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The Department of Internal Affairs

The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation


Services › Other Services › Tuhua Island District Plan

Operative Plan

The Tūhua District Plan became operative on 30 July 2014 following approval by the Minister of Local Government, Hon Paula Bennett, on 30 June 2014.


The Tūhua District Plan will assist in achieving the sustainable management of natural and physical resources on the Island to enable the community to provide for their environmental, social, economic, and cultural wellbeing.

The Department of Internal Affairs resolved appeals to the Tūhua District Plan on behalf of the Minister of Local Government, who has the responsibilities of a territorial authority for Mayor (Tūhua) and Motiti Islands. The Department has released information about the Minister’s responsibilities.

Development of the Tūhua District Plan

The Department of Internal Affairs has developed the Tūhua District Plan on behalf of the Minister of Local Government, who has the responsibilities of a territorial authority.

Plan Preparation and Drafting (2004-2005)

The Department contracted Beca Carter Hollings and Ferner Ltd (Beca) to prepare and write the District Plan for Tūhua and Motiti Islands.

The following newsletters were sent to all island residents, tangata whenua tribal affiliations, and other stakeholders. These newsletters explained what the District Plan is, how it was to be prepared and its importance to the residents and the future of the islands. They also provided progress reports. There were a number of hui and meetings with tangata whenua representing both islands, and contact from organisations and individuals with interests on the islands.

The Tūhua draft plan was developed with the assistance of the Tūhua Trust Board.

Proposed Tūhua District Plan (Dec 2006 - March 2007)

The proposed Tūhua District Plan was publicly notified on Saturday 16 December 2006, with a closing date for submissions of 9 March 2007. The proposed Motiti District plan was notified at the same time.

The Submissions Process (March - May 2007)

Submissions closed on 9 March 2007. Following the receipt of public submissions, a summary of the submissions lodged to the proposed MIEMP and the proposed Tūhua Island District Plan was prepared and sent to all those who made submissions. This was publicly notified and further submissions, lodged in support or opposition to any original submissions, were accepted until 21 May 2007. The Minister appointed a Hearing Panel to assess the proposed District Plans and the submissions lodged to them, including further submissions. The Panel held a public hearing to enable submitters to present their submissions.

Hearing Panel's Report on Proposed Tūhua District Plan (May 2008)

The Hearing Panel's report was completed by the Panel on 9 May 2008 and was publicly released on 25 October 2008 by the Minister of Local Government, Hon Nanaia Mahuta, in her role as territorial authority for the offshore island of Tūhua.

Environment Court Appeal (Dec 2011-Nov 2013)

Pre-hearing conference December 2011

And Environment Court pre-hearing conference was held 14 December 2011, identifying directions from the Environment Court Judge regarding the appeals to the Tūhua District Plan.

Environment Court Appeal (July 2012)

The Environment Court heard the appeal on the proposed Tūhua District Plan between 16 and 18 July 2012. At the conclusion of the hearing the judge directed the Department of Internal Affairs and the appellant, the Tūhua Trust Board, to discuss a few outstanding issues to see whether an agreed plan could be reached.

These issues relate to the treatment of existing buildings and how far back from cliff edges new buildings may sit.

Preliminary Decision (September 2012)

On 19 September 2012, Judge Smith of the Environment Court released his decision on the appeals to the proposed Tūhua District Plan. This decision settled all issues apart from the Preamble to the Plan.

Final Decision (November 2013)

On 22 November 2013, Judge Smith of the Environment Court released his final decision on the appeal to the Tūhua District Plan.
* This document is in Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) format. You need to have the Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer. You can download a free version from the Adobe site.


For further information regarding Tūhua Island, the Tūhua District Plan, or the process outlined above, please contact:

Department of Internal Affairs
147 Lambton Quay
Wellington 6011
PO Box 805
Wellington 6140

Freephone: 0800 25 78 87 (New Zealand only)
Phone: +64 4 495 7200

Along with Department of Internal Affairs staff, Keith Frentz or Shad Rolleston of Beca in Tauranga can also be contacted for information via email or phone on (07) 578 0896.