Aokautere urban growth

Submissions closed on 02 December 2022, 04:00 PM

A gully through the reserve is regenerating with native bush.

Palmy is growing fast and the city is running out of space to build new homes. To help make some room a large block of land at Aokautere has been notified for a proposed change from a mainly rural area to a residential one. This will enable approximately 1,000 new houses in the area, a new neighbourhood centre, and protection of the gully network. 

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Submissions available to view

Read the submissions

We received 107 original submissions and 5 further submissions on this proposed plan change.

A hearing was held in December 2023. The Independent Hearings Panel is currently assessing the merits of the proposal will issue a decision on the rezoning proposal later in 2024.

Map shows the Aokautere rezoning plan

The outlined area has been notified for a proposed plan change to rezone it from a rural to a residential area in Palmerston North’s District Plan. 

Why Aokautere? 

Aokautere has been identified as a growth area for decades, with some land rezoned for development in the 1990s. Most of that land has been fully built out now. Due to the lack of an overall plan, much of this earlier development was ad-hoc, with many cul-de-sacs and long right-of-ways that lead to a disconnected neighbourhood. The proposed changes to the District Plan aim to make sure future development addresses the issues with its current layout.  

Building a connected community

Early community feedback in 2019 shows that at the moment many think the suburb feels a bit unfinished. The proposed new structure plan aims to give residents a pleasant, walkable neighbourhood with a village business zone for local shops and services. There will also be a network of green spaces to enjoy, better transport options for getting around and a range of different housing types.  

This is just the beginning

Although a lot of work has been done to get this proposed plan change ready for both elected members and the public to consider, if it gets adopted there’s still a lot to be done before houses can start being built. As council does not own the land within the area, it will be up to individual landowners whether they choose to sell or subdivide their land. Any development will likely occur over a number of years and in stages.

We’ll be working on transport and schools

We know work will need to be done to improve roads before any development begins so an important part of the new plan is about providing better road connectivity. This includes upgrades to State Highway 57, so we’ll be working closely with Waka Kotahi New Zealand Transport Agency on that. The Ministry of Education is responsible for building schools. We'll be working with it on whether another one will be needed for the area.

Looking after the things that make Aokautere special

Part of the proposed new structure plan is focused on looking after the wetlands and native biodiversity within Aokautere’s network of gullies. The proposed plan change will include formal protection and ongoing management of the gully network, by requiring that they be vested to council by those building subdivisions. They will then be included into Palmy’s District Plan as conservation and recreation areas for the community to enjoy.

 A gully through the reserve is regenerating with native bush.