Wrestling a wheke (squid)

Lessons learnt from working with iwi, central government and 10 local authorities on the Wairarapa-Wellington-Horowhenua Future Development Strategy

SESSION: Thursday 21st March, 4:10pm - 4:40pm
Parvati Rotherham

In July 2022 the Wellington Regional Leadership Committee (an urban growth partnership for the Wellington-Wairarapa-Horowhenua region) agreed to do a Future Development Strategy together to efficiently solve its many cross-boundary growth-related challenges.

The region is predicted to grow by 200,000 people over the next 30 years and is in an enviable position to have significant housing capacity enabled, thanks NPS-UD. This was easier said than done - the Wellington-Wairarapa-Horowhenua region covers an area over 9000m2 - almost twice the size of Auckland! It is administered by 10 diverse local authorities and only 6 of them had to do a Future Development Strategy under the NPD-UD. We wanted to run a collaborative, inclusive process to produce a holistic Future Development Strategy. So, we involved all 10 Council's, central government, iwi and engaged with infrastructure providers, developers and youth.

We were tasked with producing a suitable, statutorily compliant strategy over a period of 12 months with team from the authorities who had day jobs too. Luckily, we had good source material - the Wellington Regional Growth Framework (a non-statutory regional spatial plan completed in 2021) - to build on.
We wrestled with managing the scale of the region, uncertainty around population growth, changing national policy and competing local priorities to produce a strategy to influence how our region develops sustainably so we can be responsible ancestors and meet our shared objectives.

This presentation will share how we collaborated as a region (local and central government, and iwi) to produce the strategy, what we learnt along the way and how we can apply these lessons to Regional Spatial Strategies required by the Spatial Planning Act.

Presented By

Parvati Rotherham

Project Lead - Future Development Strategy, Wellington Regional Leadership Committee

I am a natural & built environment professional with over 15 years experience in local government.

After completing a Masters in Environmental Science from University of Auckland I fell into planning by working as a resource consent monitoring officer in Auckland City Council. Since then, I have worked in all spheres of planning - resource consenting, developers liaison, managing district plan teams, and recently leading work on the Wairarapa-Wellington-Horowhenua Future Development Strategy.