What's in the District Plan and how does it affect you?

Land management

The District Plan explains how Council will manage land use in the Southland District. It outlines what activities you can do as of right, what activities you need resource consent for and how certain activities may be carried out. It covers things like the location and height of buildings, gravel extraction, subdividing land and removal of indigenous vegetation. The District Plan was made operative on 15 February 2024. The District Plan is subject to regular changes and updates.


The District Plan has to be reviewed every 10 years to make sure it stays up-to-date and deals with new pressures on the environment.

The last review of the District Plan was completed in 2018.

The National Planning Standards version of the District Plan follows a national direction to standardise district plans. These changes affect the structure of the document and the definitions section. Provisions within the District Plan have not changed as part of this change. The National Standard version was made operative in February 2024.

A timeline of the review is below:

  • November 2012 Proposed District Plan notified
  • February 2013 Submissions closed
  • May – June 2013 Further submissions
  • July 2013 – February 2014
  • Drafting staff recommendations on submissions
  • March – July 2014 Hearings
  • October 2014 Decisions released
  • 2015 4 Appeals resolved
  • 2017 Remaining 5 appeals resolved
  • 22 January 2018 District Plan made operative
  • 8 February 2024 National Planning Standards version of the Southland District Plan notified
  • 15 February 2024 National Planning Standards version of the Southland District Plan made operative 

For background information on the review process, including copies of submissions, decision reports and appeals, contact Council’s Resource Planning team. You can emai us: sdc@southlanddc.govt.nz