 Boundary adjustment requirements
The subdivision standards for the Zone will not apply to a
subdivision for the adjustment or relocation of boundaries provided
no new additional allotments are created, and the subdivision
i. The adjustment or relocation of boundaries which will leave
the allotments with similar areas to that existing prior to
ii. The adjustment or relocation of boundaries is more suitable
for activities provided by the Zone, where it does not increase the
degree of non-conformity of any existing lot or lots.
19.6 Other Methods
19.6.1 Other methods for achieving the objectives and policies
of this section are:
1. Liaison and co-operation between central, regional and local
government agencies Iwi and hapu to prepare and implement a
comprehensive management plan for Ohiwa Harbour and its catchment.
This will include natural and cultural values, archaeological
sites, and harbour margins.
2. A protocol be developed between Opotiki District Council and
Whakatane District Council for referral of resource consents for
subdivision and land use consent occurring within the Ohiwa Harbour
3. Establishing a register identifying outstanding significant
coastal features and habitats, and the identification of these on
4. Continual support for established and future community Coast
Care and Dune Care programmes, and to liaise with Bay of Plenty
Regional Council with respect to these groups.
5. Co-operation with landowners and Bay of Plenty Regional
Council in the use of Farm Plans and Environment Plans to promote
sustainable management practices.
6. With the assistance of landowners and the Department of
Conservation, negotiate with landowners to discourage grazing on
salt marsh or wetland vegetation and to use protective provisions
as is necessary.
19.7.1 The reasons for the foregoing objectives, policies and
methods are stated below.
19.7.2 Preservation of the natural character of the coastal
environment is stated by the Act to be a matter of national
importance. In addition to the natural processes affecting the
coastline there are pressures for access, recreation and living.
There is a large seasonal influx of visitors which increases
demands for accommodation, facilities, and services. The Ohiwa
Harbour Zone provisions are designed to ensure that the existing
high quality of the coastal environment is preserved and protected
from the effects of inappropriate activities.
19.7.3 The environmental outcomes of the plan seek a pattern of
density and development which reflects the character and amenity
values of the local environment and enables the provision of
choices in living environments. The purpose of the Ohiwa Harbour
Zone, is to provide for a range of activities and manage the
adverse effects of these activities on the Harbour. Activities
undertaken on the Ohiwa Harbour are managed by Environment Bay of
Plenty. Presently there are areas designated for various watersport
within the Harobur.
19.7.4 Ohiwa Harbour's presently relatively unspoilt environs is
an asset that requires preservation, and a resource management
approach that recognises this is necessary. The objectives,
policies and rules are directed at requiring an assessment of any
proposed activity in terms of the values present.
19.7.5 It is not intended that activities within the Ohiwa
Harbour environs be so severely limited that development becomes
difficult or impossible. What is intended is that any development
proposal protects the values of the zone, and that matters such as
the unique natural character, ecology and landscape values of the
area are adequately taken into account. The avoidance of adverse
effects on the Ohiwa Harbour environment is paramount.
19.8 Anticipated Environmental Outcomes
19.8.1 Environmental outcomes anticipated from the
implementation of the objectives and policies are:
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