After a massive turnout at the Athenaeum Hall on Tuesday, and a survey that found that our members are overwhelmingly in opposition, it’s abundantly clear that the majority of residents of Arrowtown are against a variation to the Proposed District Plan that would allow the construction of 12m buildings in one part of Arrowtown, and increased density and height everywhere except the historic zone. (Click here for more info or go to QLDC's pages on the proposal.)
Hopefully you found the information evening helpful and now understand the process and are fully aware of what options are open to us as a community. If you weren’t able to attend – or if you need to be reminded of the finer details – you can watch this video:
You can view architect Justin Wright’s video here.
What's the AVA’s position?
The Arrowtown Village Association will be submitting against the proposed Variation. We encourage as many individuals as possible to submit to make sure that all voices – whether for or against the proposal – are heard loud and clear.
We will be pushing for the Council to withdraw the notification of a Variation to the Proposed District Plan. If Council decides to implement the proposed changes in Arrowtown, the only option we have is to appeal to the Environment Court.
The AVA is a volunteer organisation with minimal funding but is the perfect organisation to lead the opposition as it is an incorporated society and is a registered charity. We represent the community of Arrowtown – there is no membership fee to join but donations are very welcome, and may be desperately needed going forward if a legal challenge is required. You can join by hitting the Join Now button at the top right of this page.
Read on for further information that may help you write a submission.
Is it even possible to stop urban intensification?
The short answer is yes, as far as we can tell.
QLDC have suggested their hands are tied because adoption of the bipartisan National Policy Statement on Urban Development (NPS-UD) is a legislative requirement. However the NPS-UD is not set in stone: each Council has some discretion on how and where to apply the legislation.
This has been shown by Christchurch City Council's choice to exclude Akaroa, a village that has many similarities to Arrowtown, from their Variation. This decision was enabled by a Government-appointed barrister mediating an agreement between the Ministry for the Environment and Christchurch City Council.
Part of Arrowtown has been designated Medium Density Residential in the Proposed District Plan, making this the area most severely affected by the proposed variation (a maximum building height of 12m, for example). However page 2 of the Ministry for the Environment’s Medium Density Residential Standards: A guide for territorial authorities states, "A relevant residential zone does not include…a mainly urban area that the 2018 census recorded as having a resident population of less than 5,000 (unless a local authority intends it to become part of an urban environment)”.
The population of Arrowtown is 2950 according to the 2018 census. So this guideline clearly excludes urban areas such as Arrowtown and, as has been proven, Akaroa.
What can go in a submission?
If you were able to attend the meeting you will have picked up from Graeme Todd of Todd & Walker Law some excellent ideas for making an effective submission against the proposed Variation. His section of the video starts at 1:03:45 (click here to go straight there).
Graeme pointed out you can submit for or against the whole or any part of the Variation, and that you can question the process that led to notification of the Variation.
Here’s a reminder of the specific points Graeme suggested you raise:
- The Variation is not in accordance with the requirements of the National Policy Statement on Urban Development
- The provisions of the Variation are not in accordance with sound resource management planning principles
- The Variation, if approved, would result in development that is totally contrary to the District Plan provisions relating to development in Arrowtown
- That the provisions of the Variation are contrary to the Arrowtown Design Guidelines 2016 and the Queenstown Lakes Spatial Plan 2021
- That there has been a total lack of/or insufficient community consultation regarding the proposed Variation and the outcomes proposed for Arrowtown
- That development established by the Variation will have significant adverse impacts on the character of Arrowtown
- That the development enabled by the Variation will have adverse effects in terms of potential for domination of built form, shading, loss of access to sunshine and loss of views
- That there is insufficient/inadequate infrastructure in place in Arrowtown to support the extent of development that is enabled by the provisions of the Variation
- There is no guarantee that the provisions of the Variation will result in the types of development or the value of the same.
These bullet points are only intended to be things to think about when writing your submission so please don't copy them word for word. A submission has much more impact when it is in your own words.
How do I make a submission?
To file online now click on this link.
If you would like to hand write your submission print out this form. If your words won't all fit on the space allowed for in Form 5 you can either write "see attached page(s)" or write the start of it in the box and then note you have attached 1 or a number of pages. You can then drop the completed form into the Golden Fleece in Arrowtown or to the QLDC offices in Gorge Road.
If you can, please put in an individual submission rather than a family or household one and consider ticking the box to speak to your submission.
Submissions close Thursday 5 October 2023. Remember that under the Resource Management Act your submission will be published with your name and address attached.